No More Fishing Around for the Right Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplement
Recently I made it a priority to find the right Omega-3 fish oil for me. I had read a lot of articles about how important it was to have this oil in your diet because it contains both docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). What really sold me was the importance of Omega-3 fatty acids in preventing and managing heart disease.
I was getting tired of reading so many promotional articles that endorse just one fish oil supplement, leaving the dozens of competing products to flounder (excuse the pun). So before I start, let me say this: there is no product that will benefit, please, or appeal to everyone. Contrary to the popular saying, one size does not fit all.
So, what should you do when every product review claims that it’s the best? For starters, you can’t trust the reviews because they are based on a stranger’s opinion, not on your own opinion. For example, a supplement that’s easy for one person to swallow might choke another person. You’ll learn that some supplements contain mercury, while others do not.
After reaching my frustration limit, I decided to take another approach to the confusing advice I was getting from reading too many articles. As a part of my search, I came to a few conclusions that you should keep in mind. The most obvious one is this: a product that works great for me might be awful for someone else. And buyer — you are the one who should gather as much information as you can for a few products, and then decide which one is the best for you.
For my research, I chose three makers of Omega-3 fish oil supplements, and here’s what I found.
1. Dr. Tobias Optimum Omega-3 Fish Oil
As my first choice, what I like best about Dr. Tobias Omega-3 Fish Oil is its nutritional value, specifically the high dosage of EPA + DHA it contains (EPA + DHA are the beneficial fatty acids you are looking for in Omega-3 oils).
When buying an Omega-3 supplement, you’ll want to check how much EPA + DHA is actually provided per serving. In this product, the EPA + DHA accounted for 76% of the total fish oil content, making it significantly higher than the 40% average (based on my research of 20 products). The high fish oil content is why I choose this as the best fish oil supplement.
Another plus of the Dr. Tobias product is the use of enteric coating, which has two big benefits: it has no fishy aftertaste (it won’t give you fish burps), and the body’s absorption of Omega-3 in the small intestine is better with enteric coating.
That said, what I like the least about this product is its total fat. We’re all aware that eating too much fat may increase your risk of certain chronic diseases like heart disease, some cancers, and high blood pressure.
To be specific, even though the total fat is higher than the other two products, it is a negligible amount.
2. Kirkland Signature Fish Oil
My second choice on the list of best fish oil supplements is Kirkland Signature Fish Oil (Costco brand).
What I like most about the Kirkland product is it has less fat and mercury than the other two choices. Furthermore, the price is the lowest of the three brands.
What I don’t like about it is it doesn’t have much EPA + DHA. The EPA + DHA content accounted for 32% of the total fish oil content, which was below average.
I’m not sure why the Kirkland brand is the #1 best seller on Amazon.com because most people compare products based on ratings and average price. If money is not a concern for you, I think you can make a better choice than Kirkland Signature.
Note: this product can cause fish burps, so try freezing the capsules before you take them. They don’t dissolve until they are already in your intestine, therefore, no fish burps.
3. Nutrigold Triple Strength Omega-3 Gold
My third choice is the Nutrigold product. It has some good properties that made me include it in my list of the top fish oil supplements.
What I like the most about this product is it has high amounts of EPA + DHA. The EPA + DHA content accounted for 91% of the total fish oil content, which makes Nutrigold the highest EPA + DHA content measured in this category.
Nutrigold also uses an enteric coating to prevent those annoying fish burps, and to have better absorption of Omega-3.
The only drawbacks I found for this product were its high mercury content and higher price than the others.
Conclusion: How to Find the Best Fish Oil Supplements
You don’t have to take my word for it about these three fish oil supplements. You can find your own top three products by using the criteria I used for making my own list.
Some of the most common features you may want to include in your search are:
- Omega-3 EPA per serving
- Omega-3 DHA per serving
- Mercury content
- Total fat per serving
In my opinion, the most important three factors you should examine are price, EPA + DHA per serving, and customer satisfaction with the product.
Money-wise, sometimes people tend to look for the cheapest product on the market. However, this shouldn’t be the case, since there are some fish oil supplements on the market that are worth close to zero!
The most rational thing you can do is calculate the value of these fish oil supplements for each Omega-3 gram. In this case, Kirkland Signature wins with $0.15 per gram, followed by $0.20 per gram for Nutrigold, and last, by $0.22 per gram for Dr. Tobias. Now you can see why Kirkland Signature Fish Oil is the #1 best-seller on Amazon.com.
In my opinion, when it comes to the dosage of EPA + DHA, the Nutrigold supplements are the best because the EPA + DHA content accounts for 91% of the total fish oil content; next was Dr. Tobias at 76%, and then Kirkland Signature at 32%.
The amount if mercury contained in supplements should be taken into consideration; once it gets into our bodies, it can be particularly hazardous, especially for pregnant women and small children.
When you choose a fish oil supplement, make sure to get one that has more DHA, which is good for mental acuity, if you are pregnant or nursing an infant, and for children. The DHA amounts I found were 1PPB for Kirkland Signature, 2PPB for Dr. Tobias and 3PPB for Nutrigold.
Customer satisfaction ratings should be a guideline for you as well, regardless of whether you’re buying a shirt or the best fish oil supplement. Looking at the Amazon.com reviews will help you gain a better understanding of the products so you can make the best decision in the end. What other people say about the product is an essential step you shouldn’t miss.
Looking at the ratings without the reviews may not be the best thing to do, though. On the other hand, looking at each and every review made by customers can take a lot of time, and you might not have that amount of time to spend.
When your time is running short, the best thing you can do is look at all of the 5-star reviews and decide if they have any value. Be careful, though! Just because a product has a 5-star rating it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best.
Above all, have fun with your search.