Best Fish Oil Supplements of 2021: Benefits, COVID-19, Heart, Diabetes and Knee Pain

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 best seven fish oil supplements on the market. This list should help you narrow down your choices when it comes to fish oil supplements.

BEST FISH OIL SUPPLEMENTS OF 2021

1. Nordic Naturals Omega-3


Best Fish Oil Supplements Consumer Reports:

"Nordic Naturals did meet every other quality measure in our study. The pills, which cost about 67 cents per day, or $243 per year, contained their labeled amount of omega-3 fatty acids and met other U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) and European Union standards, including those for contaminants such as lead, mercury and dioxins. They also met the stricter California Proposition 65 standard for total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)." - Consumer Reports

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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.

Pros
  • 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
Con
  • Capsules are slightly large

3. 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
This fish oil supplement has made a name for itself which has earned it a place on this list. The primary benefits are quite solid. The capsules are quite soft. They are small too. This combination makes them very easy to swallow. We also appreciated that the manufacturer mentioned the source of the fatty acids in these capsules. Most pills just say fish oil. Knowing the source makes this capsule more trustworthy.

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 which is why it couldn’t get past seventh place. 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.

Pros
  • Small capsules are easy to swallow
  • Neutral taste
  • Source of fatty acids clearly displayed
Cons
  • Does not work as effectively as other products
  • High price per dose

4. Res-Q 1250

  • 200 capsules per bottle
  • Designed to reduce cholesterol
  • Blend of Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Fish oil comes in gel capsules
This is a great capsule for people looking to lower their cholesterol levels. This supplement definitely has this effect. According to consumers, over time this supplement will make your health will improve. Just don’t expect it to happen quickly. This product advertises itself as a quick fix but it takes a longer time to work than you might expect. You also need to take a lot of capsules every day in order to see a legitimate effect since each capsule has a fairly low level of potency.

The fish oil in the capsules is quite pure though. It also has legitimate omegy 3 fatty acids instead of just fish oil which a lot of other products offer. This fish oil is enriched with the necessary nutrients. The aforementioned benefits as well as the high price point makes this less suitable than a lot of the other options on this list though. It is still a decent option that you can try.

Pros
  • Capsules mostly comprised of fatty acids with fewer additives
  • Genuinely reduces cholesterol levels
  • Contains actual Omega 3 fatty acids rather than simple fish oil
  • Neutral capsule flavor
Cons
  • Relatively expensive compared to other capsules
  • Positive effects require high capsule intake
  • Does not work as quickly as advertised

5. NOW Omega-3 1000mg




  • 200 softgels
  • Molecularly distilled
  • 1000mg per capsule
  • Cholesterol free
The first thing you will like about these capsules is that they are quite potent. This is one of the main reasons why we ranked them higher than the Res-Q capsules that came in at number 6. These capsules are also soft and easy to swallow like the OmegaXL capsules in seventh place, but without the negative aspects of that product and a lot more benefits. We also appreciated how easy these capsules are on the stomach. There are no signs of gastric distress when you take this fish oil, and the capsules can be kept for a long time.

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.

Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • Strong fishy smell makes capsules tough to swallow
  • Reports of some capsules containing impurities
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6. BEST TRIPLE STRENGTH Omega 3 Fish Oil Pills




  • Lemon flavored
  • 2500mg strength
  • Molecularly distilled
  • Sourced from cold US waters
This is a great fish oil that missed out on the top three by a hair. The formula is extremely potent. This is great because you have to take fewer pills every day in order to get the right dosage for improving your health. And you really do notice improvement in your overall health according to consumers that have taken this supplement regularly.

The capsules are perhaps the easiest to swallow out of all of the other products on this list. This is because of the fact that they are lemon flavored. This is even more palatable than a neutral flavor. You will also appreciate this product’s fast acting nature.

A couple things you might not like are that the capsules melt a little too easily as well as the gassiness they might cause. The formula is marketed as being burp free, but some consumers have reported feeling bloated or gassy after having it.

Pros
  • Very potent formula fulfills daily requirement quickly
  • Has an impact on the body soon after regular consumption
  • Pleasant flavor makes capsules quite easy to swallow
  • Improves heart, skin and lung health
Cons
  • Prone to melting, won’t last very long
  • Causes gassiness in spite of supposedly burp free formula
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7. Nature Made Burpless Fish Oil 1000 mg




  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • Free of preservatives and yeast
  • 1000mg capsules
  • Contains 150 capsules
This is a great fish oil supplement for people that are particular about natural products. First of all, it is free of artificial colors and flavors. These chemicals often have an impact on the supplement so it’s good that this supplement doesn’t have them. This is also a gluten free formula which is great for people that suffer from gluten allergies. If you have a pet that needs Omega 3 fatty acids these capsules will work perfectly well for the animal a well. Unlike the Best Triple Strength capsules that came in at number four, these supplements are unlikely to cause any gas.

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.

Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • Takes a long time to have effect
  • Pills are slightly hard, makes them slightly difficult to swallow
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8. Dr. Tobias Omega 3 Fish Oil Triple Strength

  • Enteric coating for fast absorption
  • Purified through molecular distillation
  • 180 soft gel capsules per bottle
  • Includes access to healthcare and diet videos
This is a great all round solution for people that need fish oil supplements. The pills absorb very quickly thanks to the enteric coating, which means that the capsules are fast acting as well. They also don’t have a bad or strong taste to them. The molecular distillation process also makes sure that the formula is extremely pure. This is one of the purest supplements that the market has to offer. Another fact that we liked is that the formula has not been genetically modified in any way, nor does it contain any GMO ingredients.

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.

Pros
  • Absorbed quickly into the body resulting in fast benefits
  • Highly purified formula through molecular distillation
  • Completely tasteless
  • Sustainably sourced
  • Free of genetically modified components
Cons
  • Several complaints of leaking capsules
  • Somewhat fragile 
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OMEGA-3 SUPPLEMENTS BENEFITS

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential fats, meaning you must get them from the food you eat, as your body can’t make them. They’ve been associated with numerous health benefits, such as a reduced risk of heart disease (Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2015), reduced inflammation (Biochem Soc Trans. 2017) and improved mood (Front Physiol. 2018).

Fish oil and flaxseed oil each contain an impressive amount of omega-3 fatty acids. The main types of omega-3s in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (NIH).

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.

EPA and DHA are predominantly found in animal foods like fatty fish, while ALA is mostly found in plants.

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 COVID-19

That are more than a dozen studies on-going that examine the effect of EPA and/or DHA on the prevention of or lessening of symptoms of COVID-19.

Evidence suggests the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA affect biological pathways that may have direct influence in the outcome of COVID-19.

EPA and DHA have a direct influence in the immunological response to viral infections and can modulate immune response and function.

Animal-based omega-3 fats, especially DHA, also help prevent thrombosis (a blood clot within a blood vessel) by decreasing platelet aggregation. Hypercoagulation is another complication of severe COVID-19 infection that can have lethal consequences.

Omega-3 also lowers your risk of lung dysfunction, protects against lung damage and secondary bacterial infections, and improves mitochondrial function.

Research shows that by lowering triglycerides, the risk of developing a cytokine storm is diminished. Omega-3 supplementation is known to lower triglycerides, but krill oil does so more effectively than fish oil.

The British Rhinological Society's Guidelines for the Management of New Onset Loss of Sense of Smell During the COVID-19 Pandemic advises that that fish oil supplementation (2,000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids/day) may be beneficial when used in addition to standard treatment (olfactory training, oral steroids and steroid rinses) (Hopkins, Clin Otolaryngol 2020). This position is not based on a clinical trial of fish oil in COVID-19 patients but on limited animal and human research suggesting that omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial for loss of smell due to olfactory nerve damage.

Omega-3 and Heart Health

Omega-3s - particularly EPA and DHA - are important for overall health, including heart health. Most people do not get enough EPA and CHA omega-3s, and new research suggests you may need even more than you think.
According to the research published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings in September 2020, EPA and DHA supplementation is associated with a reduced risk of:
  • Fatal Heart Attack - 35%
  • Heart Attack (myocardial infarction)- 13%
  • Risk of death form Coronary Heart Disease - 9%
Your goal should be to take at least 1,000 mg of EPA and DHA per day. Dietary / Food supplements, prescription omega-3s and eating fish regularly will help you meet this goal.

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.

All of these effects makes fish oil potentially beneficial for people with arthritis.

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

Omega-3 fats are important for many reasons. While their brain and cardiovascular benefits are well-established, a lesser known benefit has to do with autoimmune diabetes. According to research, published in December 2020, adults who test positive for glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65) antibodies — a marker for Type 1 diabetes3 — can significantly reduce their risk of adult-onset diabetes by eating omega-3 rich fatty fish.

The study looked at data from 11,247 cases of adult-onset diabetes and 14,288 diabetes-free controls that participated in the Epic-InterAct case-cohort study conducted in eight European countries. As explained by the authors:

“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 …”

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