Fish Oil (Omega-3) 101: Benefits, Heart Health, Diabetes and Knee Pain (2023)
Fish oil supplements are some of the most useful supplements out there. This is because they provide so many essential nutrients. These nutrients help with pain relief, lung health, joint health and all manner of health benefits. Listed below are the top seven fish oil supplements on the market. This list should help you narrow down your choices when it comes to fish oil supplements.
OMEGA-3 SUPPLEMENTS BENEFITS
On the other hand, flaxseed oil contains the omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) (Trusted Source). Flaxseed oil also contains linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid. Linoleic acid and arachidonic acid (AA) are the Omega-6 fatty acids that have been found to possess potential cancer protective properties. The human body converts linoleic acid into GLA (Gamma-Linoliec Acid), and the latter get converted into AA.
However, ALA isn’t biologically active and needs to be converted to EPA and DHA to be used for something other than just stored energy like other types of fat (Trusted Source).
While ALA is still an essential fatty acid, EPA and DHA are linked to many more health benefits (Trusted Source). Additionally, the conversion process from ALA to EPA and DHA is quite inefficient in humans (Trusted Source). For example, one study found that only 5% of ALA is converted to EPA and less than 0.5% of ALA is converted to DHA in adults (Trusted Source).
EPA and DHA can reduce inflammation, which causes swelling and pain. Research has indicated that both acids might suppress the body’s immune system. However, a 2016 study suggests that DHA might enhance immune function instead. DHA is more effective at reducing inflammation than EPA, but both have a role.
Omega-3 and Heart Health
- Fatal Heart Attack - 35%
- Heart Attack (myocardial infarction)- 13%
- Risk of death form Coronary Heart Disease - 9%
Omega-3 and Knee Pain
EPA and DHA can reduce inflammation, which causes swelling and pain. Research has indicated that both acids might suppress the body’s immune
system. However, a 2016 study suggests that DHA might enhance immune function instead. DHA is
more effective at reducing inflammation than EPA, but both have a role.
For the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil to work against arthritis, it’s necessary to consume a fairly large quantity of it each day. Fish oil — or cod liver oil — enclosed in capsules makes this fairly easy.
On the other hand, because cod liver oil contains very high amounts of vitamin A and vitamin D, taking too much can be toxic. For the purpose of treating arthritis, fish oil is the safer choice.
Omega-3 and Diabetes
“Baseline plasma samples were analyzed for GAD65 antibodies and phospholipid n-3 PUFAs. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for incident diabetes in relation to GAD65 antibody status and tertiles of plasma phospholipid n-3 PUFA or fish intake were estimated using Prentice-weighted Cox regression …
The hazard of diabetes in antibody-positive individuals with low intake of total and fatty fish, respectively, was significantly elevated (HR 2.52 and 2.48) compared with people who were GAD65 antibody negative and had high fish intake, with evidence of additive (AP 0.44 and 0.48) and multiplicative interactions.
Individuals with high GAD65 antibody levels (≥167.5 units/mL) and low total plasma phospholipid n-3 PUFAs had a more than fourfold higher hazard of diabetes …”
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Life SpanThe Framingham study group is one of the longest-running longitudinal health data sets in existence. Since 1971, the residents of this small Massachusetts town have given us everything from heart health data to their knee annual MRI images. That’s where the data for this new Omega-3 research originates.
The study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, used data from a long-term study group, the Framingham Offspring Cohort, which has been monitoring residents of this Massachusetts town, in the United States, since 1971.
The research looked at 2,200 people who were monitored for 11 years for their blood fatty acid levels. The researchers found that omega-3 levels in red blood cells are very good mortality risk predictors. That means that higher levels of Omega-3 in the blood from regularly eating oily fish, increased life expectancy by almost five years.
Study of 29,000 blood samples finds higher omega-3 levels associated with lower marker of inflammation
BEST FISH OIL SUPPLEMENTS OF 2023
1. Nordic Naturals Omega-3
Related: Many common omega-3 fish oil supplements are ‘oxidized’
2. Omega-3 Wild Alaskan Fish Oil
- Sourced from Wild Alaskan Pollock
- 90 day money back guarantee
- Maximum total oxidation of 5
- Comes in fish gelatin capsule
This is a fantastic fish oil supplement, and it easily won out against the other supplements on this list. The source is proudly displayed, and it is sustainable which is a big plus for environmentally conscious people. The more practical benefits are even better. The soft capsules are easy to swallow, even if they are a little too big. They also do their job quickly thanks to the high absorption rate. It is also surprising that these capsules are so cheap. Usually products of this caliber are a lot more expensive than the market average. These capsules are so cheap that pretty much anyone would be able to afford them.
They are also very long lasting. Under the right conditions they end up surviving for long periods of time. This is great for people that want to stock up on them, and helps make them even more affordable. We were hard pressed to find anything that we didn’t like about this product.
- Suitable for pescatarians (do not eat meat but do eat fish).
- Sustainably sourced from wild fish, not farmed
- Highly long lasting capsules under reasonable conditions
- Soft capsules that are usually easy to swallow
- Quickly has an effect on the body
- Surprisingly affordable
- Capsules are slightly large
3. Dr. Tobias Omega 3 Fish Oil Triple Strength
Amazon Reviews: 4.6 out of 5 - more than 30,000 global ratings
Amazon Best Sellers: #3 in Omega 3 Nutritional Supplements.
- Enteric coating for fast absorption
- Purified through molecular distillation
- 180 soft gel capsules per bottle
- Includes access to healthcare and diet videos
The supplement isn’t exactly perfect, though. The bottle is kind of fragile which can be a nuisance. Also, some consumers have reported that the capsules are weak too and that they frequently leak. Both these issues could potentially make a huge mess that you would have to clean up.
- Absorbed quickly into the body resulting in fast benefits
- Highly purified formula through molecular distillation
- Completely tasteless
- Sustainably sourced
- Free of genetically modified components
- Several complaints of leaking capsules
- Somewhat fragile
4. Antarctic Krill Oil 1000mg (Per Softgel) with Omega-3s EPA & DHA + Astaxanthin & Phospholipids - Best krill oil supplement consumer reports
#8 in Omega 3 Nutritional Supplements (more than 13,000 ratings)
- More Krill for your dollar: Contains 1000 mg of Krill oil per SOFTGEL with more naturally occurring EPA, DHA, Phospholipids and Astaxanthin than any other Krill brand.
- Omega-3 Support: Made with Superba2 Krill Oil, a new advance formula clinically proven to increase omega-3 fatty acid levels in the body*.
- Less Krill smell with No Aftertaste: The new Superba2 has substantially reduced the Krill smell. The phospholipid-bound omega-3 fatty acids are water dispersible, making them easier to digest than fish oil. Goodbye gross, fishy aftertaste!
- Sustainably Sourced: Superba Krill is sustainably harvested and 100% traceable from sea to shelf. Certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and IKOS 5 star certified Krill Oil.
- Money Back Guarantee.
While these capsules are easy to swallow, they don’t taste very good. This spoils the experience a little and might make them tough to swallow for some. A few consumers have also reported some of the capsules containing visible impurities. You should bear all of this in mind before you buy the product.
- 200 softgels
- Molecularly distilled
- 1000mg per capsule
- Cholesterol free
- High dosage means daily requirement is easily met
- Soft capsules are easy to swallow
- Does not cause any gastric distress
- Capsules last quite a long time under right conditions
- Strong fishy smell makes capsules tough to swallow
- Reports of some capsules containing impurities
6. Wiley's Finest Wild Alaskan Fish Oil - 3X Triple Strength Peak EPA DHA, 1000mg Omega-3s
Amazon Reviews: 4.7 out of 5 - more than 1,700 global ratingsAmazon Best Sellers: #34 in Omega 3 Nutritional Supplements.GOED (Global Organization for EPA and DHA omega-3) study affirms AlaskOmega® Wild Alaska Pollock Fish Oil has Lowest TOTOX Score for Unflavored Omega-3 Oils:
However, the pills are a little too hard. This makes them tough to swallow. Another problem you might have with this product is that it takes a long time for it to have a complete effect on your body, although that’s reasonable considering the additive free formula.
- Suitable for people with gluten allergies
- Mid strength formula means relaxed dosage regimen
- Pure formula free of artificial elements
- Suitable for animals as well as humans
- Does not cause fishy burps or other kinds of gassiness
- Free of preservatives and yeast
- Takes a long time to have effect
- Pills are slightly hard, makes them slightly difficult to swallow
8. OmegaXL® 60 Count – Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acid
- Blend of 30 fatty acids
- Sourced from Green Lipped Mussel
- Contains Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Small capsules
All of that being said, while this capsule does offer benefits it has its drawbacks too. For example, it is not quite as effective as the other products on this list. This also a fairly expensive fish oil supplement, so a lot of people might go for better options especially since they are more affordable than this one.
- Small capsules are easy to swallow
- Neutral taste (no fishy after-taste)
- Source of fatty acids clearly displayed
- Does not work as effectively as other products
- High price per dose
- According to Consumer Lab Review Report on Omega XL: "Omega XL (distributed by Great Healthworks) is described on its website as a "highly concentrated Omega-3 'Super Oil' supplement," for joint pain and inflammation that is "better than standard fish oil." However, when ConsumerLab.com tested this product, it discovered surprisingly little omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA)."