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2018's 10 Best
Fish Oil Supplements

Fish oil is a supplement that is noteworthy for its high content of omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3s). Omega-3s are associated with many health benefits. Those that are most beneficial are docosahexaenoic (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic (EPA).


While fish oil has been used for centuries, it became the subject of renewed interest in the 1970s when a pair of Danish researchers studied Inuits. They suggested that a fish-heavy diet might be what protected them from heart disease. Studies since then have called into question whether fish oil reduces the risk of heart disease. However, they also have revealed a plethora of other benefits from fish oil.




In fact, a 2009 study found that low levels of omega-3s in the diet were responsible for an estimated 84,000 deaths that year. This was ranked as the eighth-deadliest of the “preventable risk factors” and the second-deadliest of the dietary risks.

So what can fish oil do for you? Let’s take a closer look.

Benefits of Fish Oil


For many years, people believed that fish oil significantly reduced the risk of heart disease. But a recent study suggests that fish oil may not have a significant impact on lowering the risk of heart attacks or strokes. The study did show that those taking omega-3 supplements were 7% less likely to die of coronary heart disease. So it’s not like taking fish oil has a negative impact on heart health. It’s just that the positive effects of omega-3 supplements on heart health may have been overstated. The jury is still out on this question, as another clinical trial of over 25,000 people is expected to be published soon. That being said, there are plenty of other health benefits of taking omega-3 supplements. In fact, there is evidence that fish oil supplements benefit those looking to improve athletic performance. Let’s take a look at some of the many benefits of fish oil for athletic performance and general health.






MUSCLE RECOVERY

One of the main benefits of omega-3s is their anti-inflammatory properties. Strenuous exercise damages your muscles, which causes your body to repair the damage. The body tends to make the muscles stronger to be better prepared for future workouts. Anti-inflammatory agents like omega-3s help allow this process to happen more quickly.

This has the added benefit of mitigating delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This is the uncomfortable aching all lifters have experienced. Omega-3s can also help reduce the risk of injury during intense workouts and boost energy levels.

MUSCLE BUILDING

Not only do omega-3s speed the recovery process, they also help increase protein synthesis. This can translate to gains in strength and mass. Omega-3s seem to work particularly well in conjunction with amino acid supplements. They can also reduce fatigue while working out, which will enable you to work out for longer periods of time. This can lead to more gains in strength and mass.

FAT BURNING

Along with promoting muscle growth, omega-3s can also help burn fat. This has the additional benefit of making it less likely that your body will burn muscle instead of fat during exercise. This can lead to an overall improvement in body composition, as you have more muscle and less fat.

And while fish oil may not be directly responsible for lowering the risk of heart disease, its fat-burning properties can have an indirect effect. Being overweight increases the risk of heart disease. So, whether it’s with diet, exercise, or supplements, maintaining a healthy body weight will help to lower the risk of heart disease.

BRAIN FUNCTION

If you’re playing a sport in which reaction time is important (i.e. virtually all of them), fish oil can help. A 2011 study involving pro Spanish female soccer players showed that fish oil improved their reaction time. Omega-3s have also been shown to improve brain function in other areas as well. For example, fish oil can help improve memory. This can help athletes memorize playbooks, for example.

ASTHMA

Anyone who has suffered from exercise-induced asthma knows how debilitating it can be. Reaching for your inhaler instead of the dumbbells is not where you want to be. The good news is that fish oil can help. A 2013 study showed that omega-3s can improve lung function and reduce the inflammation that causes exercise-induced asthma attacks.

BONE HEALTH

Omega-3s don’t just make your muscles stronger. They can make your bones stronger too. A 2009 report showed that omega-3s have been beneficial for bone health in animals. More research is needed to definitively say if omega-3s are as beneficial to human bones, but the science is promising.






INFLAMMATION

The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s are also helpful for general health. Some inflammation is normal when the body is recovering from an injury or illness. This is actually essential to the healing process, but sometimes the inflammation can persist for a long time.

This is known as chronic inflammation. It can cause numerous health problems such as arthritis, periodontitis, or even cancer. Fish oil can help reduce chronic inflammation. For example, studies have shown that fish oil can significantly improve the symptoms of arthritis.

EYE HEALTH

Fish oil has also been shown to help reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. One study from 2014 showed that patients with macular degeneration had substantially lower omega-3s in their diet. Fish oil can also reduce the risk of eye problems related to diabetes.

MENTAL HEALTH

The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have been shown to have many mental health benefits. This stands to reason because the brain itself is 60 percent fat. For example, studies have shown that omega-3 supplements can help improve symptoms of ADHD and depression. Studies also indicate that fish oil may help in warding off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

CANCER TREATMENT AND PREVENTION

One area of research that is getting a lot of attention is whether fish oil can help prevent and treat cancer. One 2013 study on prostate cancer indicated that omega-3s can help inhibit cancer cell growth. Another study from 2014 showed that omega-3s can be helpful in treating breast cancer. Omega-3s may also help pharmaceutical cancer drugs be more effective. This is very promising. However, both studies have cautioned that more research it needed to make definitive conclusions.

SKIN HEALTH

Fish oil can also improve acne, and it can help prevent wrinkles and other signs of age. A lack of omega-3s tends to dehydrate the skin, making someone look older and less healthy. Fish oil has also been shown to help treat eczema and even sunburn.

FERTILITY AND PREGNANCY

Fish oil has been shown to help with fertility for both men and women. For men, omega-3s help sperm become stronger. For women, omega-3s help to treat conditions like endometriosis, which can make a woman infertile. Fish oil can help during pregnancy. Since the woman is supporting the fetus, her levels of omega-3s can become depleted. It is important to have enough for mother and child, as omega-3s help with the development of the brain. This even continues after birth via breastfeeding.






Sources of Fish Oil


As its name implies, fish oil is derived from fish, though the fish themselves do not produce the oil. Rather, they get it from eating algae or other fish. In terms of food options, salmon, tuna, mackerel, and herring are particularly abundant in fish oil. It is important to note that how the fish is prepared matters a great deal. Studies have shown that baking or boiling fish is far preferable to frying it, as more of the DHA and EPA is retained. Canned fish is also not recommended, as the canning process destroys nearly all the omega-3s. Alternatively, fish oil can be obtained through supplements.


What to Look for in a Fish Oil Supplement

You want to ensure that you get the proper amount of EPA and DHA. Some fish oil supplements might include other ingredients, so the amount of EPA and DHA may be less than you want. The easiest way to check is to look at the label. The amount of EPA and DHA in the supplement should be listed under the supplement facts.

To reap the health benefits of fish oil, you typically want a total of between 2000 and 3000 mg of EPA and DHA per day. This is the equivalent amount found in a 6 oz fillet of wild salmon.

Many fish oil supplements only have around 300 mg of DHA and EPA. This will require 7-10 capsules per day to meet the goal if you aren’t getting any EPA and DHA from dietary sources. Other supplements are more highly concentrated and have about 600 mg. This will cut the number of capsules needed per day in half.

Another thing to watch out for is the freshness of the fish oil supplement or lack thereof. While fresh fish oil is beneficial, rancid fish oil may actually cause more harm than good. You want to make sure that the fish oil supplement has as low an oxidation rate as possible. It is a good idea to look for a supplement that has been tested by a third party. It is also best to avoid any supplement that has a strong fishy taste or smell.






Dosage and Side Effects


It is recommended to take fish oil in low doses, which is defined as 3 grams or less per day. The 3 grams refers to the total amount of EPA and DHA in the fish oil supplement. Exceeding this amount is not recommended, as it may increase the chance of bleeding and make blood harder to clot. High doses may also inhibit the immune system, which is especially a concern for the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. Possible minor side effects include heartburn and nausea.


Best Fish Oil Supplements


Our top 10 list of fish oil supplements is organized to reflect what you most value in your supplements. First and foremost is quality. All of our top ten supplements meet high standards of quality and come from brands with a proven record in excellence and purity. Another important factor in deciding the top ten was cost. You don’t have to pay through the nose to get a high-quality fish oil supplement. In addition, all the companies represented on our list have stellar records with customer service and prompt shipping. This ensures that your supplement experience is enjoyable from the first click to your final dose.


References

  1. Mark Anthony, Ph.D. Is Algae DHA As Healthy as Fish Oil DHA? FoodProcessing.com
  2. WebMD FISH OIL
  3. OmegaQuant.com How to Pick Your Fish Oil Supplement
  4. ANNE-MARIE CHALMERS, MD How Much Omega-3 Fish Oil A Day Will Produce Results? Omega3Innovations.com
  5. BO MARTINSEN, MD Does Frying, Baking and Canning Fish Affect the Omega-3 Content? Omega3Innovations.com
  6. ANNE-MARIE CHALMERS, MD Rancid Fish Oil May Hurt More Than Help, Research Shows Omega3Innovations.com
  7. Elizabeth Preston The Fishy Origins of the Fish Oil Craze Slate.com
  8. Heart.org Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  9. VitalStudy.org Riboflavin
  10. ClinicalTrials.gov Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL) (VITAL)
  11. K. Aleisha Fetters 10 Reasons Every Lifter, Runner and Athlete Needs Omega-3s MensJournal.com
  12. Gordon I. Smith, Philip Atherton, Dominic N. Reeds, B. Selma Mohammed, Debbie Rankin, Michael J. Rennie, and Bettina Mittendorfer Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids augment the muscle protein anabolic response to hyperaminoacidemia-hyperinsulinemia in healthy young and middle aged men and women PMC
  13. Maggio M, Artoni A, Lauretani F, Borghi L, Nouvenne A, Valenti G, Ceda GP. The impact of omega-3 fatty acids on osteoporosis. PubMed.gov
  14. José F. Guzmán, Hector Esteve, Carlos Pablos, Ana Pablos, Cristina Blasco, and José A. Villegas, DHA- Rich Fish Oil Improves Complex Reaction Time in Female Elite Soccer Players PMC
  15. Erin Coleman Body Benefits of Taking Fish Oil Capsules HealthyEating.com
  16. Perera H, Jeewandara KC, Seneviratne S, Guruge C. Combined ?3 and ?6 supplementation in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) refractory to methylphenidate treatment: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. PubMed.gov
  17. DrAxe.com 13 Fish Oil Benefits Proven Beyond Medicine
  18. Zhennan Gu, Janel Suburu, Haiqin Chen, and Yong Q. Chen Mechanisms of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Prostate Cancer Prevention PMC
  19. Ruairi Robertson, PhD 13 Benefits of Taking Fish Oil HealthLine.com
  20. Christian Nordqvist Everything you need to know about inflammation MedicalNewsToday
  21. Journals.plos.org Mortality Effects of Risk Factors by Disease
  22. Heart.org Obesity Information

#1 - Nutricost Fish Oil

Nutricost's Fish oil steals the #1 spot due to both the high quality and affordable cost. Each easy-to-swallow capsule yields 1000 mg per serving -- including 360 mg EPA and 240 mg DHA. The benefits of fish oil are endless and are used to help dampen inflammation, boost mood, and minimize pain. Rich in omega-3s, each serving is just a mere 6 cents per serving and free of any fishy aftertaste. Keep Reading »
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#2 - MuscleTech Platinum Fish Oil 4X

Each capsule of Platinum Fish Oil 4X by MuscleTech delivers an incredible 4 times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids to promote cardiovascular health, prevent muscular fatigue, support cognitive function, and enhance body composition. Platinum Fish Oil 4X is super easy to take, eliminates the unwanted fishy aftertaste, and supplies ultra-purified, premium concentrated fish oil to fuel your body with the best. Keep Reading »

#3 - Universal Nutrition Fish Oil

Maximize the athletic benefits of fish oil with Universal Nutrition Fish Oil, a supplement designed with molecularly-distilled omega-3 fish oil to minimize odor, taste, and after burps. These easy to take, once a day supplement contains no additives or heavy metals, just high quality fish oil to effectively lower body fat, increase lean muscle mass, and protect your heart against disease. Keep Reading »
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#4 - Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil

Support weight loss and muscle tone with Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil. These easy-to-swallow softgels are enteric-coated to minimize the fishy aftertaste. Each capsule contains an incredible 1000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA, to reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce recovery time, promote fat burning, and help you grow lean, well-defined muscle. Keep Reading »
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#5 - BSN Fish Oil DNA

BSN Fish Oil DNA is an excellent source of heart-healthy omega-3 essential fatty acids, or EFAs. Each serving delivers 1 gram of fish oil, packed with EPA and DHA to maximize recovery, performance, and cardiovascular health. Fish Oil DNA capsules have an enteric coating to minimize fishy aftertaste. Fish Oil DNA is a convenient source of quality fish oil that allows you to enjoy the benefits without dreading the fishy taste. Best of all, Fish Oil DNA is extremely affordable and lasts a long period of time! Keep Reading »
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#6 - MusclePharm Fish Oil

2018's 10 Best Fish Oil Supplements SEE #1 FISH OIL SUPPLEMENT Related Pages: All Fish Oil Products 10 Best Keep Reading »

#7 - Natures Bounty Fish Oil

Support better heart health with Nature's Bounty Fish Oil, purified to remove mercury, dioxins, and PCBs. It is a good source of the omega-3 fatty acids, which are important to your metabolic and cellular health and can assist in maintaining normal triglyceride levels. The consumption of these oils helps support a healthy heart. Keep Reading »

#8 - Omega 3 Fish Oil

Omega 3 Fish Oil is ultra pure and refined and purified by distillation at a molecular level to remove all mercury, PCB's, heavy metals, and other toxins. A special extraction method is used to get the highest volume of DHA and EPA from the fish. A unique part of Omega 3 is that it is odorless and easy to swallow without the worry of burps with a fish odor. Keep Reading »

#9 - Nature Made Fish Oil

With a purification process that removes all mercury, Nature Made fish oil is a good choice. This fish oil only comes from deep ocean waters and not from farm-raised fish. Nature Made also has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, so those won't be things that you'll have to worry about. One benefit of this fish oil is that there isn't a fish taste left in your mouth after taking them. Keep Reading »

#10 - Top Secret Nutrition Fish Oil & CLA

This megablend of heart-healthy fatty acids is designed to decrease body fat, increase lean muscle, and promote heart health. Top Secret Nutrition Fish Oil & CLA combine to deliver one incredible weight loss experience that burns through fat stores without the use of stimulants. Fish Oil & CLA is a completely natural, safe, and effective option to improve body composition, cognitive function, and overall health. Keep Reading »

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