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The 7 Best Omega-3 Supplements to Take for Heart Health

Our bodies can't make Omega-3s, so how do you know if you're getting enough?

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Omega-3s play essential roles in the body, like decreasing inflammationkeeping our brain healthy and immune system functioning. And don't forget about the role they play in heart health and fetal development. Unlike other nutrients, our bodies can't naturally produce omega-3s. 

If you're an avid fish eater, you likely get enough omega-3s from your diet. But if you don't eat fish, have a history of heart attacks or have elevated levels of triglycerides, a supplement can be a good addition to your daily routine. We pulled together a list of the top brands on the market so it's easy to find the best omega-3 supplement for your needs.

Before taking an omega-3 supplement, talk to your doctor about the dosage, especially if you take an anticoagulant or antiplatelet medication

GNC

Omega-3 supplements commonly have fairly large pills, generally measuring from half an inch to an inch. For some, that poses a problem. GNC offers an alternative with its mini fish oil softgels. The GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil Mini wins the best overall omega-3 supplement for its size and concentration of omega-3s. 

The small softgels are enteric-coated, which means there's a polymer applied to the outside of the softgel to keep it from dissolving in the stomach. The softgels then move to the small intestine, where they are digested and released. It also means there isn't a fishy aftertaste.

GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil Mini has a good concentration of omega-3s EPA (734 mg) and DHA (266 mg).

Cost: $35.59 for 240 mini softgels

Omega-3 content per serving: 1,065 mg of omega-3 per two softgels

Best features:

  • The GNC Mini softgels are smaller than the average size of omega-3 supplements, which is good for people who have trouble swallowing large pills. 
  • This fish oil supplement is ConsumerLab tested and approved. This shows that the product is free of heavy metals. 

Things to consider:

  • The dosage of this GNC fish oil supplement is two softgels. It's somewhat of a trade-off -- they are smaller pills, but you have to take two of them.
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Costco

For bulk buyers, consider the Kirkland Signature Natural Fish Oil supplement. It's inexpensive at $18 for 400 capsules. This omega-3 supplement doesn't have all the bells and whistles other brands have -- it's a basic, no-fuss option for people who don't need a high dose of fish oil. Kirkland Signature fish oil supplement only includes 300mg of EPA and DHA per softgel. That's significantly less than other brands; however, taking one capsule twice daily puts it closer to the rest in terms of dosage. 

The softgel capsules are long and narrow to make them easier to swallow. Still, the pills are large; some reviewers suggest they are hard to swallow. 

Cost: $18 for 400 capsules 

Omega-3 content per serving: 300mg omega-3 per softgel

Best features:

  • Kirkland Signature's fish oil supplement is a must for people who want to buy in bulk at an affordable price. 
  • It holds a USP certification

Things to consider:

  • Other options on the list have a higher omega-3 dose.
  • These fish oil capsules aren't enteric coated, which means there is nothing to hide that fishy aftertaste. 
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Barlean's

When it comes to fish oil and omega-3 supplements, taste matters, Barlean's Ideal Omega-3 Softgels are great for those who want to avoid the fishy taste that some omega-3 supplements have. It features an orange flavor that covers the smell and taste of fish oil so that you can get the benefits without the unpleasant side effects -- fishy burps and aftertaste. User reviews say these orange omega-3 supplements don't leave a fishy aftertaste in their mouth. 

The dosage for this omega-3 supplement is one softgel, which users point out is rather large. However, the softgel form makes them easy to swallow. You get 750mg of EPA and 250mg of DHA omega-3s with one softgel. 

Cost: $35.09 for 60 softgels

Omega-3 content per serving: 1,000mg of omega-3 per softgel

Best features:

  • Barlean's Omega-3 supplement has an orange flavor that doesn't leave a fishy taste. 
  • This omega-3 supplement has a five-star rating from International Fish Oil Standards.

Things to consider:

  • You only get a 60-day supply for $35. It's slightly more expensive than other options on the list. 
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Nature Made

There's a gummy supplement for everything -- omega-3s included. Nature Made Fish Oil Gummies are a great option for people looking for a yummy way to intake a low dose of omega-3s. The two-serving dose only includes 47.5mg of DHA and 9.5mg of EPA omega-3s. Because of the low dose, it's not the best choice if you're deficient in omega-3s; it's better suited for people who already get most of it from their diet but are looking for a little boost. 

Nature Made Fish Oil Gummies are free of any synthetic flavors or colors. The fish sources are wild, deep ocean water fish, not from raised farms. These fish oil gummies are also USP certified for quality and purity. 

Cost: $14.30 for 90 gummies

Omega-3 content per serving: 57mg of omega-3s per two gummies.

Best features:

Things to consider:

  • Nature Made Fish Oil Gummies have 3 grams of added sugar per serving. 
  • These fish oil gummies have a significantly lower omega-3 content than other brands. 
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Life Extension

For those looking to add an omega-3 supplement for heart health, consider the Life Extension Super Omega-3 Supplement. It features a formula of DHA, EPA, olive extract and sesame lignans for an antioxidant and antimicrobial supplement. Research shows that olive leaf extract and sesame can help prevent heart disease

Life Extension's omega-3 supplement carries a five-star certification from IFOS. It's also gluten-free and non-GMO. This omega-3 supplement delivers a solid dose of both DHA (500mg) and EPA (700mg). However, that is a trade-off of serving size. Instead of the standard one or two capsules a day, Life Extension requires two capsules twice a day with food. 

Cost: $25.51 for 240 softgels

Omega-3 content per serving: 1,200mg of Omega-3s per four softgels

Best features:

  • Life Extension's omega-3 softgel supplement is gluten- and GMO-free and has earned a five-star certification from IFOS.
  • The source of the fish in this product is sustainably-caught anchovies from off the coast of Chile. 

Things to consider:

  • The packaging on the bottle says "small" softgels; however, some customer reviews point out that while they may be smaller than other brands, they are not truly small. 
  • Life Extension's omega-3 supplement has a serving size of two capsules twice daily with meals. 
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Truvani

Omega-3 supplements are typically derived from fish sources. However, there are vegan plant-based omega-3 supplements available, too. The best of these is Truvani Plant-Based Omega, an algae omega-3 dietary supplement. 

With a two-capsule serving size, you get 500mg of DHA omega-3s. This vegan omega-3 supplement is minimally processed and doesn't impact ocean life. Truvani offers a 30-day, money-back guarantee if you're not pleased with this vegan supplement. 

Cost: $31.49 for 60 veggie capsules

Omega-3 content per serving: 500mg of DHA omega-3s

Best features:

  • These plant-based omega-3 capsules are certified vegan and gluten-free products.
  • Truvani is also tested for chemicals and heavy metals. 

Things to consider:

$35 at Amazon
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Nordic Naturals

Most fish oil supplement pills are large, significantly larger than other capsules. This poses a problem for people who have a hard time swallowing pills. Liquid omega-3 offers a way to boost your intake without having to worry about large capsules. Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Liquid omega-3 supplement is free from artificial additives and fillers. 

Nordic Natural is a well-known brand that offers the best liquid fish oil supplement. The serving size is one teaspoon, with the highest concentration of omega-3s on the list. Each serving contains 1,470mg of EPA and 1,010mg of DHA in triglyceride form. Research suggests that the triglyceride form may be better absorbed in the body

Cost: $33.88 for a 4 fl. oz. bottle

Omega-3 content per serving: 2,470mg of omega-3 per one teaspoon 

Best features:

  • Nordic Naturals products are third-party tested and approved by ConsumerLab.
  • This product has a subtle lemon flavor that can mix easily into drinks or food.

Things to consider:

  • Nordic Naturals Liquid Fish Oil has a very high concentration of omega-3s, which may be too much for some. Always speak with your doctor before taking such a high dose. 
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How we chose the best omega-3 supplements

When choosing the best omega-3 supplements, we considered factors like cost, dosage, form and quality. We also researched each product's customer reviews to compare the capsules' texture, taste and size. We didn't test these products in-house. We relied on third-party certifications to determine the quality and purity of the products. 

Things to consider when buying the best omega-3 supplements

The market is flooded with brands offering omega-3 supplements. Knowing which is the best fit for you can be difficult. When shopping, keep these things in mind:

  • Supplement type: Omega-3 supplements are known for large capsules. Maybe people in product reviews call them "horse pills." Because of this, it's more important than ever to consider the form of supplement that best fits your needs. There are mini capsules, gummies and liquid options if you have trouble swallowing large pills. 
  • Dosage: The products across the fish oil market vary by dosage. Determining how much you should take depends on your diet, needs and potential medication interactions. 
  • Fish oil source: Many brands source fish oil sustainably and responsibly. It's possible to take an omega-3 supplement with no fish source; you just need to check the nutritional label, which states the source. 
  • Quality: The quality of a product can be determined by the ingredient label. Given the minimal regulations in the vitamin and supplement industry, it's important to look for products with third-party testing that vouches for their quality and purity. 
  • Potential side effects: Taking omega-3 supplements does not by itself increase the risk of bleeding. However, if you are on blood thinners or other medications that affect your blood, your risk of bleeding could increase.

Best omega-3 supplement FAQ

What are the benefits of omega-3s?

Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids in the body that offer several benefits, including lowering triglyceride levels and preventing coronary heart disease. However, research is mixed on how effective omega-3s prevent cardiovascular diseases. 

Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties that can help chronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. They are also associated with eye and brain health

What are the types of omega-3s?

When reading labels and comparing the best omega-3 supplements, you may notice there are several types of omega-3s out there. That can make things seem a little confusing, but it's actually as simple as where the omega-3s are sourced from. 

There are three types of omega-3s that you'll find on a supplement label:

What are the side effects of omega-3?

As with any supplement, there are side effects to be aware of. Side effects associated with omega-3s are upset stomach, nausea and diarrhea. A fishy taste or breath is also commonly reported after taking fish oil supplements. 

More severely, taking too many omega-3s in conjunction with certain medications can increase your risk of bleeding and decrease clotting. You must speak with your doctor before taking any fish oil supplements if you are taking any medication that affects your blood. 

Is it good to take omega-3 supplements every day?

According to the National Institutes of Health, it's recommended that adults intake at least 250mg of omega-3s -- including DHA and EPA combined. Higher dosages can benefit medication conditions.

If you're someone who doesn't eat fish or omega-3-rich foods, you can regularly take an omega-3 supplement each day. However, you must consult your doctor to determine the right dosage for your needs. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.