To find out, ConsumerLab, White Plains, NY, tested 28 popular fish and marine oil supplements (made from fish oil, krill oil, algal oil, calamari oil, and sea buckthorn oil) for EPA and DHA, as well as DPA and omega-7s and for contaminants such as lead, mercury, cadmium or arsenic. The tests revealed problems with the quality or labeling of three supplements.
Among the products that passed all tests and review, ConsumerLab selected its Top Picks for regular softgels, enteric-coated softgels, and liquids. In addition, ConsumerLab found that some supplements with very high concentrations of EPA and/or DHA were comparable to more expensive prescription omega-3 drugs, such as Vascepa and Lovaza.
The review also summarizes the clinical evidence for and against fish oil supplementation, indicates the dosage for specific uses, and explains potential side effects and drug interactions for fish and marine oil supplements. It also describes the pros and cons of different forms of fish oil such as ethyl ester, natural triglyceride, re-esterified triglyceride, and phospholipid, and provides tips for consumers on the best way to take fish oil and how to store supplements to keep them fresh.
The findings are available online in ConsumerLab's Fish Oil and Omega-3 and -7 Supplements Review which includes test results and comparisons for 28 products. Seventeen of the products (including prenatal and children's products, and two products for pets) were selected for testing by ConsumerLab and 11 others underwent the same testing through CL's voluntary Quality Certification Program. Products covered in the report are: ChildLife Pure DHA, Coromega Max, CVS Health 100% Pure Omega-3 Krill Oil, Designs for Health OmegAvail, Deva Vegan Omega-3 DHA, Dr. Sinatra Omega Q Plus, Dr. Sinatra Omega Q Plus, Dr. Tobias Triple Strength Omega-3, GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil, InnovixLabs Pharma-Grade Omega-3, InnovixLabs Pharma-Grade Omega-3, Kirkland Signature [Costco] Fish Oil, Life Extension Super Omega-3 EPA/DHA, Minami Garden of Life Platinum Omega-3, New Chapter Sea Buckthorn Force, Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega, Nutrifi Omega-Q, OmegaBrite, Ortho Molecular Products OrthOmega, Ovega-3, Schiff MegaRed Superior Omega-3 Krill Oil, Solgar Triple Strength Omega 3, Spring Valley [Walmart] Fish Oil, Sundown Naturals Omega 3-6-9, USANA Biomega, Vital Pet Life Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil, Webber Naturals Triple Strength Omega-3, Whole Foods Market Prenatal DHA, Wiley's Finest Wild Alaskan Fish Oil Prenatal DHA, and Zesty Paws Omega Bites With AlaskOmega.