What Is The Best Omega 3 Supplement? – The Guide

Omega 3 Fatty Acids are something that absolutely none can afford to not consume on a daily basis. They are extremely important for our brain health and capacity. At the same time there are numerous studies and estimates showing various amounts of deficiency rate (up to over 99%) in the population.

Essentially, anyone, whose not consuming a supplement, is deficient, because of how little do the natural sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids provide us with. Therefore, it is also no secret that the kind of supplement must be consumed along side with one of the best multivitamin supplements for the best health. Which also leads to a question – what is the best Omega 3 supplement out there?

In this regard many people will try to pin point you to a specific one while implying that that is the best one. However, there is really no such thing. Yeah, it may seem that there should be. But there is not!

The honest truth is that there are many that could be regarded as the best ones.

Therefore, in this article (guide) I will give you all the tools you need to find on your own one of these kinds of Omega 3 supplements. Additionally, I will also provide examples to spare you some time, if you’re not into looking for one on your own or don’t want to waste time doing so.

Why There Is No Such Thing As The Best Omega 3 Supplement?

To Determine What Is The Best Omega 3 Supplement The Configuration Is Extremely ImportantEssentially, it is the same reason, why there’s no such thing as the best vitamin D supplement.

Meaning, it is all about the configuration, which simply refers to how it’s made up.

There are numerous ways how it can be done on the highest level and there is no one way, how it should be done.

Therefore, even supplements that are slightly different can both produce the same best kind of results as towards the benefit.

What Makes Up The Best Kind Of Omega 3 Supplements?

The Best Possible Omega 3 Source Is Fish OilTypically, when we talk about Omega 3 supplements, we are talking about fish oil. Of course, there are other options as to what it can be derived from, which we’ll get into later. For now, let’s look at both the most common and the most potent option.

So, the configuration. With configuration I refer to the form, the amount and the additives.

As regards to the form it’s quite different than it is typically for vitamins. This is because everything is about the purity as the fish oil lacking in that area can more than likely do harm and be toxic.

EPA DHA Ratio Is Extremely Important In Omega 3 SupplementsOther than that Omega 3 Fatty Acids in fish oil have a certain amount of DHA and EPA. Both of these are extremely important for brain function. And essentially the more of those are present in certain amount of Fish Oil, the better.

Only The Harmless Additives Must Be In The Best Omega 3 SupplementAs towards the amount, it is defined by Prime Daily Values. Thus, for your best health you should consume 1000 mg of the highest quality fish oil twice a day with 300 mg of EPA and 200 mg of DHA. Therefore, daily you should consume 2000 mg of fish oil with combined amount of 600 mg of EPA and 400 mg of DHA.

As for the additives they can be divided in four big groups. There are the harmless ones, the probably harmless ones, the probably harmful ones and the harmful ones. We of course are interested only in the harmless ones.

To sum it up, all in all the best kind of configuration (and thus the best omega 3 supplement) will be the one that provides you with the purest and highest of quality Fish Oil in amounts of 1000 mg (300 mg EPA/200 mg DHA) twice daily and has harmless additives.

How To Find The Purest Of Fish Oil?

It may seem like really not an easy task as there are so many Fish Oil supplements these days. And this would be true a while back, but not any more.

Nowadays, we have The International Fish Oil Standards Program (IFOS). It is the only third party testing and certification program for fish oils. This organisation truly sets the world’s highest standards for purity, potency and freshness (something that I refer to simply as purity). And makes anyone’s efforts in finding the best omega 3 supplement way more manageable.Always Look For IFOS Logo On Your Omega 3 Supplements

So, essentially, whenever you see this logo (to the right) on a fish oil supplement, it’s all good in terms of purity.

However, do keep in mind that the IFOS logo is only a testament of that and does not guarantee that there are harmless additives within it.

The Harmless Additive List For Omega 3 Supplements

For me it’s extremely important to provide you with the tools to at any given time look at a fish oil supplement and determine, whether it’s of the best kind. And so that you could effectively do that, I’ve put together a list that contains only the harmless additives that you should aim for in the supplement.

If a particular supplement contains an additive that is not on this list, you should better avoid it.

So, here are the most common harmless additives of the Omega 3 supplements (not only Fish Oil supplements):The 4 Additives (Mixed Tocopherols, Gelatin, Glycerin, Water) You Should Aim For In The Omega 3 Supplement

  • Gelatin (but avoid Pork/Pig Gelatin),
  • Glycerin,
  • Water, Distilled Water, Purified Water,
  • Mixed Tocopherols (or simply Tocopherols),
  • Natural Tocopherol,
  • Beeswax,
  • Fractionated Coconut Oil,
  • Lactic Acid,
  • Beta-Carotene,
  • Silicon Dioxide or Silica,
  • Olive Oil,
  • Vitamin E (D-Alpha Tocopheryl),
  • Cellulose.((If you’re interested in references for these additives being safe, they can be found throughout my articles various supplements.))

Nonetheless, there might be other harmless additives that at this point I’m not aware of. Thus, this list in not exhaustive in any way.

On the most part, however, the best kinds of Omega 3 supplements will contain the first 4 additives of the list.

In this regard I do find that Carlson Labs Wild Caught Super Omega-3 Gems (1200 mg, 160 Soft Gels) is probably the best choice in terms of value for price. Furthermore, It has received the highest possible evaluation from IFOS in terms of it’s purity (evaluated as Ultra).

The Best Choice Of Omega 3 For Vegetarians And Vegans

Knowing the fact that typical Omega 3 supplement is based on fish oil, it won’t really work for vegetarians and vegans. But as I mentioned earlier, there are also other sources on the basis of which such a supplement can be made. Most common ones are chia seeds, flaxseeds and then there’s also the algae option.

Oil Derived From Algae Is Probably The Best Alternative To Fish OilOf course, any configuration we talked about before also concerns these vegan and vegetarian variations of omega 3 supplements. However, I do feel that we will have to compromise a little bit on the additives. And there are some other considerations that definitely needs to be addressed, which if addressed here will make this article way too lengthy.

Therefore, although I initially wanted to tackle these also in this article, I totally feel that I should rather do that in a separate article in the future. So, if you are interested, stay tuned for that.

How Detrimental Can Be The Fish Oil That Is Not IFOS Approved?

If you ever feel like passing on the IFOS logo on the supplement – here’s a little motivation boost for why you shouldn’t ever.

So, oceans and seas nowadays do get a lot harmful chemicals that enter the ecosystem due to industrial activity. These chemicals accumulate in the fatty tissues of the fish. Therefore, the oil derived from these kind of fish (essentially from any fish) are likely to contain high concentrations of these kinds of chemicals.

Nowadays Oceans And Seas Are Quite Polluted Due To Industrial ActivityIf the fish oil is not properly purified we then get these chemicals into our bodies. Needless to say that that is extremely bad for our health. So, bad, in fact, that the positive effects of Omega 3 intake will be by far outweighed by the harmful effects of the chemicals.

So, essentially you would be taking your Omega 3 supplement thinking that you are doing a favour for your body and your brain. But, in fact, you would literally be poisoning yourself.

Therefore, only ever use IFOS approved fish oil. If it’s not IFOS approved, don’t use it. But if you’re currently using a fish oil that is not IFOS approved, just throw it out. Don’t risk your health and well-being for any amount of money that you paid for that fish oil. You will save on medication and doctor appointments later.

The Take Away Message

Omega 3 Fatty Acids are something that is absolutely necessary for your best health and well-being. Therefore, you should always use an Omega 3 supplement along side one of the best multivitamin supplements or any other multivitamin supplement of your choice.

Always look for Omega 3 supplements derived from fish oil with 300 mg of EPA and 200 mg of DHA in every 1000 mg of fish oil containing only harmless additives (see the list beforehand). Always look for IFOS approved fish oil supplements. Never use unapproved ones as they have the potential to pretty much ruin your health and well-being.

Any such supplement will be the best kind of Omega 3 supplement that you can get.

Therefore, based on these guidelines either find you own best Omega 3 supplement or opt for the Carlson Labs Wild Caught Super Omega-3 Gems (1200 mg, 160 Soft Gels) that I suggested earlier.

If you liked the article, please leave us a comment below – even one sentence helps. And consider including your Twitter handle so I can thank you personally!

A note, a question or your personal view on the matter – all are truly welcome. And sharing will always be sincerely appreciated.

Have An Awesome Day!

22 Replies to “What Is The Best Omega 3 Supplement? – The Guide”

  1. Totally agree with Sarah, you should post for wider dissemination. I am getting ready to get back in the gym and start a new weight lifting routine. Supplementing is an integral part of my exercise regimen and your article has enlightened me as to what I should be looking for in an Omega-3 supplement. Thanks for the informative article!

    1. Hey, James!

      I’m truly happy that you enjoyed the article. And thank you for the kind words, I truly do appreciate it. 🙂

      And Have An Awesome Day!

  2. I definitely agree that Omega 3 is very much needed by our body. However, from someone who’s not fond of taking supplements, instead just eating naturally, like in my case, I love eating nuts, vegetables, and fish most of the time, wouldn’t it be better than taking supplements? I have read about people who are taking supplements for all kinds of nutrients needed by our body and still get sick more than those who are not, like me. In my own personal experience, even women younger than me suffer from high blood pressure, dehydration, migraine, colds, name it, and yet they’re the ones who took the path of taking supplements and depending on medicines be it major or minor pains. My question is for the sake of information only out of curiosity. Is there any chance that taking supplements will override the benefits of eating naturally? Or is it really a must to add supplements in our daily diet?

    1. Hey, King Kong’s Girl!

      I truly appreciate your input and opinion. And thank you for addressing the questions that are on your mind. I’m very happy that you are interested in the most fundamental questions regarding supplements that there is – do we actually need them?

      Of course, it would be better, if it was an option to only eat healthy. I would certainly myself not use supplements then. I have an article on do we need vitamin supplements, in which I took a look at essentially everything that I could find on this matter to ultimately settle, if we truly need them. It’s a pretty lengthy article, but rightfully so as it took me some two weeks of research and analysis to look at everything there is on the matter. I think it wouldn’t be fair for me to just summarize it here, you’ll just need to take a look at it.

      What’s more, supplements are not some kind of miracle thing that can solely remove all disease, including blood pressure, dehydration, migraine, colds, etc. Essentially they are the assets of our biochemistry and should be referred as such. It’s crucial to understand that vitamins and minerals aren’t all that there is to food. Many people assume there is, so they tie that together with vitamin and mineral supplements and think that if they therefore use them, they can eat what they want, which then in there mind make them to be perfectly healthy. Even when eating terrible things.

      For an example’s sake, there are also proteins and amino acids. Without which vitamins and minerals are useless and body can’t really benefit from the nutrients that you provide it with. But these proteins and amino acids are very rarely found in any supplements. Therefore, our prime source of them is food. Which is also how it should be. And which also explains, why for people who have extremely bad eating habits, supplements won’t do much.

      Ultimately, I do believe that this is the skillful advertising of supplements that have led the majority of population assume that, if you’re taking a supplement, then you can eat whatever you want and you will still get awesome health benefits. What most people don’t know though, is that supplements are very, very different in what they provide and how they are.

      First there are typical supplements that provide 100% of DV (or NRV, or similar values depending on where you reside) and people believe that that is exactly what they need. Again due to advertising. But this is not like that at all as these 100% of DV/NRV indicate the minimal value of a nutrient that you need to NOT get sick with a deficiency disease. But, there is so much more to health than just not getting sick. For one’s best health you need way more. In this regard be sure to take a look at the article on Prime Daily Values.

      Ultimately, it all depends on what kind of supplements are you actually taking.
      About 90 or more percent of the industry is purely fueled by supplement companies that primarily care about profit and not people’s health and well-being. Good advertising also leads these companies to being very successful.
      This is and was the whole goal of this website to inform and educate people of how much the industry is using us just to gain profit at the expense of our health.

      And here’s the kicker. The wrong type of supplements will make you sicker. These are the same ones that are only made for profit.

      Here’s why. Most of them being purely profit oriented will contain the cheapest additives there is. That means that those supplements will contain such additives as hydrogenated oils (this is just another name of trans-fat), high fructose corn syrup (also hidden under various different names) and many other harmful additives that are like the poison for your body. It is extremely taxing for the body to deal with those kinds of additives, and it makes the population sicker.

      It’s essentially very much like taking vitamins and minerals together with a sip of poison. Will it make you healthier? HELL NO. It, in fact will be the other way around. And also processed food most of the time contains some of these additives that are not healthy at all. And even when taking the best kinds of multivitamins, it should help, but it won’t be nearly as beneficial as, if you were not to eat the kind of food. Yeah, it doesn’t really matter where you get those not healthy additives from – food or supplements.
      And ultimately, there are very, very many factors that do influence our health, everything starting from food to the environment around us.

      Therefore, it does not really guarantee that you are going to be healthier, if your taking any kind of vitamins or multivitamins. Again, the proper ones are more likely to help, the not good ones not so much.
      Another important thing that I must address (although this comment is getting too long already) and that I feel a lot of people do not know – is the vitamin and mineral forms.

      So, generally these profit oriented companies in their supplements will state to provide for example a 30 IU of vitamin E. However, due to the poor form of the vitamin that is in the supplement, your body can absorb no more than half of that amount. So, ultimately you’re getting even less nutrients than the very insufficient amounts already.

      And this is the reality, most people use popular brands because of their skillful advertising and not because they actually make you better. And sometimes people even do feel better when their taking those kinds of supplements. Which I strongly believe that most of the times is because people are deficient in certain nutrients already and might even be on the verge of getting a deficiency disease already. Of course, there can be also other reasons for that.

      But above all, taking the proper kinds of supplements won’t override the benefits of eating healthy. They will just further improve your health and enhance it. However, eating healthy can be overshadowed by the wrong types of vitamin supplements. Therefore, it is much better to not take supplements than it is to take the wrong ones.

      All in all, I do not believe that any company in the industry should be primarily interested in profit. It is wrong. And the industry must change. With this website I hope to make it happen! It may seem like a far-fetched goal.
      But I truly believe that it is possible and I can make it happen!

      And once again thank you for your curiosity!
      Have A Amazing Day, KK Girl!

  3. Great article Matiss! This post should be spread everywhere as it contains very informative content. I was unaware about looking IFOS approved fish oil, from now on I will also look for it. Everyone knows the importance of Omega-3 fatty acids, but the ways you presented to consume it are very impressive. Keep sharing such informative posts, I will share this post with my friends and family members. Thanks!!

    1. Hey, Sarah!

      A quick update about the logo, it turns out that not all of the brands use it. I’m not really sure why, but essentially, a supplement that does not have such a logo, can still be of high quality. Also some brands use a logo saying “Third party certified” or something along these lines. There might be other variations too.

      Ultimately, there is actually no way to know for sure other than checking it on IFOS homepage. If you ever happen to need assistance in this regard, just let me know, I’ll help you to sort it out.

      Other than that, I’m truly grateful for your kind words. It means a lot! <3

      Cheers and have a awesome day, Sarah!

  4. Great insights about Omega 3. There truly are a lot of different Omega 3 supplements out there. Therefore, a lot of times people really don’t know what is the best to take. This article was really helpful in that sense. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    1. Hey, Dennis!

      Totally agree with you! There’s lots of them. So, choosing a decent one is quite a challenge.
      But these guidelines will definitely make things easier.

      I’m glad you liked it!

      Cheers, Dennis!

  5. I find that Omega 3 is probably one of the more overlooked supplements that we all need. It is probably the thought of eating fish every day, but as you have pointed out that there are supplements available, such as the Omega soft gels. I am, however, a great fish eater and I don’t mind, how it is cooked or prepared.

    1. Hey, Andrew!

      I truly do understand where are you coming from. But hear me out.

      Again, on the importance of Omega 3’s, I like how Dr. Mark Hyman puts it:
      “Do you gather wild plants to eat or hunt for your meat? If not, you are likely one of the 99 percent of people in the twenty-first century who are deficient in the most important ingredient in our bodies for normal cell and brain function – omega-3 fatty acids.”

      But the most potent source of omega 3’s (fish) is full of toxins and mercury nowadays (pollution plays its part). There are fish that do have way less toxins within them (cold-water fish), however, it is more than certain that it is impossible to achieve the needed omega 3 levels (just by eating fish) without seriously exposing oneself to toxins and mercury.
      There is even a theory that we need as much as 15–19 mg of omega 3 fats daily. This is because this is the amount that a typical native Greenland tribe member consumed daily. However, most of us consume far less than 1 mg a day.

      What I’m trying to say is that eating too much fish can be quite detrimental. So, be careful. I would suggest no more than 3 times a week. And also proper nutrition should be exercised to help your body to detoxify.
      However, if you truly are eating a lot of fish and you don’t want to change that habit, the least you should do is add a zinc supplement to your daily regimen. But I highly do not approve this.

      Hope this helps!
      Cheers! And have an awesome day!

  6. I’ve been taking omega 3 vitamins for a long time now, I did think about stopping, but defiantly not now.

  7. Hello, and thanks for the very informative article! I am vegan and currently do not take extra supplementation for omega-3’s, but I do eat walnuts and chia seeds. It’s a little scary how polluted the oceans have become and all the toxins found in fish. I hadn’t heard of the IFOS. Good to know there is an organization trying to verify the purity of some of these supplements. Great read.

    1. Hey, Janna!

      I’m truly glad that you enjoyed the article. And I totally do agree on your point on the pollution. It’s pretty bad.

      And I’m happy that you do eat walnuts and chia seeds. Those are truly a great source of Omega-3’s. 🙂
      However, I’m pretty sure that nor chia, nor walnuts offer EPA and DHA. The idea of importance of those two can be summed up into two sentences. Just to get an idea. Obviously, there is way more to them.

      First, 60% of our brain is DHA. And second, within every cell of the body both of them must be present in order for any human cell to function at its best.
      In your case a great alternative I believe would be algae oil. Definitely do consider it adding to your diet.

      Cheers and have a great day!

  8. The information you shared about Omega 3 is very useful. I am just learning from your article that there are standards and harmless additives. Thanks for the time you took to do the research. This awareness will save lives and make us more critical shoppers. Thank you!

    1. Hey, Monique!

      I’m glad you found the article helpful and useful!
      My pleasure! 🙂

      Cheers and have a great day!

  9. Hi Matiss,
    I’m grateful that your article offers a wealth of information on omega 3 and why we should be taking these kind of supplements on a daily basis. I do agree that it’s very important to select the correct product.
    I take a multivitamin and vitamin B complex daily and will now add omega 3 too.
    Thank you for the great post!

  10. Hi Matiss.. thank you for a great article on Omega 3 Fatty Acids.

    I must admit I was not aware of the IFOS logo so thank you for bringing this to my attention and I will certainly be on the lookout for this logo from now on when I buy my fish oil supplement.

    I also do eat a lot of fish and from what you are saying may not be as good for me as I was thinking due to the harmful chemicals that enter the ecosystem. So, am I just better off taking purified fish oil supplements?

    1. Hey, Moni!

      Thank you for the kind words, I truly appreciate it!

      As regards to the IFOS logo, it has come to my attention that not all of the brands use it. Therefore, there is actually no way to know for sure other than checking it on IFOS homepage. I will update the article later today!

      Definitely don’t give up on fish entirely. They not only contain Omega 3 Fatty Acids, but also are an amazing source of protein.
      As for what kind of fish rather to eat, there are fish that naturally soak up less of the chemicals and toxins. Such are cold-water fish, for example, wild salmon, sardines, herring, small halibut, and sable (black cod).

      However, excessive use of fish into one’s diet may lead to excess mercury within your system. If I do remember correctly, mercury is the second most toxic metal to human beings. Essentially, yeah. Excess mercury is pretty bad. Antioxidants and zinc can definitely help to get rid of some mercury, maybe even all if it’s not accumulated already.

      The bottom line is to not eat fish everyday (that does also apply to sushi). About three times a week in reasonable amounts, in my opinion, should be just fine.

      Hope this helps!
      Cheers, and have an awesome day, Moni!

      1. Great article! Any comments on the form of the fish oil supplement as criteria for selection? By form, I mean ethyl ester vs re-formed (re-esterified) triglyceride? Thanks.

        1. Hey, Russ!

          An absolutely awesome question.

          I want to be completely honest here. Back when I created this article I had no knowledge of this notion. However, even when I did become aware of this I did not change a thing about the original article as I believe overall this does not make that much of a difference. Sure, the Re-Esterified Triglyceride is likely to be the more beneficial version of all the available forms (I might be wrong but as far as I know there are at least three: Natural Triglyceride, Ethyl Ester, and Re-Esterified Triglyceride). But the most important thing is the end result. And any of these can get you there and bring about the benefits of optimal EPA & DHA levels.

          That said I feel my knowledge of this is mostly superficial for now. Meaning, I haven’t really explored this truly in detail yet. So, definitely take my opinion with a grain of salt, for now, Russ.

          On that note, I am planning on redoing this article entirely. Updating the information, adding a proper list of what I feel are the best supplements currently available, as well as adding information on those that I feel are misrepresented (shouldn’t be there) on other “best of” lists.
          In that new, updated article, I will try to explore all the essentials about the triglyceride forms.

          Due date: 2 weeks. Keep me accountable.

          But above all, thank you for pushing me with this. I truly appreciate it. This article has definitely needed a proper update for a long time now.

          Cheers, and have a Great One, Russ!
          Carpe minutam/Seize the moment,

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