The definitive fish oil buyer’s guide



Sorry, folks. Another long one. It was unavoidable, though, because I really did want this to be a “definitive guide” that covers all (or at least most) of the relevant issues involved with choosing a fish oil. Here’s a summary for the time-challenged:

  • There are seven important factors to consider when choosing a fish oil: purity, freshness, potency, nutrients, bioavailability, sustainability, and cost.
  • Not all fish oils are created equal. It’s essential to do your homework and make an informed choice. Many fish oils are oxidized or made with poor quality ingredients, and may actually cause health problems instead of solving them.
  • The potency of various products depends not only upon the levels of EPA and DHA, but also upon the molecular structure of the fats in the oil, which in turn affects absorption.
  • Natural fish oils are better absorbed than purified fish oils. Preliminary evidence suggests that krill oil (KO) may be better absorbed than fish oil, and anecdotal reports indicate that KO may be more effective for some than fish oil for reducing inflammation in some people.
  • Many fish oils are made from fish that are endangered. Choose products made from fish that are certified by organizations such as the Marine Stewardship Council.


So far in this series we’ve looked at why fish is superior to plant-based sources of omega-3. We’ve examined the importance of reducing consumption of omega-6 fats. We’ve considered how much omega-3 is needed to support health and treat disease. We’ve revealed that concerns about the safety of fish consumption have been overblown, and that eating fish regularly is not only safe, but incredibly beneficial. And in the previous article we compared the benefits of eating fish to taking fish oil.

In this final article of the series we’re going to take a closer look at fish oil. Fish oil has become wildly popular these days. Most people who are at least relatively health conscious understand that they need omega-3 in their diet, and are probably not getting enough from food (unless they eat a lot of fish).

Health care practitioners have caught on, too. I constantly hear both conventional and alternative practitioners telling their patients to take fish oil. In fact, I was listening to a podcast last week by one popular health and fitness guru in the paleo/primal world, and he advises his clients to take up to 20 grams of fish oil a day. That made me cringe.

Why? Because what most people – including health care practitioners – don’t seem to understand is that not all fish oils are created alike. There’s a tremendous difference in the ingredients, purity, freshness and therapeutic benefit of the fish oils available today. The supplement industry is rife with false claims and unsavory companies that are far more interested in profiting on the fish oil craze than they are in your health and well-being.

Recommending that people take up to 20g/d of fish oil without conveying the importance of choosing a high quality fish oil, and teaching them how to do that, is irresponsible and possibly dangerous. Taking 20g/d of a poor quality, oxidized fish oil could dramatically increase oxidative damage and inflammation – which is of course exactly the opposite of the desired effect.

In this article, I’ll focus more on dispelling common misconceptions about fish oil and helping you to choose the best product for your needs.

Factors to consider when buying fish oil

There are seven primary variables to be aware of when shopping for a fish oil:

  1. Purity. The oil must meet international standards for heavy metals, PCBs, dioxins and other contaminants. Many do not – even when they claim they do.
  2. Freshness. Omega-3 oils are susceptible to oxidation, which makes them rancid. Rancid oils are pro-inflammatory and contribute to the diseases you’re trying to relieve or prevent by taking fish oil in the first place!
  3. Potency. In order to have the desired anti-inflammatory effect, fish oil must contain an adequate amount of the long-chain omega-3 derivatives EPA and DHA. DHA is especially important.
  4. Nutrients. All fish oils contain some amount of EPA and DHA. However, fish liver oil (from cod, skate or shark) also contains naturally occurring fat-soluble vitamins that are difficult to obtain from foods.
  5. Bio-availability. The ability to absorb the beneficial components of fish oil is based on the molecular shape of the fatty acids. The more natural the structure the better.
  6. Sustainability: The fish should be harvested in a sustainable manner and species that are under threat should be avoided.
  7. Cost: the product must be relatively affordable to be practical for most people.


Many species of fish are known to concentrate toxic chemicals like heavy metals, PCBs, and dioxins which can cause serious disease, especially in children and developing fetuses. In a previous article I explained how these chemicals are typically not a concern when eating whole fish, because fish also contain selenium. Selenium binds to mercury and makes it unavailable to tissues, thus protecting against any damage it may cause.

And while fish constitute only 9% of our dietary intake of dioxins and PCBs, high doses of fish oils taken every day (as is often recommended) may raise this percentage significantly and expose us to undesirable levels of these toxins.

To address this, fish oil manufacturers use a process called molecular distillation to remove the toxins from the oil. When done correctly, molecular distillation is capable of reducing the toxins in fish oil to levels considered to be safe by the EPA and other agencies.

Although almost any fish oil manufacturer will tell you their product is free of these toxins, independent lab analyses tell a different story. Just last month (March, 2010), a lawsuit was filed in California court against the manufacturers of ten popular fish oils because they contained undisclosed and (possibly) unsafe levels of contaminants.

Unfortunately, this kind of deception is all too common in the supplement industry. That’s why it’s essential that you ask for something called a Certificate of Analysis (COA) from the manufacturer before you buy their product. A COA is an analysis performed by an independent lab to measure the ingredients of a product and confirm whether it lives up to the claims made by the manufacturer.

If the manufacturer won’t provide a COA, I start to get suspicious. This is standard practice in the industry and there’s no reason they shouldn’t be happy to show you theirs. Make sure that the independent lab they use is in fact independent and is preferably accredited, sponsored by a government agency, or has a solid reputation in the field.

This may seem like unnecessary paranoia, but when it comes to the possibility of ingesting powerful neurotoxins, it pays to do your homework.

In general, fish that are lower on the food chain like sardines and anchovies naturally have a lower concentration of contaminants. For this reason, it may be wise to look for a product made from these fish.

So what levels of these toxins are safe? As you might imagine, there is some disagreement on this question since there is no single governing body that determines acceptable levels. However, the standards that are most often followed by fish oil manufacturers are summarized in the table below.

fish oil toxin standards

* ppt = parts per trillion
* ppb = parts per billion

In a previous article we discussed selenium’s protective effect against mercury toxicity. If you are taking large doses of fish oil, and not eating any whole fish, it may be wise to ensure another regular source of selenium. Brazil nuts are by far the highest dietary source, with 1917mcg of selenium per 100g. (But they are also very high in n-6, so watch out!)


I have written extensively about the dangers of oxidized, rancid oils. They promote oxidative damage and increase inflammation, both of which are risk factors for nearly every modern disease. The more unsaturated an fat is, the more vulnerable it is to oxidation. Long-chain, omega-3 fats found in fish oil are the most unsaturated of the fats, and thus the most susceptible to being damaged.

This is why it’s absolutely crucial to ensure that the fish oil you select is fresh and not rancid. Once it has gone rancid, it will have the exact opposite effect on your body than you want it to.

The first thing to do is to check something called the “peroxide value” on the COA. This is a measure of rancidity reactions in the oil that have occurred during storage. and should be less than 5 meq/kg.

If this checks out, and you decide to order that product, break open a capsule once you receive it. There should be no “fishy” odors. They should smell like the ocean, but not like a rotten fish. They should also not have a strong lemon or lime scent, which could be an indicator that the manufacturer is trying to mask the rancidity.

A common misconception is that you can determine the quality of a fish oil by freezing it. The theory goes that if you freeze the oil and it is cloudy, it’s rancid. That is not the case. All fish contain saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, albeit in small amounts. These fatty acids make the capsules appear cloudy when frozen in products that contain whole fish oil (i.e. Vital Choice’s Wild Salmon Oil).


This is another area surrounded by significant controversy. Some argue the levels of individual constituents in fish oil aren’t paramount. Scientists discovered the healthful effects of omega-3s by studying people with fish-heavy diets, before supplemental fish oil even existed. Clinical trials using supplemental fish oils over the past few decades have contained widely variable levels of both long-chain omega-3 derivatives (EPA and DHA), and not super-high concentrations of either or both.

However, due to poor conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA, unless you are eating fish it is very likely you are deficient in long-chain omega-3s.

Following this line of reasoning, the DHA content in particular of fish and fish oils does seem important if we wish to obtain the best possible therapeutic effect. Many recent studies demonstrating the anti-inflammatory potential of fish oil used a daily dosage of DHA in the range of 1-3 grams. What’s more, foods like salmon roe that have been prized by traditional cultures for their nourishing and healing effects contain large amounts of DHA. A single 6 oz. serving of salmon roe contains 1 g of DHA. (In fact, this would be the best way by far of supplementing with DHA if money were no object. (Unfortunately, wild salmon roe goes for about $28/serving.)

The suggested DHA dose will of course depend upon the condition being treated. If you have a chronic inflammatory condition (heart disease, arthritis, Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, etc.) I would suggest taking between 1 and 2 grams per day. If you are taking it simply for health maintenance, 500 mg is probably sufficient.

Unfortunately, many fish oils do not have significant amounts of DHA. This means you’d have to take an impractically high number of capsules each day to obtain the therapeutic dose. This is not desirable, since all unsaturated oils (including fish oils) are subject to oxidative damage. We don’t want to take large quantities of them for this reason.

Remember to check the label and ensure that your product has approximately 200-300 mg of DHA per capsule. This will allow you to achieve the therapeutic dose by taking no more than 3 capsules twice a day.


All fish oils contain some amount of EPA and DHA, the long-chain omega-3 derivatives that provide the majority of the anti-inflammatory benefits seen in studies. However, fish liver oils (from cod, skate or shark) contain significant amounts of vitamins A and D in addition to EPA and DHA. Vitamins A and D are fat-soluble nutrients that are crucial to human health. Vitamin D, in particular, is difficult to obtain from commonly eaten foods – especially now that eating seafood carries a much higher risk of contamination with toxins.

Fermented cod liver oil is even more beneficial, because it contains vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 has been called “the missing nutrient” because it was only recently discovered, and many people are deficient in it.

It has been commonly believed that the benefits of vitamin K are limited to its role in blood clotting. Another popular misconception is that vitamins K1 and K2 are simply different forms of the same vitamin – with the same physiological functions.

New evidence, however, has confirmed that vitamin K2’s role in the body extends far beyond blood clotting to include protecting us from heart disease, ensuring healthy skin, forming strong bones, promoting brain function, supporting growth and development and helping to prevent cancer – to name a few.

Cod liver oil was traditionally processed by fermentation, which is likely to make it more absorbable and bio-available. Processing by fermentation also avoids the use of heat, which can damage the fragile fatty acids and cause fish oils to go rancid. Unfortunately, I am aware of only one company that sells fermented cod liver oil at this time (see below).


The ability to absorb the beneficial components of fish oil is based on the molecular shape of the fatty acids. In short, the more natural the structure and the less it is chemically altered, the better.

This is true for any nutrient, of course, and it explains why I am always in favor of obtaining nutrients from food or food-based sources when possible. Each additional step in processing from the natural state of a food to extract or isolate nutrients introduces the potential of damaging the nutrient, or changing it’s chemical form so that it’s more difficult to absorb or affects the body in a different way.

When it comes to fish oils, there are three forms currently available on the market:

  1. Natural triglyercide oil. This is what you get when you “squeeze” the whole fish and extract the natural oil from it. It is the closest to eating fish oil in its natural form, and is highly bioavailable. The drawback of this form is that, because it’s not concentrated, it usually has low levels of EPA and DHA. And because it isn’t purified, it can have high levels of contaminants such as heavy metals, PCBs, and dioxins.
  2. Ethyl ester oil. Occurs when natural triglyceride oil is concentrated and molecularly distilled to remove impurities. The ester form is still in a semi-natural state because it is the result of a process that naturally occurs in the body. The advantage to this form is that it can double or triple the levels of EPA and DHA.
  3. Synthetic triglyceride oil. This form occurs when natural triglycerides are converted to ethyl esters for concentration (as above), but then re-converted into synthetic triglycerides. The original position of the triglyceride’s carbon bonds change and the molecule’s overall structure is altered, which impacts the bioavailability of the oil.

Studies on absorption of the various types of fish oil suggest that, unsurprisingly, the natural triglyceride form is absorbed better than the ethyl ester form, which in turn is absorbed better than the synthetic triglyceride form.

One study by Lawson & Hughes in 1988 showed that 1 gram of EPA and 0.67 grams of DHA as natural triglycerides were absorbed 3.4 and 2.7 fold as well as the ethyl ester triglycerides.

In the previous article we saw that fish oils were better absorbed when taken with a high-fat meal. In another study by Lawson & Hughes later the same year, they showed that the absorption of EPA & DHA from natural triglycerides improved from 69% with a low-fat meal (8g total fat) to 90% with a high-fat meal (44g total fat). Absorption of both EPA and DHA from ethyl ester oils was increased three-fold from 20% with a low-fat meal to 60% with a high fat meal.

What about krill oil?

In addition to the three types of fish oil listed above, there is another type of oil that provides EPA & DHA: krill oil. Krill oil (KO) is extracted from Anarctic krill, Euphausia superba, a zooplankton crustacean rich in phospholipids carrying EPA and DHA. Krill oil also contains various potent antioxidants, including vitamins A & E, astaxanthin, and a novel flavonoid whose properties are not yet fully understood.

Krill oil has a unique biomolecular profile that distinguishes it from other fish oils. While EPA and DHA in fish oils comes in the form of triglycerides, the EPA and DHA is already incorporated into phospholipids, which facilitates the passage of the fatty acids through the intestinal wall. This increases the bioavailability of the EPA and DHA and improves absorption and assimilation.

Werner et al demonstrated essential fatty acids in the form of phospholipids were superior to essential fatty acids as triglycerides in significantly increasing the phospholipid concentrations of EPA and DHA in mice.

In a human study, Bunea et al compared the effect of krill oil and fish oil on blood lipids, specifically total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, and HDL. Krill oil was given at dosages of 1g/d, 1.5g/d, 2g/d or 3g/d, and fish oil was given at a single dose of 3g/d. The authors found the following:

  • KO at a daily dose of 1g, 1.5g, 2g or 3g achieved significant reductions of LDL of 32%, 36%, 37% and 39% respectively. Patients treated with 3g fish oil daily did not achieve a significant reduction in LDL.
  • HDL was significantly increased in all patients receiving KO. HDL increased 44% at 1g/d, 43% at 1.5g/d, 55% at 2g/d and 59% at 3g/d. Fish oil taken at 3g/d increased HDL by only 4%.
  • KO did not decrease triglycerides significantly at 1g and 1.5g. However, KO reduced triglycerides by 28% at 2g/d and 27% at 3g/d. Fish oil at 3g/d did not achieve a significant reduction of triglycerides.
  • Blood glucose levels were reduced by 6.3% in patients receiving 1g/d and 1.5g/d of KO, and 5.6% in patients receiving 2g/d and 3g/d of KO. A daily dose of 3g of fish oil reduced blood glucose by 3.3%.

Thus, in this study krill oil led to a significantly greater improvement in blood lipids compared to fish oil.

Note that the dosage of KO that obtained the best results, either 2g/d or 3g/d, is quite high. However, study participants received a maintenance dose of 0.5g/d for another 12 weeks after the therapeutic period of the study ended. These patients maintained the reductions in total cholesterol they attained in the study, and LDL, triglycerides and blood glucose were further reduced from baseline. There was a moderate decrease (of 3%) in HDL, but HDL was still significantly increased from baseline.

There is also unpublished research suggesting that 300 mg/d of KO reduces biochemical and subjective measures of inflammation and improves joint function and mobility in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

However, as this research is not published or peer-reviewed, and was sponsored by Neptune Technologies (the manufacturer of Neptune Krill Oil (NKO), I am cautious about interpreting its results.

So what does all of this information about bio-availability tell us?

  1. Taking fish oil capsules with a high-fat meal is essential to improve absorption of EPA and DH.
  2. Even when taken with a high-fat meal, ethyl ester oils are absorbed only 66% as well as natural triglyceride oils.
  3. Krill oil appears to significantly improve blood lipids when compared to fish oils, possibly because of its unique phospholipid structure.


The sustainability of fish oil production is difficult to gauge. Some oils are produced as a byproduct of fish harvesting, and manufacturers claim that they are simply making use of something that would normally be discarded. While this is certainly better than harvesting fish solely for their oil, it still supports harmful fishing practices.

The safest bet is to only use fish oil that is made from fish that are certified by MSF or a similar organization, such as the Environmental Defense Fund. Vital Choice Wild Salmon Oil is one example, as is Jarrow Max DHA (which is made from anchovies and sardines, both of which are generally regarded as safe to eat from an environmental standpoint).


I cover cost in the recommendations section below.


Note: I have no affiliation with any of these companies. These are simply the products I recommend based on my research. It’s very likely that there are other good products that I missed in my search. This is not an exhaustive list.

Which product you might choose from this list depends in large part upon what your goals are.

I have provided product recommendations in two different categories: baseline, and supplemental. Those wishing to to maintain health and ensure adequate nutrient intake should choose a product from the “baseline” category. Those who are dealing with a chronic inflammatory condition should also choose a product from the baseline category, but should consider adding a product from the “supplemental” category.

However, keep in mind that the absorption of the natural triglyceride oils (like the Wild Salmon Oil and Fermented Cod Liver Oil below) will be 1.5 times greater than the ethyl ester oils in the supplemental section. As a rule of thumb, all purified and molecularly distilled oils are ethyl esters.

This means you have to take 1.5 times as much of the ethyl ester oils to get the same dose of DHA that you’d get from the natural triglyceride oils. For example, Vital Choice Wild Salmon Oil has 220 mg DHA per serving. To get the same amount of DHA from Jarrow Max DHA, which is an ethyl ester oil, you’d have to take a serving that provides 333 mg of DHA.


Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil Blend (GP FCLO)

Ingredients: about 270 mg omega-3 (about 139 mg EPA, 83 mg DHA), about 1,100 IU vitamin D, about 2,300 IU vitamin A. Values listed are approximate (see disadvantages).

Price: $47.00 for 120 capsules, 2 capsules per serving. $0.78/serving.

Advantages: a whole-food product in its natural form, rather than a supplement. Is relatively low in EPA & DHA compared to other products, but contains high levels of vitamin D, as well as vitamins A & K. The fat soluble vitamins A, D & K2 are important co-factors and likely improve the absorption and assimilation of EPA & DHA. Addition of grass-fed butter oil increases levels of K2. Cold-processed with fermentation, which means this is the least oxidized product available.

Disadvantages: levels of PCBs are posted on Green Pastures’ website here, but I’ve been unable to obtain information on heavy metals or dioxins. The EPA and DHA levels are what would be expected in a whole food product, but may not be high enough for a significant anti-inflammatory effect. Values for vitamins A, D, EPA and DHA are approximate and vary batch to batch due to fermentation processing method. Peroxide values are not provided, but because it is processed without heat they are likely to be very low.

Notes: because fermented cod liver oil contains vitamins A, D and K2 in addition to EPA and DHA, and because most people are deficient in some or all of these nutrients, this is currently the only product I recommend to everyone – patients, family and friends – regardless of their health status.

Vital Choice Wild Salmon Oil (VC WSO)

Ingredients: 600 mg of omega-3 (240 mg EPA, 220 mg DHA), 340 IU vitamin D, 2,060 IU vitamin A (per 3 1,000 mg softgels).

Price: $40 bottle, 180 capsules. 3 capsules/serving, $0.68/serving.

Advantages: processed without heat using micro-filtration, which retains naturally occurring vitamins A and D. Fatty acids are in their natural triglyceride form, which makes them more absorbable. Also contains astaxanthin, which protects the oil from oxidative damage and rancidity. Contains more EPA and DHA than GP FCLO. Nutrient levels are more consistent from batch to batch and certification is performed by independent, not-for-profit organization (NSF International).

Disadvantages: when compared to GP FCLO, does not have vitamin K2 and the dose of vitamin D is significantly lower. Otherwise no disadvantages.


Jarrow Max DHA

Ingredients: 600 mg of omega-3 (250 mg DHA, 36 mg EPA) per capsule; one capsule is one serving.

Price: $14.85 (at Vitacost) for 180 capsules. $0.08/serving.

Advantages: even after considering the differences in absorptions between Jarrow Max (an ethyl ester) and the two natural triglyceride oils listed above, Jarrow Max is significantly cheaper. It’s possible to get 1g/d of DHA for $0.32. Made with anchovies and sardines, both of which are naturally low in contaminants. Jarrow faxed me their certificate of analysis, which checked out fine. This is a good choice for those wishing a high-dose of DHA in addition to eating fish or taking one of the natural triglyceride oils above.

Disadvantages: has a 7:1 ratio of DHA to EPA. Although I believe DHA to be more beneficial than EPA, the research is mixed on this and some people report that they do better with EPA.

V-Pure Vegetarian DHA

Ingredients: 350 mg DHA, 50 mg EPA per serving, 2 capsules per serving.

Price: $21.95 for 60 capsules. $0.73 per serving.

Advantages: I received several emails from vegetarians asking me what I recommended they do to meet DHA needs. This is a DHA/EPA blend derived from marine algae, which is where oily fish get EPA & DHA in the first place. The algae in this product is organically grown and 100% free of toxins and contaminants. The capsules are quite small and can be easily swallowed.

Disadvantages: I haven’t seen much research on the marine-algae DHA/EPA blends. Although it’s plausible to assume their effects would be similar to fish oils, I’d like to see some studies backing that up. Likewise, I don’t know much about V-Pure as a company. Another potential issue is that the capsules have carrageenan in them, which has been shown to exacerbate intestinal inflammation in several studies. People with gut problems like IBS and IBD may want to avoid this product. Finally, at $0.73/serving this product is expensive. To get a therapeutic dose of 1g/d taking this alone, you’d have to take 9 capsules per day which be 4.5 bottles/month, or almost $100!

Tentatively Recommended

Neptune Krill Oil

Ingredients: 300 mg of omega-3 (90 mg DHA, 150 mg EPA) per serving, two capsules per serving.

Price: $16.86 for 60 capsules. $0.56/serving, 2 capsules per serving.

Advantages: KO has a unique phospholipid structure that appears to improve the absorption of EPA & DHA. At least one study suggests that KO is superior to fish oil in improving blood lipids. KO also contains vitamins E & A, as well as astaxanthin, an antioxidant claimed to be 10 times more potent than other carotenoids. KO capsules are much smaller than fish oil capsules, are easier to swallow, and many report they don’t cause the burping common with other fish oil capsules. Several anecdotal reports suggest that krill oil can be more effective than fish oil in reducing inflammation for some people.

Disadvantages: there are few studies demonstrating the effectiveness of KO, whereas fish oil has decades of research behind it. Most of the studies that do exist on KO were sponsored by Neptune, the largest manufacturer of KO. The dosages used in the study on KO and blood lipids were very high, and taking KO at those dosages would be expensive. (However, the therapeutic dose of 2-3g/d would only be necessary for 12 weeks, as the maintenance dose of 0.5g seemed to maintain the benefits attained during the therapeutic period.) The sustainability of krill harvesting is controversial.

The reason KO gets a tentative recommendation is that there’s still comparatively little research supporting its use, and because I am still uncertain about the environmental impact of harvesting the krill for the oil. If you have information to share on either of these questions, I’m all ears!

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Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Charlene says

    Anybody have any thoughts/experience with GNLD’s Salmon oil plus? or the “older” Omega III Concentrate?

  2. Babbitt says

    Any thoughts on Metagenics OmegaGenics Mega 10 (omega 7&3 supplement). The serving size is one soft gel. My ND recommends 3 soft gels.

  3. Marnie says

    Does anyone have recommendations for a high quality fish oil for kids that doesn’t have anything artificial in it and kids will eat? Thanks.

  4. Toni Far says

    Hi! My pharmacist recomended me Pharma Nord 1000mg Bio-Fish oil. It hasn’t any fishy smell or taste but a light lemon one. The price is quite good, 20 € for a box of 120 gely caps. Any coments on that oil brand, please? I would like to know if I have made the right choice. I live in Spain and most of the brands you recomend are not available here. I used to take Neptune Krill Oil, but it’s terribly expensive here. I’m looking forward to geting a reply. Thanks a lot.

      • Bill says

        As far as this product is concerned, if you absolutely hate money, and desire virtually zero Omega 3 benefits, I strongly encourage you to purchase this product. In fact, so does Larry.

        • says

          The ETA in the Green Lipped Mussel makes it the most compelling anti-inflammatory our precious Earth has to offer.
          The research is enormous and the benefits greater than all the other products put together.
          The Omega XL is nonetheless in my opinion overpriced.

          • Pixe says

            Dr. Newman:
            My results do not support your bias views of the product you have a financial interest in. I doubt you even know what is ETA and its two isomers. Omega XL at least lists the content of their highly disputed GLM dietary supplement.

            If you believe that Frezzor Black is not “snake oil” provide the readers with evidence of its contents. How is the GLM oil extracted for use in your product?

            Obviously, you have not read my analysis that I put on


            • says

              Your tone wrings with engagement. You should always know to whom you write. Time will announce the winner. Personally, I like natural, clean and allow the body to use its innate intelligence. Unfortunately, time is not your friend and alliances to faulty concepts derails the best of us. Good luck Pixie. I will not respond to you again.

              • Pixe says

                Dr. Newman:

                I am just trying to balance my comments with the information you are posting. No tone of engagement on my part and I am just clarifying what your marketing is trying to get across.

                As I said previously, do your due diligence on the product that you are trying to sell and hype.

                Also, since this product is sold in the USA, why don’t you have on file with the FDA a New Dietary Ingredient Notification for the dietary ingredients in Frezzor Black. Is this product exempt from an NDI?

                Please don’t miss the point to have the product tested for the contents on the label. How do we the consumer know what is actually in the product?

                Best of luck selling your product.

            • says

              Your snake oil comments on Frezzor need to be amended as you have initiated your analysis on what appears to be damaged product.
              You say you received Frezzor from amazon. May I suggest that you get it from the manufacturer before you lambast any product.
              When I evaluate a product, I like to send a sample to Brunswick Laboratories and get a full unbiased analysis.
              What is the totox?
              What is the ORAC ( after processing)?
              What is the lipid profile and does it have the elusive ETA?
              Did it ever occur to you that your lack of adequate investigating could do more harm than good. Which I understand is not your intention.

              • says

                Thanks for the comment and I am awaiting another sample. However, this does not take away from the label contents of undisclosed amounts of the various components.

                • says

                  Occasionally the pursuit of the extraordinary needs to be voiced.
                  One piece of the puzzle is the extraction process that you queried.
                  The extraction process of Frezzor is Sub-critical CO2 extraction.
                  I am not an industrial scientist so your conclusions will be your own.
                  This is the ONLY free fatty acid product I know that uses this process of extraction.
                  It is slow and costly, but provides a cleaner end product. Interestingly, this process is able to extract the Astaxanthin in the Green Lipped Mussel while the Super critical does not.
                  Frezzor is on a mission whose excellence sometimes goes beyond first impressions.
                  The closer you look, the more apparent the differences.

              • says

                Dr. Newman:
                The term eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA) or C20:4 contains twenty carbons with four double bonds and the molecular formula is: C20H32O2. . There are two known isomers that depend on the locations of the double bond. In marine organisms, the isomer with trivial name arachidonic acid (AA), is a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid 20:4(n-6) or all cis 5,8,11,14-Eicosatetraenoic acid. This is the same isomer that is in many human tissues and in the blood. As a result, measurements of ETA are reporting arachidonic acid (AA). The other isomer (all cis 8,11,14,17-eicosatetraenoic acid) is 20:4(n-3) is an omega-3 acid found in very low concentrations in marine organisms and is very difficult to measure because it is an isomer of the more abundant AA. This is the isomer that is supposed to give the green lipped mussel its anti-inflammatory function. Another isomer reported in GLM is all cis 7, 11, 14 , 17-eicosatetraenoic acid. However, because these dietary supplements contain about 50-mg of GLM per softgel, the amount of this ETA isomer is extremely small and very difficult to isolate and prove that it exists. Therefore, reports of ETA in GLM are really reporting arachidonic acid.

                The amount of free fatty acids (FFA) in marine organisms is a sign of lipolysis and a rancid product. For the GLM, the high concentrations of FFA sometimes approaching 30% reflect poor processing and spoilage of the oil. The folks that eat GLM eat them raw immediately after being caught to get the maximum therapeutic properties that GLM may offer. However, the benchmarked product is OmegaXL for which there have been several clinical trials that have demonstrated some efficacy in taking high doses that are much higher than the serving size on the bottle of two capsules. There are no clinical trials for Frezzor as of this writing and perhaps the marketing of the product is based on the results of OmegXL’s clinical trials.

                I have no connection or financial interest in OmegaXL or to any other GLM product or any dietary supplements or food companies, etc. OmegaXL has worked for those in the infomercial but for the average person, there have been many complaints that it does not work and the product has been called “snake oil”. If there are many complaints of OmegaXL with 50-mg of GLM stated in the supplement facts, how can one trust a product (Frezzor) that does not list how much GLM is in the product. In addition, what is the source of the GLM and how is it extracted. If supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) CO2 is being used, then this maybe a violation of the patent holder Pharmalink International Limited US Patent 6,083,536 issued July 4, 2000. Then, consumers should ask the question why isn’t the method of Frezzor’s GLM extraction method listed on the bottle like OmegaXL.

                As a watchdog of dietary supplements, care should be exercised before purchasing a product. Know your rights under DSHEA. Companies selling dietary supplements should have the burden of proof of showing that the contents of the softgels correspond to what is on the label. If a new dietary ingredient (NDI) is being used in a dietary supplement that was not used before October 1994, then the manufacturer of the NDI must have their NDI vetted by the FDA to be sure the product is safe before being introduced into US commerce.


                • says

                  Thanks for the chemistry 101 tutorial.
                  20:4 Arachidonic (n6)
                  20:4 Arachidonic (n3) ETA
                  The ETA is difficult to isolate so your position is ?????
                  You speak of the potential for rancidity and I could not agree with you more.
                  But my position is that I am equally concerned about a product being rancid pre-ingestion as well as the long chained fatty acids oxidizing internally.
                  Again, the totox of Frezzor is below 7, which you FAILED to investigate. I do not like doing your homework.
                  And lastly,my directive to you is the same as my previous post.. Go to Brunswick Labs. They do not seem to have a problem isolating ETA from the Frezzor Omega 3 Black.

      • says

        Omega XL is a product that uses a clean natural source to procure its oil.
        They use a super critical CO2 extraction process that captures many of the free fatty acids and leaves behind the proteins ( to which some are allergic ) and other toxic substances.
        They add 60% pharmaceutical grade olive oil to cut the sludge of the Green Lipped Mussel.
        Most Doctors dispense this as the natural anti-inflammatory of choice. Unfortunately, Frezzor Omega-3 Black is the premier Omega-3 Green Lipped Mussel product that is still below the radar.
        All of the before mentioned products pale in any comparison.

        • Pixe says

          Dr. Newman:
          Your statement: “Unfortunately, Frezzor Omega-3 Black is the premier Omega-3 Green Lipped Mussel product that is still below the radar.
          All of the before mentioned products pale in any comparison.” should be backed up with proof.


  5. Dawn Meland says

    My mom takes 1 Schiff MegaReds, 500mg a day. She is 91. She is running out of them and wants me to get more. I want to do that the best for her so are these good quality? She likes them because they are small and there is no fishy after taste.

  6. Mary P. Valarik says

    I recently ordered OMAX-3 ultra pure soft gels. $1/ pill. Do you know of this product? Is it worth the price? Dr. Maroon, a Pittsburgh physician is affiliated with this product. Thanks for your input.

    • Bill says

      I had to go to several sites to find out the concentrations of EPA and DHA in this product. The manufacturer is very vague on this item. Here’s the numbers: 1178mg EPA and 280mg DHA. Now, that is for TWO capsules which means about 590 EPA , 140 DHA per capsule. At a price of $1 per day, that is a total and complete rip off. There is far better value elsewhere with the same or better quality characteristics.

    • says

      Omax-3 is a drug according to its US patent 7,652,068 that states among others: “The invention also provides methods of using the dosage forms to treat a variety of cardiovascular, autoimmune, inflammatory, and central nervous system disorders by administering a formulation of the invention to a patient in need thereof.” This patent statement contradicts the products disclaimer “This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

      In addition, the company does not have on file with the FDA a New Dietary Ingredient Notification (NDIN) for its patented formulae to be used in a dietary supplement. As such, the product maybe adulterated. Also, the product contains the same active pharmaceutical ingredients EPA-ethyl ester, and DHA-ethyl ester that are in the FDA approved drugs Lovaza, Vascepa, and Lovaza generics (Teva, etc. omega-3 fatty acid ethyl esters). It is unclear how these companies can lace their synthetic omega-3 fatty acid dietary supplements with FDA drug substances since Lovaza (Omacor) has been in the public domain (investigative new drug (IND) application long before this company came into existence.

      In my opinion, it is not fair to the TAG products that use the iconic name “fish oil” that is legitimate whereas all those misbranded products with “fish oil” that contain the synthetic omega-3 ethyl esters are cheating. They contain undeclared FDA drug substances in high doses that may pose a risk to your health.

      Also, Omax-3, according to its US patent, is synthesized by reacting good quality natural fish oil (TAG) by boiling it with car battery acid (H2SO4, sulfuric acid) and then extracting the ethyl esters with the hazardous solvent hexane. “For example, crude fish oil may be diluted with ethanol,
      and then refluxed in the presence of catalytic amounts of
      concentrated sulfuric acid. After extraction with hexane, the
      transesterication mixture is subjected to silica gel
      chromatography, then to a two-step molecular distillation process, with a vacuum of about 10-3 mm Hg and at an evaporation temperature ranging from 65°-70 o C. to 1050-125 o C. and a condenser at 50 C.”

      However,if you are suffering from baldness, this product may help as a treatment as outlined in the patent. Additional claims in the patent include “Improvement in Cognition, Attention, and Tics After Treatment With Omax3.”

      I hope this helps.

  7. Simon says

    Can anybody let us folks in the UK know what our best option is for products that can be ordered in the UK?

    Not a link to a selection of products on Amazon but a simple link to the best product we can purchase from.

    Would love if there was a liquid fish oil option but would settle for caps.

  8. Aaron says

    Barlean’s Organic Oils do have great products with high recommendations. I would have bought these had it not been for one small detail: last ingredient is “Caramel Color”.

    I’m a wildlife photographer whom has contracted Lyme’s Disease that lead me to be bed ridden for two years. I am finally starting to recover with the proper treatments.

    90% of my treatments are a barrage of natural high grade supplements and implementing a non SAD (Standard American Diet) approach to eating. This way of life has lead me to a years worth of in depth research on the SAD.

    At the end, it all came down to a few simple steps that are so complicated in the SAD. No sugar, no grain (please note that corn is a grain not a vegetable and contrary to recent advertising it is virtually impossible to find non-GMO corn, as the true original form of corn [which is tiny in comparison to todays monstrosities] is basically non existent to consumers and only a couple of study facilities world wide have been able to keep a sample of real corn), all organic, natural, non-GMO, and no synthetic man made anything (which seems to be in everything).

    One such synthetic chemical is caramel coloring. It is a harmful chemical added to foods for the sole purpose that the company doing the adding, thinks we as consumers are simply unable to deal with the color of real food, so they must improve it to sell it.

    Any company willing to put in a harmful chemical for cosmetic and sales reasons, absolutely does not care about people and only profit margins made by fads and gimmicks.

    I have come across “completely 100% natural” iced-tea in bottled form for example. Upon turning the bottle over and reading ingredients I found caramel color, I guess because in that companies mind, home brewed iced-tea does not look enough like iced-tea so… “lets add chemicals”.

    Please avoid these potentially harmful carcinogens and stick with the true natural and sustainable products.

    I have inquired many questions to this company about why the need for caramel coloring in their fish oils, I have received no responses to date.

    The list of chemicals in the SAD is endless and terrifying, please learn as much as you can, for your sake!

    • Tom Gossard says

      Barleans has one of the highest quality reputations and consistently receives high test grades in health foods and supplements, such as Total Omega.

      Myself not an expert, I also haven’t tried this Barleans Total Omega myself. The formulation of Total Omega appears to be a good one, providing a well balanced broad spectrum of Omega, including Omega-3 Alpha Linoleic Acid and EPA+DHA (in correct proportion 3:2 EPA:DHA); Omega-6 Linoleic and Gamma-Linoleic Acids, and Omega-9 Oleic Acid.

      You might think of Total Omega in similar terms as a high quality all-you-need general purpose multi-vitamin formula. The problem with these sorts of “multi-“ products is *you* might need more of one ingredient than a suggested serving contains, while for another ingredient you might need less than provided in the serving, or, in some cases, none at all. It behooves you, then, to have a blood test for each ingredient to determine your needs with accuracy. Blood tests can be expensive, but so can high quality supplements running as high as 80¢ per capsule or higher, or a serving of the oil supplement form. In the longer run I think testing first to determine your needs, deficiencies and all, is the smart way to go. Then you can be certain what you are paying for is best for your individual health, compared to a cover all the bases “complex” formula.

      As to buyer confidence, I would buy Total Omega myself with complete confidence, in either liquid or capsule form.

      I believe elsewhere on this long page of comments, commenter “PIXE” compiled a list of manufacturers of high quality oils and capsules in table form. Search this page for “PIXE” to more quickly locate her comments. She ranks high among the expertly commenters, and she does her own lab testing to verify, or not, ingredients and their manufacturer stated amounts and potencies per serving.

  9. Johnny Apple says

    Can someone tell me what is the best OTC alternative to Lovaza. I have been denied by my insurance company for Lovaza and wondering which OTC fish oil will be the closest match.

    • Bill says

      My insurance company also would not cover Lovasa. Plus, i have a real difficult time with large pills, particularly taking lots of them. After doing a LOT of research, I came across this product:

      To the best of my knowledge, this is amongst the top in EPA/DHA concentrations for fish oil, liquid or pill, EPA: 2,071, DHA: 1,173. I take 1 tsp. per day and, 1 bottle lasts for 48 days.
      At $49.99 per bottle, that’s about $1 per day. Well, do the math to see what it would cost you taking another product to attain the same level of EPA-DHA. You might find that you are spending more than $1 per day!

      The company offers a discount code (?) of 10% that equates to essentially paying for the shipping. Also, if you go on their “auto-pay” program, the discount goes to 15%. Finally, if you order $200 or more in product (s), shipping is free in addition to any discount. Both my wife and I take this so, to maximize savings, we have 5 bottles shipped on the auto pay program every 4 months.

      I have absolutely no affiliation with this company. I have found it to be an excellent product. Go to the link and check out the product label.

      • JP says


        What form of O3’s is this? Website doesn’t say. rTriglyceride, Ethyl Esters, or Natural Triglyceride?

        What is the TOTOX value?

        How can you make an informed decision without this info?

        In my research, I have found this to be the best option:
        Naturenetics, available on with a ratio of 90.67 (EPA+DHA/O3)%. Cost per gram of O3 comes to $.26
        TOTOX = 6.48

        • Bill says

          The price for this product on Amazon is $37.21 for 20 capsules. That’s a whopping $1.88 per capsule, irrespective of the gram per O-3 breakdown. They recommend 2 capsules per day so, your spend is $3.76.

          Finally, to get the same amount of EPA-DHA on the SFH product, you would have to take 4 capsules per day and your spend would be $7.52 per day!!

          If somebody wants to challenge my math, please do.

            • Bill says

              I stand corrected. I read the wrong number on the Amazon site. My bad.

              Yes, it .21 per capsule. This would still mean, in order to get roughly the same EPA-DHA as the SFH product, one would have to take 4 capsules for an .84 spend per day, which is .01 less than the SFH product, after applying discounts. To me, taking 1 tps of liquid per day is much better than taking 4 capsules.

              And, I concur that the EPA-DHA concentration should coincide with your personal need. My physician recommended this volume.

    • says

      We all must thank ” Big Pharma ” for their extensive research. Unfortunately, after too much man manipulation the bio-availability is only 10% of natural alternatives. And lovaza is too expensive.
      With all the information and conversation on this board, I am pleased to announce that we have the Holy Grail in product development.
      As a disclosure I distribute Frezzor Omega-3 Black. Additionally, I dispense this as the third part of a three tiered protocol to treat gum disease.
      I attend integrative medical conferences and evaluate products.” Buyer Beware “. Of all the vendors only 5-10% pique my interest. And those show great promise.
      Bloggers all, go to and decide for yourself if this product line makes sense for you.
      I cannot punch any holes or lambast any ingredient. The superiority of Omega-3 Black is overwhelming.
      I challenge the most avid purveyors of excellence to do your homework. We are on the cusp of a new and workable medical paradigm.
      I will answer all serious questions.

    • Chesli says

      I am not a Dr, but a social worker. I had a client with the same issue. The Dr prescribed Nature Made FS Mini Omega 3 Fish Oil Concentrate 788 mg for my client. Hope this helps.

  10. Bill says

    Perhaps this has been mentioned previously however, I just watched an infomercial for a product by the name of “Omega XL”. The moderator was Larry King.

    I do not happen to be a big believer in the concept of sin however, this comes about as close to that concept one can get. It is out-and-out FRAUD!

    • says

      Larry King has placed his name on a very good product. The research for this product is overwhelming. Moreover, I hope you are aware that hundreds of doctors prescribe this product as Omaprem.
      Green Lipped Mussel oil, the major ingredient in this product is rather thick and hence needs to be cut with thinner oils.
      They use pharmaceutical grade olive oil which in my opinion is nothing more than a cheap filler.
      It is sad that they own the professional market as there is much better out there. But their product is clean, safe and it is a much better anti-inflammatory than most of the other junk out there. I give it a B-.

  11. says

    I recently discovered about Omega 3 from Clary Sage Seed Oil. Previously I’ve been using Omega3 from fish oil and suffered from really bad taste in my mouth *yak*. I take my health seriously and after research I found out not only Omega3 from Clary Sage has a great taste, this vegan & natural product also provides the best Essential Fatty Acid for our body without the side effects that go along with fish oil (weight gain, metal poisoning..)
    This site was very helpful with all the information –
    I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do :)

  12. Simon says

    Question, is there a liquid fish oil – available in the UK (without importing) that is considered a high quality?

      • says

        I recently had a mini stroke and after researching I decided to order vital choice salmon oil capsules with lemon, but now I am concerned about masking rancid oil. Should I be concerned about the oil being rancid from this company? Thanks, Ellie

  13. says

    To all,
    The DHA and the EPA are derivatives of essential fatty acids. Only 1-2% are ever produced in the body as Nature always knows what is needed.
    The problem with our ill health is that we are not making these long chained fatty acids due to the processed food supply. Yes, you can supplement using mega dosages of the DHA/EPA but that means you have to believe in magic nutrition rather than G-ds inherent design.
    Frezzor Omega-3 Black redirects the inflammatory pathway so YOU make your own anti-inflammatory pathway perfect. This is accomplished by the rare, unique omega in The Green Lipped Mussel called Eicosatetranoic Acid ( ETA ). Allow G-d to due her magic and allow Man to appreciate and wonder

  14. says

    To Dr Peter Lemke,
    In direct response to your question as to the lipid profile of the Green Lipped Mussel, my answer is ” I will get this information and report it to this forum”
    I would like to report that I have taken the ” Omega Challenge” and can report my blood lipid profile in regards to ETA/EPA.
    ETA-is double that of the average American
    EPA- is 31/2 times that of the average American

    My conclusion is that the ETA in the Green Lipped Mussel is initiating an inhibition of the inflammatory pathway and promoting my body to manufacture its own EPA. If this is shown to be true for others, we have a new game.

    These findings have not gone unnoticed by Senior research advisors at the very highest levels. And I quote “excited about the purity, novelty, and relevance of your product line. There is great potential in it.

    There is the possibility of a research project in regards to the Frezzor Omega 3. This would NOT be sponsored by any manufacturing company. Strictly University financed. But time marches to the lethargic beat of a snails crawl.

    I submit to you Peter that we all are in the ” wild west” and true unbiased research without commerce as a driving force will soon present a new paradigm for wellness.
    Its a slippery slope as some of us become aligned to a particular persuasion and then it takes years to dance that back to our original questions.

    I additionally submit to you that dispensing supraphysilogic doses of anything is a wrong turn.
    Our cell membranes are a delicate balance of saturated fats, Omega 6s and omega 3s. To separate this balance into good guys vs bad guys completely misses the mark. Why does Man always think he can do better than G-d?

    • says

      Thanks for your response Donald.
      Looking forward to see the lipid profile of the Green Lipped Mussel extract. In my opinion it is better to compare absolute numbers and not observations and relative figures. I have no idea what the average ETA/EPA blood lipid content is of an average American and I guess most of the readers in this forum share this with me. Generally it is said that the omega-3 lipid concentration in average US citizens is very low. As long as we do not have absolute numbers (like “mg per dl blood” or “mg/g supplement” or even only “%”) it is very difficult to judge if your values you achieved with “Omega Challenge” are good, excellent or maybe even still too low. We also do not know if you wouldn’t have had far better values taking a highly concentrated omega-3 supplement, or not. I dare to say that any person, anywhere in the world, who is taking a Fishoil-/Algae oil- or Omega-3 concentrate supplement on a daily basis will have a significant higher ETA, EPA, DPA and DHA content in his blood lipid profile compared to an average person with an average diet.
      You mention “supraphysilogic” (so high concentrated) dose is the wrong approach. Is it really? I am sure you agree with me that the diet of the average US or European person has far too much pro-inflammatory Omega-6 fats and too little Omega-3’s. The result is that our natural ratio between Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids is totally out of balance and we ingest daily up to 20-times more pro-inflammatory Omega-6 than anti-inflammatory Omega-3 (EPA, DHA, ETA and DPA). If we really want to achieve a significant shift back towards a natural balance between the Omega-6 and Omega-3 fats in our diet we absolutely need to increase strongly the Omega-3 part. This can be done most efficiently with highly concentrated omega-3 supplements. Lower concentrated products also have a good effect but are less efficient than the high concentrates. If we would not have this dramatic oversupply of Omega-6 in our diet I would fully agree with you. In this case there would be no need for high concentrated Omega-3 products. Of course we could also change our diet, our food industry and farming sector so that we return to a more natural food composition … I would love this. But this is not very likely to happen.
      Regarding your last paragraph I would like to comment as follows. According to your own words, the Green Lipped Muscle extract is “unique” because of its high ETA content not found anywhere else in nature. Following your concept of looking at what Nature served us as nutrients during many thousands of years I am wondering if this “unique feature” of the Green Lipped Mussel (GML) extract is actually good for us? Why did not Nature offer us more sources of ETA in the first place? Instead we do find EPA and DHA in significant amounts in certain foods (including the GLM).
      Finally let me say that my intention here is certainly not to speak against the GLM-extract. We somehow slipped into this interesting discussion. I believe every source of Omega-3’s is important for us. That is also why I created my company after working over 25 years in the Omega-3 field. BEPS BIOPHARM does not have its own manufacturing site. Nor are we bound to certain oil origins (fish, squid, krill, algae, GLM, etc.). What we do is we try to select the best omega-3 oils in the market with respect to purity, concentration, contamination and at an affordable price. We take these oils and make our supplements with them. These supplements carry the “beps-best choice omega-3” quality seal. I do not exclude at all that someday we might also have Green Lipped Mussel extract supplement in our portfolio. But before that, I really need to convinced … :)

      • Becky says

        Hi Peter L.,
        Here’s the science of why you might be off base on balancing out dietary levels of Omega6 with high levels of Omega 3….I always thought that was so logical it couldn’t be contraverted, but I believe you as well as I have been wrong…check out the reasoning here:

        it hit me in the head like a frying pan and you are right about one thing for sure, it is absolutely critical to greatly reduce omega 6 consumption in the diet…you CAN’T fix it with a pill…see what you think.

  15. Erin says

    I have a question about Vayarin, it has a strength of 167mg, my son was prescribed to take two a day to help with ADHD Symptoms, I have found a few research articles on this medication, but curious about how safe it truly is. thank you.

    • Tom Gossard says


      RE: Vayerin safe, the answer is ‘yes,’ it is a prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration, having been rigorously tested for safety; when taken according to your physician’s instructions; not to exceed the maximum suggested dosage unless directed by your physician.

      If you have read literature from Vayarin’s web site, and research, supposedly a large enough double-blind test(s) have been performed by the researcher in order to supply the FDA with adequate supporting documentation, which they, in turn may perform additional tests to determine if the medical food is safe.

      In my online search, I found that Vayarin is an extract from Krill source. I don’t know if it is Krill oil or another Krill derived substance. Basically, then, Vayarin is extract of Krill, possibly Krill oil, produced by the pharm company according to “proprietary” process(es) to yield what is the active ingredient. With Vayarin, in addition to the active ingredient are a preservative to insure freshness and potency, and ingredients which facilitate digestion.

      What proprietary processes the manufacturer uses to obtain active ingredients is a ? I can’t answer. Hope this is helpful in some way.

  16. Liz Hanson says


    Does anyone have any views on PolarPower Salmon Oil from North America Herb and Spice? It’s cheaper than Vital Choice but is it as good? As far as I can see, it’s made from the same fish source using the same cold processing techniques. Many thanks.

  17. says

    Since its relatively easy to verify that a product has been cleaned via molecular distillation, I find that the best way to compare products is to look at the cost per 1000 mg combined EPA + DHA.

  18. says

    Thank you very much vor this interesting article. Please allow me to male a few comments:
    1. Cloudy oil/saturated fat: you mention “all fish oils contain saturated fats”. That is correct for the Standard fish oils. However, high quality, concentrated Omega-3 supplements (see for e.g. “beps-best choice omega3″ are free of any saturated fats. In my opinion this is very important because natural fish oils contain about 30% saturates. It is well known that our modern diet is far too rich in saturated fats and that these fats are one of the main causes of elevated blood cholesterol levels. So it is not a bad idea to remove them from the oil. Saying this, it is also not a bad idea to remove the omega-6 fats and natural cholesterol content of a fish oil. High quality omega-3 supplements will contain 80% or 90% omega-3 fatty acids. In this case one or two 1g capsules per day supply all you need – and do not “stress” your body with unnecessary components like saturated fats, omega-6 and cholesterol.
    2) Bioavailability: I generally agree with your comments. However when comparing these Bioavailability studies please make sure that they really looked at the Bioavailability and not the “speed of absorption” (which is very often mistaken as Bioavailability). It is correct that the free fatty acids and phospholipids (Krill oil) get faster absorbed than the TGs and then the ethyl esters (EE) – however the difference is in the magnitude of minutes. The pass way of an omega-3 supplement oil through our digestive system takes over 24 hours. So more than enough time to get a good absorption and in the end a comparable Bioavailability. And finally … the only approved omega-3 drugson the market, which actually had to prove their sufficient Bioavailability, are in the ethyl ester (EE) and free fatty acid (FFA) form – not in a triglyceride (TG) form.
    3.) Krill oil: There is no doubt that the phospholipids of a krill oil get faster directly and more easily absorbed as the TGs or EEs. However, krill oil only contains 7-10% Omega-3’s. That is a 10th and less of what you would find in a good omega-3 concentrate. So even if the Bioavailability would be twice as good as in case of a fish oil/omega-3 concentrate it would still not make up the big difference in the concentration. Finally, have a look at the whales (biologically mammals just like us). They eat every day many tons of fresh krill. Wouldn’t we therefore expect whale oil to be extremely rich in omega-3? Its not! If you are lucky it will contain 5-7%.
    4.) Sustainability: I would like to add here that most omega-3 concentrates are made from sardine and anchovy oils as a by-product from the fish meal production. These are fish which have a relative short life span (the longer their life, the more contaminants they accumulate!) and luckily do belong to any endangered species. We (beps biopharm s.l.) publish all our analysis results of every batch on our web site – in this way the consumer can inform himself before purchasing our products. I believe this should be done by all other omega-3/fish oil/krill oil producers.
    Thanks once again for this interesting discussion.

    • Maggie says

      Thank you, Peter Lembke. At last someone posts something I can understand.

      I have been taking the concentrated ethyl ester (EE) form for years and have had nothing but beneficial results.

    • Simon says

      Dear Peter,

      Thank you for your comments, I am still having trouble understanding the whole Omega-3 industry myself. I must say that I’ve tried many products with little effect and I keep getting very confused about all the scientific terms being thrown around. However, after going on the website you recommended of “” I saw that there is also a “” site. I found this site extremely helpful! It has a very easy explanation of what Omega-3’s are, how they work and where they come from that I can understand :) The charts provided under “Why high concentrates from BEPS” I found to be extremely useful because I was starting to getting so confused by all the misleading information fish oil distributors use for their products (changing the ingredients list from 2 to 4 or 6 capsules, talking about cheap products when you actually need to take 10 caps a day…. damn I hate these marketeers!).

      Anyways, thanks for sharing! And I can recommend giving the bepsbiopharm website a shot I found it the most user friendly fish oil website this far.

  19. Tom Gossard says

    Dear Dr. Newman,

    As I have commented elsewhere, my primary need for Omega-3 supplementation is bipolar depression. Additionally, as anti-inflammatory for osteo-arthritis pain, soreness, and inhibited joint mobility.

    For depression, would, for example, a green-lipped mussel Omega-3 product such as Frezzor makes available, be a viable option worth my giving it a trial. In other words, will it serve as well as a pure-EPA, or high-EPA/DHA ( ≥7-to-1 EPA to DHA ratio). More effective? Less effective? or about the same?

    Since I don’t quite understand what the distinctions are Omega-3 concentrates on the one hand, and PEOs on the other.

    Thanks for your help!

    • says

      Dear Tom,
      You need to find a high concentrated EPA oil. Green Mussel oil is in my opinion not suitable because it simply does not provide sufficient amounts of EPA. You need at least 1 g, better 2g EPA per day. This is not possible with green mussel extract…
      I recommend you visit following web site and then go to “Folder_v7 ” – there you will find valuable information regarding the benefits of EPA and DHA for different indications. I am sure this could be helpful for you.
      Take care,
      Dr. Peter Lembke

      • JP says

        The website you referenced doesn’t have the TOTOX values, but only lists the MAX. Where can we find the lab results showing the actual values? What form of Omega-3 are these products in? EE? Also, what are the long term effects of Omega-3 supplementation as opposed from food sources?

        • says

          I am a Little confused … I do see the max acceptable TOTOX values in the specifications listed. If you like to see the actual analysis results of recent batches I recommend you visit – then go to the “Products” page – on the right side you see “BEPS batch analysis” – click on there. An Excel file will open and you see the results.
          Form of omega-3: most products are in the TG form. Only the “pur3″ capsules are EEs.
          I truly believe with an optimal diet rich in EPA and DHA, avoiding too much omega-6 and saturated fats, no additional omega-3 supplementation would be necessary. However, lets face it: for most of us our daily diet is far from “optimal” and chances are very low that most of us can change our habits for the long term. Therefore most of us definitely need to supplement their daily diet with high concentrated Omega-3’s. Only with these concentrates we have a chance to at least partly re-equilibrated our omega-6: omega-3 ratio. Unfortunately normal Fish Oil, Mussel Oil or even Krill Oil contains next to the Omega-3 also substantial amounts of Omega-6 and saturated fats. So the important effect to bring back the omega-6: omega-3 ratio is not so strong as with highly concentrated Omega-3’s (They are highly concentrated because the omega-6 and saturated fats were removed!).
          Finally long-term effects: I have not heard of any negative long term effects coming from fish oil or concentrated fish oils/Omega-3’s. The only long term effects you would expect are positive. ones Unfortunately there may be long term effects if you cover your daily EPA and DHA requirements with adding a daily fish plate to your diet. This is due to the fact that the fish are relatively strongly contaminated with heavy metals and other industrial contaminants. These can accumulate over the years also in our bodies and finally may cause harm. Good quality fish oil/omega-3 concentrates have eliminated or reduced these contaminants as one part of the concentration. process. As this is an additional process step these oils are more expensive – but its worth it! Honestly, can you really expect Quality from an “omega3 product” that costs for example $4.99 per 200 capsules? I do not think so …

      • says

        To Dr Peter Lemke,
        ” Settled Science ” Is a thought provoking comment by Dr Charles Krauthamer. Abstacts that settle medical considerations are shown to be ONLY 5 percent correct 50 years later. Dr Krauthhamer wants people to understand that in medicine very few things are ever settled.

        Peter, you say ” You need to find a high concentrated EPA oil. Green Mussel oil is in my opinion not suitable because it simply does not provide sufficient amounts of EPA. You need at least 1 g, better 2g EPA per day. This is not possible with green mussel extract…”
        Are you aware that The Green Lipped Mussel is the ONLY food on planet Earth that provides the omega ” ETA” This unique and compelling omega inhibits arachadonic acid and increases the bodies ability to make its own ” EPA “. This should open ALL eyes to understand that this is a game changer!
        To deliver a supraphysiologic dose of anything is a dangerous turn in the our understanding of optimal health.
        In nature, cold water fish have a high percentage of DHA/EPA. Without this Salmon could never spawn upstream.
        As the waters warm, the percentages of DHA/EPA go down by 15 to 20 times. Nature understands that in warmer waters these volatile long chain fatty acids would oxidize and injure the fish.
        Now consider Man. Only 1-3% of our essential fatty acids ever become derivatives like DHA/EPA
        Nature has once again displayed its wisdom in diminishing our capacity to produce large amounts of DHA/EPA as you would suggest is so vital for optimal health.
        Nature provides a window for understanding and I would strongly recommend that we listen and follow her wise direction. Millions of years of evolution can not be that wrong.

        —–Original Message—–

        • Dr. Peter Lembke says

          Dear Donald. Thanks for your comment. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I thought the Green Lipped Mussel extract main fatty acids are C16:0, EPA and DHA. Correct? I have tried to find out how much ETA is actually in the Green Lipped Mussel capsules. Could you help me here? I would really like to know the absolute amount of ETA in a let’s say 500 mg capsule. I fully agree with you that the ETA is a very interesting omega-3 fatty acid – please do not misunderstand me here.

    • says

      Supplementation for bipolar depression is not my specialty. However there has been research that supports taking long chained fatty acids to modulate hormones that could help.
      Nature works as a package deal and rarely delivers just a few compounds as nutrients. The truth is that we know less than what we pontificate.
      I have elected to support a product that in my opinion is light years ahead of the curve. It is a natural synergistic approach to complement the body to ” fill in the gaps” Unfortunately, you cannot approach supplementation as a panacea. Lifestyle, detoxification, fresh wild or organic foods, joy of life all are integral aspects of health.
      In answer to your question, Frezzor is the very best this planet has to offer and works even better as you engage in an ” oil change ” of your cell membranes. Remove the adulterated fats and replace them with Frezzor. It’s an intelligent consideration.

  20. Bill says

    Thanks for the information. At this time, however, I am looking specifically at “liquid” fish oil comments and/or recommendations. The SFH product, at this juncture, seems to lead the pack as it relates to EPA/DHA concentrations, costs, quality, etc. Still looking for other suggestions though in the “liquid” fish oil category. Thanks.

  21. Rob says

    The fish oil with the highest EPA DHA I’ve found is Pharmax Finest Pure Fish Oil. Please offer any opinions on this product
    I’ve listed the content below. Thank you

    Serving Size 1 Teaspoon (5 ml)
    Servings Per Container 30
    Calories 40
    Calories from Fat 40
    Total Fat 4.5 g
    Saturated Fat 1 g
    Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) 950 mg
    Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) 725 mg
    Total omega-3 1975 mg
    (DHA, EPA & other omega-3’s provided as sardine & anchovy oil)
    Other Ingredients: Essential oil of orange, natural mixed tocopherols

    • JP says

      Your EPA/DHA as a % of total Omega 3’s is 84.81%. Most fall in that range. The highest ratio I have found is Naturenetics, available on with a ratio of 90.67%.

        • JP says

          The ratio represents how concentrated the product is. You want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. If you don’t get a flavored product, you’ll have fishy burps. Fish are fish. Fish smell like fish, not roses. The smell of fish doesn’t mean it’s a bad fish. Go catch a fish, cut it up and smell it. It will smell fishy! It doesn’t mean it is a bad fish. If you want to know if your oil is rancid, get the TOTOX value.

  22. Bill says

    Can you provide any comments on a liquid fish oil by the name of SFH (Stronger, Faster, Healthier) made by Maine Natural Health. From what I can tell, it might have the highest level of Omega 3 of any product on the market, 2,071 EPA and 1,171 DHA. They recommend 1 teaspoon per-day.

    Thank you.

  23. Ann says

    I was wondering if anyone has any knowledge of the Ultra 85 fish oil product from Dr. Dave’s Best. It is a pricey product but claims to be one of the most pure available. If so, please comment. Thanks

    • says

      I elected to take it to a conference that primarily consisted of Raw Food Vegans and Vegetarians, because I knew these people were desperately low on Omega 3’s and highly Omega 6 dominant. I knew this was very unhealthy
      This excerpt from Daves’ promotion is terribly wrong. As the only unhealthy omega 6s are adulterated omega 6s.
      In another part he says that DHA ans EPA are essential fatty acids. He needs to take biochemistry 101 as there are only two essential fatty acisd: ALA and LA.
      What a mess!

      • says

        Has anyone checked into OmegaGuard from Shaklee. They use a Triple distilled process for purity and potency.We have been using it and the optometrist I work for now recommends this instead of the other brands he use to recommend to his patients.

    • says

      I’ll give it a C-
      1-It is a marine concentrate and does not reveal the profile of other free fatty acids.
      2-Nature does not concentrate and usually indicates industrial processing which raises concern.
      3- Uses mixed tocopherols as preservative which is OK but why not tocotrienols as well. I would like to know the potential for rancidity as a concentrate with long chain fatty acids can oxidize easily ( both inside and outside the body) .This product needs a TOTOX rancidity test.
      4-Does not coordinate with latest understanding of Parent Essential Oils as explained in detail in Brian Peskin’s ” PEO Solution”

      For goodness sake, there are much better products!

  24. Santino says


    I am searching for a supplement which contains enough Vitamin A to get maybe 10.000 IU per day.

    The problem is:

    I don´t tolerate fermented foods as they contain tyramine or histamine (Green pastures FCLO contains tyramine)

    I also found no product which has just pure Vitamin A and K in it. They all contain additves like silicon dioxide which I react to (I know that this is uncommon but I tested it many times…:-/)…

    Can anybody help me how to get a supplement with especially Vitamin A but also K2 and D with no additives in a good doses?

    The salmon oil above seems to have only small amounts of A and D…

    Best regards

  25. chinita says

    Hey, I just bought ”’Extra Strength Omega-3 Krill Oil (100% pure/ 500mg) softgels”’ from -Well at Walgreens- and I came across your article looking for reviews on it. So, I am wondering if you recommend this product or what should I look for in it to be sure it is safe for me to take? I read about the fish oils, is it the same with the krill?

    Thanks =]

    • says

      Why waste your money ($34.99 for 90 capsules) of Walgreen’s krill oil that provides a scanty 64 mg EPA and 30 mg DHA per softgel. Even the much condemned standard American diet (SAD) gives you anywhere from 100 – 200 mg/day of EPA and DHA. Many foods are clandestinely fortified with omega-3s. Diet is better if you can get reasonably priced fatty fish that contain high content of omega-3s. If not, there are better choices to supplement the diet with omega-3s. There is an article that compared standard recommended manufacturer’s servings sizes of omega-3s. Re-esterified triacyl-sn-glycerols (rTAG) performed the best. However, the article is in error because the krill oil product investigated (Source Naturals ArcticPure) is a blend of fish and krill oil and not pure krill oil. I kind of doubt that if it were pure krill oil the results would have been any different. Here is a link to the open access (free) article: that concluded: “From Tables 2 and 3, and Figures 1 and 2, it appears that the order of efficacy in raising the blood levels of the ω-3FA of interest (primarily EPA and DHA) is as follows: rTG > EE > TG > PL,” note that this is the omega-3 index.

  26. Tracy says

    What is your opinion of the “RealDose Essentials”, Super Critical Omega-3 TG ? It has been highly advertised as being promoted by Dr. Oz for everything from arthritis relief to weight loss management.

  27. josh says

    hi, id like someones opinion on this fish oil

    I’m looking for a fish oil where i can easily reach 2000 EPA per day. I’ve beeb told to take 3000mg fish oil per day, ( 1000 after each meal). and I’ve read benefits of EPA don’t really kick in until 2000mg per day. the product i linked fits my bill.

    but i want to know if its pure, safe, good quality, and overall a good or bad product.

    if not could someone advise me on a good fish oil with high epa and dha. I’m from the UK so id like a UK based fish oil


    • Paul says

      hi, I’m from UK and have found these Nordic naturals on amazon to be the cleanest with high epa/dpa at the most reasonable price – £33 for 180 caps. I take 4 a day so one carton lasts 40 days. Would be interested in any cheaper though.

    • says

      You are correct to be confused as most of the research is biased and has an agenda before it starts.
      There is a fabulous book called ” PEO SOLTION “.
      There are soooo many ares of this evolving science that caution is needed.
      Bottom line,
      1-All fish supplements are unacceptable for human consumption as YOU ARE NOT A FISH.
      2-Moreover, Concentrates are dangerous as oxidation of long chain fatty acids take place outside the body as well as inside.
      3-Supplementation can potentiate human wellness but only if delivered in a full spectrum, food that mirrors your cell membranes physiologic ratio of fat. Nature has protected you from an overload of DHA/EPA as only 1% of the essential fatty acids ever become longer chained and susceptible to dangerous oxidation..
      By the way the Hunzas, who live to 120 years old, do not eat fish.
      Wild foods with AA and ALA are what is needed for maximum cell/body health.
      There are very few products that provide this fast forward understanding.
      Again, read PEO SOLUTION before you contaminate yourself and your confusion will transmute to a keen understanding.

    • says

      This is the same product sold here in the US.
      It is not “fish oil” as defined and accepted by the three pharmacopoeias. The product is the ethyl esters of EPA and DHA that are the same active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) in the FDA approved prescription drug Lovaza (EPA and DHA ethyl esters) and Vascepa (EPA ethyl esters only). In my opinion, as a result, consumers taking this misbranded and perhaps adulterated product should read the warning labels for Vascepa and Lovaza. Of particular interest is the a fib warning in Lovaza (5.3 Recurrent Atrial Fibrillation (AF) or Flutter) and “In some patients, LOVAZA increases LDL-C levels.”
      There have been thousands of adverse reactions reported for Lovaza.

    • says

      Here is the link to the thousands of “Drug Adverse Effects information for OMACOR”. In my opinion, the company failed to disclose the true identity of the dietary ingredient in this dietary supplement. This is a violation of DSHEA.

  28. Rebecca says

    Curious what you guys think about the Omega 3 supplements which contain fish oil? One Ive been considering buying is the Barlean’s Total Omega which appears to be sold in both a pill and liquid form. Does it matter if the liquid isnt refrigerated during shipping? While not pregnant, currently trying to get there so hoping to find a great option that I could continue taking during pregnancy, which wouldn’t have negative reactions with prenatals Rainbow Light

  29. George says

    Hello everyone. I was doing some research lately on different fish oil supplements and I came across NutriGold Triple strength. Different websites rated it as the number #1 fish oil supplement in America? Anyone know anything about them?


    • says

      Product looks O.K.
      They use tocopherols for freshnessand to prevent rancidity.
      I like food grade tocotrienols to achieve this.
      I like that they have astaxanthin, but they fail to mention its source.
      Ascorbic acid is O.K., but why not use food grade pinebark, or add curcuminoids.
      It appears to be a clean product but has too much man manipulation to be considered a natural food.
      They claim to be a broad spectrum omega, but fail to mention how many omega-3s( there are 18) or how many free fatty acids ( there are 33).
      My recommendation is to stick with FOOD, from wild sources in combination with other PEOs (parent essential oils) to maximize effectiveness.

  30. jasmin says

    Hi there,

    I recently found a fish oil from deals that cost 3.00$ very cheap and I was wondering if I could use it while im pregnant I have taken 5 but reading your research I was wondering if I was doing more harm then good for my baby cause I just wanted my child to have the benefits it claims its called nature’s measures fish oil 1000mg so far I opened it smells like ocean then I did the freeze test it passed but I still will would like to know if this is healthy to take while im pregnant.

    Thank you

    • says

      In my opinion, Nature’s Measure is one of the lowest quality “fish oil” (it is not fish oil) dietary supplements on the market. In fact, you can get this at the dollar store for, you guessed it, $1.00. The product contains 30% omega-3s in ethyl esters and the remaining amount, 70% is a combination of saturated and unsaturated fatty acid ethyl esters. Upon digestion, all these ethyl esters get converted to ethanol which is not good for the developing fetus or nursing newborn. See fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).

      Do some research and look up “saturated fatty acid ethyl esters” to see their toxicity.

      It is recommended that pregnant and nursing moms get at least 200 mg/day DHA either from the diet (first choice) or from a dietary supplement.

      In my opinion, a good inexpensive real “fish oil” dietary supplement would be Kirkland Signature Omega-3 Fish Oil Concentrate 1,000 mg., 400 Softgels. When on sale, I have purchased a bottle of 400 capsules for $5.99. Each capsule supplies 300 mg EPA+DHA as TAG and not as ethyl esters. Or, if you are not comfortable with fish oil dietary supplements, see algae-based DHA from Martek. life’sDHA (


  31. says

    As a Holistic Dentist in Boca Raton I incorporate a naturopathic protocol for periodontal disease.
    After product analysis I decided to use the Green Lipped Mussel from New Zealand as part of a three tiered delivery program. Frezzor.
    It’s different from all the other excellent anti-inflammatory omega 3s.
    It is the only oil that has ETA, an important free fatty acid in the anti- inflammatory pathway that has been marginalized because it is so rare.
    It has a full range of 32 free fatty acids delivered in natural ratios as nature intended.
    The nutrients of the Green Lipped Mussel come from clean ocean waters fed by micro algae delivering astaxanthin.
    Additionally, Kiwi Seed extract has been added that has delta and gamma tocotrienols ( others have alpha tocopherols).
    Brunswick labs has tested this to be the highest ORAC of any other omega 3. This insures almost no possibility of rancidity.
    Too many other positive considerations to write. Only to add that there is no finer omega delivery that I know in the world.
    Caveat; a little pricey, but not for those who need an excellent product.
    I also think it is important to take the omega challenge offered by Vitalchoice to insure the bioavailablity of your omegas
    Donald Newman DDS

    • sam says

      I did come across this “green mussel” product, while research the subject of Omegas & FAs. For reason that i can not recollect, i decided against this product, despite what seems like a great marketing effort from this company. Is this company cGMP certified ? (I don’t remember all the details now). As i have found out through my research into top multivitamin brand names, all newcomers have growing pains and issues related to that. I found out that a top rated company (according to many independent evaluation articles on the web) has problems in their formulation and i could not trust that brand anymore. Don’t want to get into that too much….doing my own research has helped me immensely.

        • says

          You are correct to be confused as most of the research is biased and has an agenda before it starts.
          There is a fabulous book called ” PEO SOLTION “.
          There are soooo many ares of this evolving science that caution is needed.
          Bottom line,
          1-All fish supplements are unacceptable for human consumption as YOU ARE NOT A FISH.
          2-Moreover, Concentrates are dangerous as oxidation of long chain fatty acids take place outside the body as well as inside.
          3-Supplementation can potentiate human wellness but only if delivered in a full spectrum, food that mirrors your cell membranes physiologic ratio of fat. Nature has protected you from an overload of DHA/EPA as only 1% of the essential fatty acids ever become longer chained and susceptible to dangerous oxidation..
          By the way the Hunzas, who live to 120 years old, do not eat fish.
          Wild foods with AA and ALA are what is needed for maximum cell/body health.
          There are very few products that provide this fast forward understanding.
          Again, read PEO SOLUTION before you contaminate yourself and your confusion will transmute to a keen understanding.

      • says

        Please do more research and email me if you have any questions.
        Recently spent many hours with Dr. David Katz, Director of The Department of Yale Nutrition. Due to his position he does not participate in the commerce of Omega 3s. However, he found the Frezzor product ” very compelling”.He asked many questions and I answered his academic inquiries. He found the most compelling ingredient in the Green Lipped Mussel to be ETA. It redirects the inflammatory pathway away from arachadonic acid and towards an anti-inflammatory pathway. It is the only food Nature provides this health potential. This is a ” Wow” in the world of health and should be considered when choosing your supplement of choice.

  32. sam says

    I have seen several sites online that offer OM-3 and omega 6 testing. Are they all the same, OR is one test better than the others ? Any personal experience stories regarding labs among the numerous that i see online ?

    • says

      Dr. Newman:
      With all due respects, Dr. Newman, but did you do your due diligence on Frezzor Omega-3 Black that you are trying to sell here and you are a stakeholder in the company? The retracted paper by Peskin published in Hindawi Publishing Corporation Journal of Lipids Volume 2014, Article ID 495761, 15 pages should be read to see Peskin’s thoughts on fish oil.
      The source and method of isolation of the extracted oil from green lipped mussel (GLM) is not stated. How do we know that the product contains what is on the label? I recommend that you use whatever small profits you made by hyping this product on this website that you have the product tested for a fatty acid profile. I suggest you send this product to IFOS in Canada or any certified analytical laboratory specializing in fatty acid analyses. I believe that the fee for fatty acid profile is about $300 US per sample. Then, report back to us what they found and post this analysis on your website. I know that some consumers (Frezzor testimony on website) have gotten pain relief and other health benefits from taking Frezzor Omega-3 Black.
      Then, read the Dietary Supplement Health and Education (DSHEA) act of 1994 because your product maybe adulterated because the company (Frezzor) did not file a 75-Day Premarket Notification of New Dietary Ingredients (NDI) to the FDA for the ingredients used in your product.

      For Frezzor Omega-3 Black product the label lists the following ingredients:

      Green lipped mussel ? mg
      Astaxanthin ? mg
      Grape seed oil ? mg
      Flax seed oil ? mg
      Curcumin extract ? mg
      Grape seed extract ? mg
      Kiwi extract ? mg
      Blackcurrant extract ? mg
      Boysenberry Extract ? mg

      Because Frezzor Omega-3 black lists the contents as a “proprietary blend”, they do not have to list the content amounts (mg) of each ingredient. As a result, companies can hide behind this and put any amount or none at all of the ingredients in the dietary supplement. Does the New York AG recall of herbal products come to mind?

      The product lists “81% of Polyunsaturated Fats are Omega3s” this could all come from the flax seed oil that contains the omega-3 fatty acid alpha linolenic acid (ALA). Mean capsule weighs 0.26349 ± 0.00159 g or 263.49 ± 1.59 mg and the liquid weighs 0.14130 g or 141.30 mg. This mass is composed of the nine ingredients listed above.

      See the photos on that shows mash or something in the product. I also posted a report on what I found in my lot # A4110, Expiration date 1/2017 that I purchased on Amazon February 2015 for $69.95. I will try to determine the mass of this mash.

      For green lipped mussel oil, the oil extraction procedure is important. Like all marine organisms, when they die, lipolysis activity continues and there is a large increase in the amount of free fatty acids released. When the analysis of green lipped mussel reports about a large number of free fatty acids, this is a red flag of the product going rancid after catch and before processing. The potential benefits of GLM probably comes from the fact the those eating GLM eat them raw on catch. This is one of the reasons why krill oil based EPA and DHA have been reported to be better absorbed as compared to standard 18/12 TAG fish oil.

      Here is one reference to the composition of fresh caught GLM:
      From: Lipid, FA, and Sterol Composition of New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus) and Tasmanian Blue Mussel (Mytilus edulis)
      Lipids, Vol. 37, no. 6 (2002)
      Wax ester ND
      TG 25.3 ± 8.9
      FFA 10.7 ± 1.6
      Sterol 6.8 ± 1.2
      Phospholipid 57.1 ± 7.8
      Total lipid 19.7 ± 5.4
      Values are the % of the total lipid content of 19.7 mg/g wet weight.
      Some fish contain the same fatty acids as those found in GLM and they are not unique or only found in GLM.

      One product, OmegaXL, (Larry King’s endorsed product) the GLM oil is extracted using super fluid critical CO2 (SFCO2) (see US patent 6,083,536) and is trademarked PCSO-524. Because this is not listed on the label of Frezzor Omega-3 Black, one would assume that the extracted method does not use SFCO2 and the integrity of the GLM oil is questioned. As a comparison, OmegaXL capsule weighs 249.92 mg and contains 148.05 mg oil of which label claims 50 mg green lipped mussel oil and the remainder contains 100 mg olive oil. If this is the benchmarked product, how much GLM oil is in the “proprietary blend” of Frezzor Black? I realize that this information is “intellectual property”, then patent the formula or at least list the fatty acid composition.

      Frezzor Omega-3 Black reminds me of those historical claims of the Snake-Oil salesperson selling “snake oil”. Hopefully, Dr. Newman will prove otherwise. Again, this is my opinion based on the product (lot # A4110, Expiration date 1/2017) I paid $69.95 on Amazon. I have posted photos and other information on

      In my opinion, consumers are better off spending their money of some canned sardines, tuna fish, anchovies, or mackerel. One can (“tin”) on sale at our local Shop-Rite costs $0.99 and provides 1,630 – 2,300 mg in EPA and DHA. Compare this to Frezzor that cost $69.95 for 60 capsules that do not list the EPA and DHA contents. As a guide, ConsumerLabs claimed (reported) 6.3 mg EPA and 4.9 mg DHA in an OmegaXL capsule. The standard American diet contains 100 – 200 mg/day of EPA and DHA.

      I have no stake, shares, etc. in any dietary supplement or pharmaceutical companies. I am just a consumer trying to understand the marketing fiction and/or lack of understanding of fatty acids used in dietary supplements.


    • says

      If you are referring to Omega-3 index, see my previous posts. I used both the Vita Choice (higher Omega-3 index) and Bill Harris’ product OmegaQuant (lower Omega-3 index). The Vita Choice provided me with 35 fatty acids in the report and graphs showing my score relative to the rest of the world. Omegaquant’s report was only two pages with no breakdown of the fatty acids in my blood. Both reports gave omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Rather than spending money of fish oil dietary supplements, invest in one of the tests before taking dietary supplements so that you are not wasting your money on some of the useless and bogus fish oil dietary supplements.

  33. J. Smith says


    Perhaps you might have missed the statement in my posting – “borderline cholesterol”, not high. hence my efforts to use fish oil instead of statins.

    Looked at some more posts and see that Pixie’s recommendation of Triglyceride Omega-3 GOLD by NutriGold seems to be a good product to use.

  34. J. Smith says

    Glad that I found this site. My cholesterol level is borderline but TG is high. For some reason, physician wants me to start statins. But I want to give fish oil a shot before taking statins.

    For someone who does not eat fish, so all Omega-3 has to be taken via supplements, I was wondering if there is a recommended one that has some coating to prevent “fish burps” or the fish after-taste.


    • Sam says

      Reading this article and all the comments took me several days. But it is one of the useful things i have done. It could be the same for you. Statins have side effect, just like any other medication. If you have gallstone issues, for example, it would be wise to read the side effects and research material. But, if your cholesterol is so high that it needs to be immediately controlled, you might have no other recourse, for the short term. The study trials on omega3 that i have seen, have been run for durations of 1 month to 6 months+. IMHO, even 1 month is too long to sit with too high cholesterol. Omega3 might take time to work, if at all it works as expected.

    • Han C says

      Recommendations for cholesterol have changed drastically over the last several years and there are many additional tests that are typically done to evaluate the inflammatory component, now believed to be much more important than the absolute and even typical break down of cholesterol. There are many who are now saying that levels of total cholesterol in the 200 range once considered too high are actually healthy when other markers are favorable. Your body actually needs cholesterol to function properly. Find a doctor who gets the additional markers and really understands them before you consider statins and other treatments. Two labs that I know offer very good tests are Health Diagnostics Labs and Singulex. You can contact the companies directly and find out which doctors in your area actually use them. Hope that’s helpful.

  35. AJ says

    Hi Pixe,

    Me and my wife are looking to conceive. We are based in the UK. My wife however has no fish whatsoever, she hates it with a passion. After reading Chris’ article and your/others posts, I want to thank you all for the info. Based on the info I am thinking of the following for her:

    Igennus pharmepa range (Is produced in the UK so would be cheaper than Quell)
    Jarrows Max DHA at night
    Occasionally Kirkland Natural.

    Can you see any issues with the choices, especially Igennus Pharmepa? Did you look into this range in your testing? How does it compare to Quell?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks! : )

    • says

      Look at the label carefully for the Ingenus products, “marine ethyl EPA”. This tells you that the products are ethyl esters and the metabolite is ethanol (ethyl alcohol). This is the same compound that is in the FDA approve drug Vasepa (EPA-ethyl esters). There are warning labels for this drug and not recommended for pregnant and nursing moms. In my opinion, I would not give my spouse an ethyl ester product. Try a TAG product or a rTAG (re- esterified TAG) such as Quell or NutraGold (triglyceride). Your country has a recommended daily intake for DHA for pregnant and nursing moms. Try any of the Nordic Naturals high DHA products and Jarrow’s MAX DHA.


  36. says

    Thank you Chris for the academic breakdown of omega-3s. There is a super oil food below the radar that trumps all other health possibilities.
    The green lipped mussel as delivered by Frezzor is cold processed natural food that exemplifies all of Natures health potentials.
    Delivered in triglyceride form both as Polar and Non polar phospholipids.
    Has ETA which is rare in foods and possibly the best anti-inflammatory of all the long chain fatty acids, that includes DHA and EPA.
    Both toxin free and highly bio-available
    All parameters of excellence including a long shelf life due to its high ORAC.
    Please consider your evaluation so as to educate and inform your readers.

  37. says

    I live in the Philippines. Medicines & supplements are hard to get, I purchased TCP Pharma Inc. O3 mega fish oil capsules. There is no mg or gram indication on the package. Is it from a reputable company? Thanks!

  38. tee cee says

    Pixe: OK, elephant in the room… Any opinions on mercola krill oil? Thank you for all your hard work and excellent info.

    Tee Cee

    • Han C says

      My understanding on Krill is that while they have lower levels of EPA and DHA they are somewhat better absorbed than the forms from fish, furthermore they are much less likely to have mercury or other heavy metals, and for some people the addition of Astaxanthin (which is found is Krill) is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that may provide additional benefits. However, with that said the criticism seems to be that there you may still be low in DHA and EPA even with the better absorption.

      BioTrust makes a product that contains both Krill and Fish Oil. Be curious as to whether anyone else has looked that up and has an opinion on it. They also make other claims with reference to using a different type of technology called VesiSorb that improves absorption.

      • Sam says

        I have seen some research studies that showed that krill is better absorbed and less oxidative than fish oil. But, finding a quality manufacturer who we can trust would be a problem. I have read about BioTrust from another poster here; but have not looked into their claims. Have you seen any double blind study that a third party has conducted, to validate their claims ? Is this manufacturer cGMP certified ? Trusting a newcomer would always be a problem in supplement industry. Since Chris has recommended Neptune in this article, i plan to look into them to see if it is rTAG based krill. Would love to learn more about krill.

  39. Tom Gossard says

    I want to add that, again just for myself, higher proportion of DHA to EPA is not helpful since the higher the DHA component the greater likelihood I will shortly experience mood elevation to the point I begin to have symptoms of hypomania which get progressively worse the longer I take a higher proportion DHA. I hope this is helpful for anybody who is seeking a high EPA Omega-3 for chronic major depression and/or bipolar depression.

    One last share, and not an insignificant one as you will read. A few months ago, on an impulse, I bought and tried Innovix Labs Purified Omega-7 Palmitoleic Acid caps, 460mg Palmitoleic Acid per cap. Taking 1 cap per day, at first I didn’t notice any difference, but I kept on taking them for 2-3 months just to see if a good effect could be had by longer term use.

    Well, I must say I am astounded by the difference Omega-7 Fish Oil has made, dramatically reducing joint soreness and dramatically improving mobility globally! I knew Palmitoleic Acid had helped some people lowering inflammation, but I had no idea the effect would be so extraordinary in my case. I would say easily I have now a ½ to 2/3 reduction in soreness in my joints – each and all of them, head to toe – accompanied by (again subjectively) by near 100% freeer movement in any limb in any direction!!! These effects so far into the cooler and rainier months here in Southern California (I admit not an “acid test” for cold wintery weather as experienced by folks in other parts of the US), have not lessened a whit. Later on this winter, if indeed we do have something more closely resembling a “real winter,” I’ll update my report. In the meantime, anyway, Omega-7 is making an extraordinary difference in real world use in my case. That is cause to cheer, and I have cheered quite a number of times lately. :)

    • Sam says

      You and another person somewhere in this thread (don’t remember her name), who had interest in depression treatment. I remembered you both, when i came across these two research studies:


      I came across this site, while searching the net, and this is a great find, that has gone into my bookmark. Took me long time, but i have gathered much from this comment area discussions. So, i wanted to give back my 2 cents. As an engineer, I believe that our body is a machine with infinite moving parts. Given the interactions between these numerous moving parts, I believe that whole foods make whole lot of sense – so it would be wise to include “wild caught fresh fish like salmon” in your diet, in addition to whatever supplements you try.

      CHRIS – Error in the article…..

      Under V-pure it currently reads “To get a therapeutic dose of 1g/d taking this alone, you’d have to take 9 capsules per day”. But you said it has 350+50 mg of EPA+DHA for 2 capsules !

      • Sam says

        Ah, i just noticed the sentence below my post done few minutes ago….. “Your comment is awaiting moderation”. I am new to this website and my first time commenting. Do all posts have to go through moderation at this website ? This being a weekend, it could take some time before it gets attention of moderator.

      • TOM GOSSARD says

        Hi Sam,

        Many thanks for your 2¢ on eating wild caught fatty fish! I am researching how, and where, I can obtain highest quality at lowest price, given the relatively high cost of fresh fish, in particular the deep sea/clean water high-fat varieties. Fresh Sardines, even in Los Angeles where I live, are hard to find. Low to very low fixed income presents challenges but I’m a very persistent determined person when it comes to procuring whole foods of highest quality, which I can afford. Challenges energize, not discourage or dissuade, me. Healthy nutritious foods and produce are at the top of my priority list. Can’t live without them!

        My intention and goal is to eat fatty fish twice a week, plus other supportive foods for mental/behavioral health, and so on. Minimum.

        The research studies you link to are also very much appreciated. I worked as a staff writer in a large NIMH Research Center for Mental Health Services to Primary Care Patients. Consequently, I find research to be of great value, if and when I can read and understand its findings in relation to real world patient care including home health care, especially.

        I am still hunting for a ‘best fit’ Pure EPA, or, Very High Proportion EPA to DHA, supplement.

        For depression relief, pure EPA’s benefits are very strongly dose-dependent, i.e. I need minimum about 1.5 grams/day rTg EPA to manage mood swings effectively. Less than minimum dose is distinctly less helpful, higher than minimum somewhat more helpful, higher still of little added benefit.

        (I probably should call/email some of the finer fish/sea food restaurants and enquire of their buyers or chefs, where they go for their fresh sardines and anchovies (preferably within a 10 mi radius of my apartment)

        • Sam says

          Hi Tom,
          I am yet to compare prices for whole fish, which i also have to start including more regularly in my diet. But, during my reading of this article and comments, i came across only 2 websites that sell fish directly to us. One is the website that Chris has referred to in his article, called Vital Choice (i came across the name of this site, in reading some other article too). The second one is called wildplanetfoods, which seems to supply to big grocery chains in CA. I can’t afford to spend without thinking either, so i am keeping my eyes open for any online supplier. Talking to the chefs of high end restaurants is a good idea (i don’t have access to such people); they will source from quality places.

          Regarding better EPA ratio, pixie might have this data in his database. Your reply made me take a closer look at the data in the first report i mentioned above. From a statistical standpoint, the data seems to favor the following 3 conclusions:

          1. The optimal dosage of EPA (unopposed) lies somewhere between 500 to 2500 mg/d. That means you want this difference in EPA-DHA. This might depend on the individual need of the body.
          2. The optimal dosage seems to be somewhere near 67% EPA:DHA ratio, but not at 100% EPA. Notice that this data & result is in direct contradiction of the fact that some phama company has chosen to produce pure EPA medication, rather than a mix. This could simply because they needed a patent, and they can not get a patent on fish oil or other supplements that are already out there.
          3. This is a meta-study, and data could be skewed as a result. Further analysis is beneficial.

          I happen to notice that there are many other studies at the same website regarding mental conditions. I didn’t dig further, because my belief is that mind is not only impacted by body, but it is also impacted by mind itself – mind of the past. So, taking supplements in conjunction with other efforts (like exercise, meditation etc.) would yield the most impact.

          Based on these, one option you might consider is simply consuming larger doses of an OM3 (2:1 or 4:1 ratio), to arrive at the total EPA-DHA difference that you works for you. This maybe needed only for initial months/year duration, while you pursue other efforts in conjunction, to rectify the situation. Purely depending on medications/supplements is fruitless in the long run. I am not a doctor; so these are purely my personal opinions. Best wishes.

  40. Tom Gossard says

    11-07.2014 Please note: this morning I expected to place a re-order on Amazon for Nordic Naturals ProEPA Elite 60caps. 2 caps = 1600mg EPA ; Other Omega-3s 60mg.

    It appears (on Nordic Naturals own website) that this product has been discontinued. I cannot find it for sale excepting 3 or 4 websites other than Nordic Naturals site, where it is more expensive &/or unavailable.

    This grieves me considerably since NN’s ProEPA Elite was near ideal dosage and tolerance for me. Now I must try to find another EPA-only (or EPA:DHA ratio 7:1 or greater) which is as high quality an rTAG fish oil product. My preferred daily dose is 1500mg – 1600mg EPA. It is invaluable treating, in addition to prescription drugs, for bipolar disorder. Again, for myself, it acts as a mood stabilizer, and has made an enormous difference in my quality of life.

    I’m confident, eventually, I will find another fish oil product somewhere, but I’m starting from the beginning again, which is a bummer.

    Igennus sells what appears to be a similar fish oil formula product, but it is available only from UK and so will likely be more expensive, perhaps prohibitively so since I have a low fixed income. In fact Nordic Naturals was taking a big bite out of my monthly spending plan, but no question I really need to have it. Last resort I may consult my psychiatrist to see if he can prescribe Vascepa, for a trial period at least.

    • Mark Thornsberry says


      I take Omegavia’s EPA 500. 500 mg EPA only per capsule, no DHA. 3 pills a day would do the trick for you. The price is very good and pharmaceutical grade, at $27.89 (autoship with free shipping) for 120 capsules. If you order, please use my name (Mark Thornsberry) as the referral, I will get a free bottle. Many times I give these bottles out to others to get them started on a trial of it. The research indicates a dose of 2000 mg EPA (4 capsules) a day for 3-4 months until the depression/anxiety is decreased. You can then go on a maintenance dose 1000 mg EPA (2 capsules) a day.

      You also may want to read “The Natural Way to Beat Depression/The Groundbreaking discovery of EPA to change your life”. Excellent book on some of the original research with high dose EPA in Britain. It outlines the high dose EPA protocol in detail.

      The research is pretty clear with fish oil and mood disorders. It seems that the trials that used pure EPA or higher ratios of EPA to DHA were more successful in relieving symptoms. Doses of effective EPA were between 500-2000 mg, more is not necessarily better.

      You may also want to consider doing an Omega Quant bloodspot test. This is invaluable in knowing your AA/EPA ratio which in those with mood disorders is usually very high. This test is only $30 from their site,

      • says

        Great comment. I have nothing against EPA ethyl esters and I am glad they may work for you.

        It is great to see that OmegaVia is helping to reduce the cost of health care by perhaps selling a misbranded and adulterated product that is half-strength (500 mg) of the FDA approved drug Vascepa (1,000 mg) from Amarin Pharmaceuticals Ireland Limited. FDA approved Vascepa on July 26, 2012. This OmegaVia EPA 500 contains undeclared FDA drug substance (active pharmaceutical ingredient, API) EPA-ethyl ester (icosapent ethyl) and FDA says this product is adulterated and misbranded because the label does not disclose to the consumer the true identity of the product per 21 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 111 under cGMP. Under DSHEA Section 3; 21 USC 321(ff)(3)(B), a dietary supplement cannot contain an FDA approved drug substance. Consumers don’t care about their lawful rights and label accuracy and the fact that they are taking “tainted dietary supplements”. That said, in my opinion a great way to reduce your health care cost. In fact, IFOS certified that OmegaVia EPA 500 contains 500 mg (half-strength Vascepa) of the FDA approved drug substance EPA-EE (icosapent ethyl) that is the same as the Japanese prescription drug Epadel (ethyl icosapentate). It is great to know that you are taking the amount 500 mg that is stated on the label (IFOS reports 529 mg of FDA drug substance API).

        Since this is half-strength of the prescription drug Vascepa, users should read the prescribing information for Vascepa at to see how to take the drug successfully without physician supervision. Of particular interest on the prescribing label is: “Do not change your dose or stop taking VASCEPA without talking to your doctor.” If you want to see the details on how this drug works and the FDA approval process for Vascepa, go to: .

        It is interesting how OmegaVia can sell an FDA approved drug substance as a dietary supplement without going through the process of filing an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for their generic-like OmegaVia EPA 500. Seems like a great way to sell a FDA approved drug substance at a fraction of the cost of the prescription drug, great for the consumer. Anyway, since the product is helping you with your condition at a fraction of the cost of Vascepa, seems like a great bargain. As you are aware, Vascepa is approved for lowering blood fat (triglycerides) and not for mood. In my opinion, it is interesting to see a drug used off-label for other health problems and well-being.

        If you want an even higher dose of EPA-EE, then see who are selling 1,000 mg EPA-EE capsules. Rather than taking two OmegaVia EPA 500, you can take one Norwegian Gold 1,000 mg. This is the same dose as the FDA approved drug Vascepa at a fraction of the cost and is also adulterated and misbranded. However, as a consumer, you are getting a bargain without having a prescription and the need of physician supervision.

        I know there is a big difference between FDA approved drugs (prove to FDA efficacy and safety) and dietary supplements (no need to prove efficacy and safety to FDA). Then, FDA approved drugs have been recalled for safety and efficacy.

        Enjoy your generic-like OmegaVia EPA 500 and the benefits it provides you.

        • Tom Gossard says

          Igennus’ PHARMEPA STEP 1:RESTORE 60 Caps, 500mg EPA per cap, has recently changed the products’ active ingredient **from Ethyl Ester (EE) to rTG triglyceride form**

          Some of Igennus’ printed brochures, may not yet reflect the ingredient change: the former one displays “MARINE ETHYL-EPA 90%.” However, the new brochure, and box design, now read “PURE EPA OMEGA-3, 1000mg | 90% concentration”

          Also, listed under “Nutritional Information” on the side panel, is “EPA (rTG) (eicosapentaenoic acid) 1000mg” per serving = 2 capsules.

          Likewise, on the same side panel, “INGREDIENTS/
          RTG EPA (re-esterified triglyceride eicosapentaenoic acid) concentrate from wild anchovy fish oil; capsule shell (fish gelatine [sic], emulsifier: vegetable glycerol: anti-oxidant: vitamin E. (etc.)

          I confirmed the change via email with the Igennus representative.

          I have used this newer rTG product 3 months now, and it is as effective as was the Nordic Naturals EPA-ELITE, Pure EPA (which Nordic Naturals stopped making, quite recently, and is no longer available except at grossly inflated prices from a few online vendors).

          Used as directed, I haven’t experienced any marked difference using the Ethyl Ester, compared to the rTG Triglyceride, processes. However, I always take my alternate, Ethyl Ester, OmegaBrite brand caps, with a fatty meal – for me, taken with a serving of full fat whole milk yogurt, to which a little melted butter is stirred in. With the rTG product, although taking with a fatty meal might be a better way to ingest than all by itself, it is not as important in order to get a full bang for the buck.

          Lastly, PHARMEPA STEP1:RESTORE, purchased online, is somewhat more expensive than the better Ethyl Ester brands, but Igennus does provide several ways to reduce the monthly cost by auto-order (UK-only); or “Bulk Buy” which is a single purchase of 6 boxes, at 60 caps per box, in a special mailer, which is how I buy it, living in the USA.

  41. Amy N says

    Hi. I just per your recommendation asked a company for their COA. I was told this, “Certificate of Analysis are considered proprietary as they contain our “recipe” for the product. ” And of course the answer is no, I can’t see it. What do you think of that reply? Does anyone actually give us the consumer this COA?

  42. Han Chiu says

    This has got to be one of the most well thought out and well researched reviews on fish oils that I have seen. I have a number of questions and comments that I’m hoping can be addressed.

    First, with reference to are you taking the right product or enough fish oil. There is a Genova Labs NutreVal test that will look at your RBC’s and advise you as to the content of EPA & DHA vs the idea population. Now the reference population is Japanese who eat a lot of fish, but this will at least tell you if you are in the right ballpark. I’d be interested in knowing if anyone has a better way to tell if you are getting enough, because once you have a test you can simply increase the dose of whatever you are taking until you get the desired test result (ie feedback).

    Second, I too spoke to Green Pastures about their toxicity levels and they simply advised me that multiple tests show that their product is low in toxicity. However, the gold standard is to look at your hair, blood, and urine for mercury and mine are high. This could, however, be residual from dental amalgams or other fish intake so I’d be curious to know of other peoples experience. Also Green Pastures does not suggest a dose and doesn’t list their levels so I was glad to see this.

    I watched an infomercial on the BioTrust product and they made a number of claims that I am interested in getting feedback on here.

    1. They claimed that 90% of most fish oils are NOT absorbed and not bioavailable. They refer to this study. Essentially the study says that as Triacyglycerols EPA & DHA are absorbed about 60-70% as well as free fatty acids and since the ester form is only 20-21% as well absorbed this gives you close to 90% not absorbed. This is a far cry from 1.5 times less absorbed and would suggest you need to eat 9X the amount not 50% more of the ester form.
    2. VesiSorb The BioTrust product uses VesiSorb which they claim increases absorption by up to 25X. The basic idea is that if Bile improves absorption (hence why taking the fish oils with a fatty meal works better) than a colloidal construct that mimics this and more works better. What do you think?
    3. They claim that CO2 extraction is the safer way to remove toxins and clean the fish oil. Do you agree? Apparently they have some certifications to document this.
    4. Finally they are using a TG based product which as you point out is a variant to EE that perhaps more closely resembles the original product. Their claim is that the data are superior for TG vs EE, but is that really the case since most of the studies are using the EE form right?

  43. Lulu says

    Hi, thanks for all the great info. I was just diagnosed with leaky gut, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and have heavy metal poisoning from 8 different metals. Anyway, part of the doctor’s recommendation is to put me on a very high dose of enteric coated fish oil to help heal the gut so that as I detox the metals, they won’t continue to poison the blood stream. Can you suggest a few safe brands I can look at. I’m so concerned that I’m gonna end up taking something that will make my condition worse. (Already been through 5 surgeries, and all the lifestyle changes I’m implementing are making my head spin.) Thank you.

  44. Sharon says

    I don’t know if anyone has asked you about the PRN Dry Eye Omega Benefits, I scrolled through and didn’t see anything but may have missed it. My mother’s opthamologist recommended it, here is the link to the product:
    My only problem with it, is that you have to sign up for an automatic recurring order with your credit card, and would like to find something comparable that I can buy through another method.

    • says

      I have nothing against ethyl ester products. This is not fish oil and is the ethyl esters of EPA and DHA. These compounds are the same that are in the FDA approved drug Lovaza. Unfortunately the company like many others, did not disclose this required information on the label. Therefore, before taking this product you should read the prescribing information for Lovaza. In my opinion a better purchase would be where you get 180 softgels in TAG. Each capsule supplies 400 mg EPA and 200 mg DHA. Better absorption and your body is use to digesting fat molecules and not ethyl esters.
      I eat lots of fish like those canned sardines when they are on sale 2 for 1 price. If possible diet first, then think about dietary supplements.


  45. ST says

    what are your thoughts on super omega 3’s?
    do you know anything about them? i have requested the COA and asked if TG or EE.
    great article by the way – spot on with info. Well done

  46. Murat says


    Some, if not most, fish oils contain soy or soy derivatives. I assume the ones that specifically indicate “no gluten, no artifical colors, no X…, no Y….) but does not say anything about “soy” also contain soy. I suppose this is mostly true for products that includes “(mixed and/or natural) tocopherols” or “Vitamin E” in their ingredients. For instance, take a look at Sundown Naturals fish oil products: on their label (downloadable from their website), except for salmon oil, it says “No Artificial Color, Flavor or Sweetener, No Preservatives, No Sugar, No Starch, No Milk, No Lactose, No Gluten, No Wheat, No Yeast, No Shellfish. Sodium Free”, all of which including “mixed natural tocopherols”. Their salmon oil product, however, adds “no soy” in the addition to the aforementioned list, which only includes “Gelatin, Vegetable Glycerin” in its ingredients. Among the products that contain soy, only a few indicates non-GMO, which leads me to think the others soy content is genetically modified.

    The worst part is, among the fish or salmon oil softgel products in the form of natural triglyceride, unfortunately I could not find any product that does not contain soy. The Pure Alaskan Salmon Oil does not seem to include any, but it says it includes “vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols)”, from which I assume it indeed contains. Others explicitly state soy content such as, if memory serves correct, Berkley & Jensen, Sam’s Club, Nature Made and CVS, the last one containing other nasty stuff. (As a side note Puritan’s Pride Extra Strength fish oil seems to be not in natural triglyceride from any more) Even recent batches of Nordic Natural’s regular Omega-3 product, when checked from National Institutes of Health’s Dietary Supplements Label Database, “may include soy”. (I also saw photos of previous labels indicating the product may contain soy due to being manufactured with other products that contains soy).

    After this long introduction, I have some questions (I will appreciate your separate reply to each):

    1) What is your general stance on fish oil supplements containing soy? (Please also dwell on GMO vs non-GMO)

    2) Other than the brands mentioned above, is there a fish oil product sold in softgels in the form of natural triglyceride which does not include soy, or at the very least includes non-GMO soy, that I might be overlooking?

    3) Do you agree with me about the Pure Alaskan Salmon Oil about containing soy?

    4) There are high quality fish oils in the EE form that do not contain soy at all such as Innovix. Its actual EPA and DHA (which I roughly calculate by deducting 1.5 times the content) is roughly equal with 2 Kirkland Signature 1000mg softgels. In such case, except cost, the difference boils down to KS containing soy and the other not, and to KS being in the natural triglyceride form and the Innovix in the EE form.

    In this scenerio would you recommend Innovix over KS?


    • BB says

      I checked it before I bought my nordic naturals ultimate omega 3. According to their Q&A answer, despite its vitamin E is derived from soy oil but the formula does not soy protein. It is considered safe to consume even for people who has soy allergy. Besides, the label did mentioned non-GMO as well…

      Just bought ultimate omega 3 + Q10 for my parents, also labelled non GMO.

  47. Patton says

    Sorry if I missed it but when do you take the baseline and when do you take the supplement, or does it really matter? E.g., baseline in the morning and supplement after exercise? Or at meals?

  48. Patrick Quigley says

    I’m 66 and have been taking 6 grams of fish oil (Pure Alaska Omega from Costco) for at least 10 years now. And before that I always took at least 1 gram/day. My annual physical numbers always come up stellar and my BP hovers around 120/70. So I’m on the band wagon, but this article by Chris muddies the water for me: “So I still recommend eating fatty fish a couple times per week, and taking cod liver oil daily, presuming your diet is as I described above. What I don’t endorse is taking several grams per day of fish oil, especially for an extended period of time. Unfortunately this advice is becoming more and more common in the nutrition world.”

    • says

      Great comment. In my opinion, you maybe taking to much fish oil capsules. I would bet that your omega-3 index is above 10.0. You should note that the body can become saturated and not be able to absorb any more EPA and DHA. Studies have shown that the dose response curve plateaus after a certain amount of EPA and DHA. I would get an omega-3 index
      ( test to confirm your values and cut back on taking so many capsules. Then, use the savings to purchase more fatty fish and get your omega-3s the natural way.

      I suspect that the comments from Chris were based on all those studies in which the patients were taking ethyl esters which are not “fish oils.” If taking so much fish oil was harmful, then we should all stop eating “fat” which includes almost everything we eat. Olive oil, etc. are all TAGs and the body has evolved to efficiently digest TAGs. However, ethyl esters are not fat and the body has a defensive mechanism to prevent them from being digested. That is why Lovaza (prescription omega-3, incorrectly called “fish oil”) has to be taken in high doses and with a high fat meal in order for digestion to take place.


      • Deborah says

        Does anyone have any comments about NutraSea? I’ve only found it online. They have liquid & capsules. Good customer service is available, & they’ve been able to answer questions well.

  49. Kyle says

    Hello just read this amazing article and was wondering what someones thought was on this product from from Viva Labs! I chatted with a rep online and he couldn’t answer me about a COA but the website provides allot of info? Any help would be great!!!
    Love your research

    • Earthjamb says

      Hi- really enjoyed much of your article. However I am concerned that people are unaware of the impact of krill fishing. The hi-tech fishing boats are literally sucking up krill all day and all night leaving stocks decimated for all the wildlife that rely on it. Please watch this extremely interesting documentary which I hope will change all of your minds about supporting this worrying industry.
      You have to register to watch and it’s the one about Antarctica but it really is mind blowing. They are literally using machines like hovers and sucking out the contents of the ocean. How can this ever be sustainable? Equally please just google krill fishing. I truly believe this industry cannot be supported- we have survived this long without krill in our lives so why do we need this expensive supplement now?

  50. Sabrina says

    Hello Pixe
    I ordered the Vital Choice capsules recommend by Chris. I received them the mail last Friday but realized they had been sitting in a box in the heat inside of my mail box for maybe 2 hours. I cut one open and did a taste and smell test. They don’t smell really strong but they have a slight fish smell. I tasted them and they taste somewhat like raw fish, but not bad. I’m not sure if they’re rancid?? I would really love your opinion before I start taking them because I’m pregnant and not willing to risk it.

    Thank you!!

    • says

      Hi Sabrina:
      I see no problem with the oil being rancid from the heat. As you know, this product is made from salmon cuttings which is a great way to make products from fish waste (offal). In my opinion, check with your OBGYN because I believe you should be taking a minimum 200-400 mg/day DHA. There are other products out there that have high DHA for pregnancy. However, be careful and make sure these are TAG and not ethyl esters. I posted earlier a list of prenatal DHA products.
      Best of success with your pregnancy.


  51. says

    I’ve been using salmon oil from last 4 months and it worked very well to increase my blood level and personally I feel salmon oil is a safe alternative to some other fish oils. Try it!

  52. Mo says

    Hi Pixe. First off, I’d like to apologize to you.
    Initially I thought you were just another troll that was spreading misinformation, and trying to sell something like every other so-called “expert” out there. But I’ve now seen your many thorough, insightful responses and have concluded that not only are you extremely knowledgeable on the subject, but you also seem to have the consumer’s best interest at heart. So thank you. Truly.

    Second, when I go to your site, all I get is the home page. Should there be articles up already or are you still working on them?

    Finally, what do you think about Omega Cure? It’s expensive, but they claim to be the “Rolls Royce” of fish oil. According to their website:
    -They use natural, raw, full-spectrum oil (non-winterized)
    -Their products “comes from wild cod captured off the north-west coast of Norway, following the strict sustainable fishing regulations of the Norwegian government. ”
    -A Norwegian health magazine study named their product THE best:

    “Omega3 Innovations recently learned that their Omega Cure liquid fish oil ranked the freshest in a Norwegian study that examined more than 100 brands of omega-3 fish oil products.

    The physician-directed, Venice-based health-food company was excited to hear of the high ranking in a study published in the Norwegian health magazine, Vitenskap & Fornuft (“Science & Reason”), according to co-founder Dr. Bo Martinsen.

    “We are extremely proud of the results,” Martinsen said, adding that the findings showed Omega Cure’s freshness was attributed to it having one-hundredth the oxidation levels of other leading omega-3 products.

    The study examined more than 100 brands of omega-3 marine-sourced products, including capsules and liquid fish oils. Martinsen said that more than half of the products initially selected were excluded because they contained too many added ingredients to provide an accurate oxidation value, and 95 percent of the remaining 56 products didn’t meet industry standards.”

    -They also claim most of these pills have ridiculously long shelf lives and that oxidation and rancidity occurs throughout the entire process, so that by the time we get our product, it’s probably already rancid.
    -Another one of their premises is you should treat your oil like your food. You wouldn’t have your fish sitting on a shelf for months before consuming it so why would you do that with your fish oil?
    -I agree with the idea of taking your oil in a liquid form and maintaining its freshness with refrigeration.
    -I couldn’t find them on the IFOS cert list.

    Thanks in advance~

    • says

      No problem on the trust. I am just pointing out how we as consumers are being taken advantage of because of the Dr. Oz and Inuit effect. Consumers are not aware of cGMP by way of 21 CFR 111 (Current Good Manufacturing Practice in Manufacturing, Packaging, Labeling, or Holding Operations for Dietary Supplements) describes in detail the “label holder” responsibility for accurate labeling and disclosing the true identity of their dietary supplements. Then DSHEA of 1994 removed the FDA’s pre-market approval for “label holders” introducing new dietary supplements into the marketplace. As such, any “label holder” can put whatever they feel like on the dietary supplements regardless of efficacy. Then, the FDA has the burden of proof to show that the product is adulterated and misbranded. By the time the FDA figures this out, the “label holder” closes shop and moves on with a different name. See for more information.

      My is a work in progress and will be updated as more information becomes available.


  53. Ishaan says

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for a very useful article.
    I have chronic inflammation due to psoriasis… if i choose to take Krill Oil on a daily basis.. shall i take supplemental and baseline recommendations as well at the same time on a daily basis.. will it be of any help or will be it a over dose?


    • says

      In my opinion, Nordic Naturals has always used natural fish oil TAG or synthetic fish oil (re esterified TAG) in their products. The best product for you will depend on what is your nutritional and health objectives. Remember to try to get these omega-3s from food first.


  54. Alicia says

    Hi, what about the minami brand of omega? I am taking Mordha by Minami as a breastfeeding mom. I really want to know I am taking the best for my child, what’s your feedback? Thanks!!!!

    • says

      I hate to alarm you but this product is not “fish oil”. It is the ethyl esters and the same compound that is in the FDA prescription drug Lovaza. MorDHA contains 465 mg DHA-ethyl esters vs. 375 mg in Lovaza. Here is the warning message on the prescribing information for Lovaza: “8.3 Nursing Mothers
      Studies with omega-3-acid ethyl esters have demonstrated excretion in human milk. The effect of this excretion on the infant of a nursing mother is unknown; caution should be exercised when LOVAZA is administered to a nursing mother. An animal study in lactating rats given oral gavage 14C-ethyl EPA demonstrated that drug levels were 6 to 14 times higher in milk than in
      plasma. ” You can read it yourself at:

      In my opinion, I would stop taking this ethyl ester and get a TAG product such as Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA. There are others but I will get back to you on Monday with other TAG based products. The issue with ethyl esters, although small amounts, is the production of ethanol (ethyl alcohol) as a metabolite. Also, ethyl esters need to be taken with with a high fat meal in order to be effective.


      • Alicia says

        Wow, really??!!! Thanks for your response! How do you know it is the ethyl ester if it says it is fish oil from sardines and anchovy?? Is this because of the CO2 process they use to break it down? I am really glad you chose to share this information with me as I would not have known, please do get back on Monday with other products you recommend!!

        • says

          I have purchased more than 1,500 dietary supplements and analyzed them for whether they are TAG or EE. Unfortunately, most of the “label-holder” of these products are clueless (my opinion) of what is in the products they sell. They have a contract manufacturer produce the product. The CO2 has nothing to do with it. This is just a hype statement to make the company appear as being up to date with the latest processing. Again, unfortunately, many label-holders are not up to date with the current technology and nomenclature used in the omega-3 marketplace.

          I have nothing against any company. My argument is for truth in labeling. The ethyl ester products contain the same chemical compounds in both Vascepa and Lovaza that are FDA approved drug substances. These are EPA and DHA ethyl esters. As such, you should read the warning labels for these products. The warning labels specifically discourage use by pregnant and nursing moms. See the warnings for Lovaza at:

          Here is the list:
          Product……………………………………..—–DHA EPA Form Distributor
          Lovaza ………………………………………. 365 475 EE GlaxoSmithKline
          Expecta Lipil……………………………….. 200 0 TAG Mead J&J
          Preganacy Plus…………………………….. 210 310 EE Fairhaven Health
          DHA Preantal Supplement……………….. 200 0 TAG CVS Pharmacy
          Platinum Prenatal ——————————– 525 105 TAG Platinum Naturals
          Daily Prenatal ——————————– 225 45 TAG Nordic Naturals
          Prenatal DHA ——————————— 225 45 TAG Nordic Naturals
          21st Century Prenatal DHA —————– 200 0 TAG 21st Century Health Care Inc
          ChildLife Prenatal DHA —————– 500 80 EE ChildLife
          Bluebonnet Early Promise Prenatal DHA— 200 0 TAG Bluebonnet
          21st Century Prenatal DHA —————– 200 0 TAG 21st Century Health Care Inc
          Oceans Mom ——————————— 350 15 EE Garden of Life
          Leader PreNatal DHA —————– 200 0 TAG Cardinal Health
          ChildLife Pure DHA ———————————500 80 EE ChildLife
          MyBrest Friend ——————————–100 150 TAG MyBrest Friend
          Omega Natal ——————————— 250 125 EE AOR
          Oceans Mom ——————————— 350 15 EE Garden of Life
          Women’s Daily Prenatal combo pack 200 240 EE Target
          One A Day Women’s Prenata with DHA 200 23 EE Bayer

          I apologize if the format of the above table did not come out correctly.
          Be informed of what you are exposing your fetus and nursing offspring to.

          EE = ethyl ester, TAG = triacyl-sn-glycerol.
          TAG are natural oil (fat) that you eat every day. EE are synthetic chemical compounds that your digestive system tries to prevent from gaining access to your systemic circulation system.


  55. Jon K says

    I’ve been taking a product which derives it’s Omega 3’s from Calamarine (squid). It’s daily serving is 2 gel caps which in total, provide 800 DHA/200EPA. I’m considering a change to something different due to the fact that I’ve been diagnosed with a mid level (2) food sensitivity to Soy, which this product contains. What is your take on Calamarine (squid)??

    • says

      This is not Calamari (Squid) oil. It is the ethyl esters made from squid offal. “Much of the calamari harvested for human consumption does not make it to the market, but is discarded as “cut offs” during food preparation. The material left over from the preparation of calamari is abundant in high quality omega-3, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).” See

      These cuttings are then reacted with ethanol in the presence of sulfuric acid to make the ethyl esters. Jarrow Formulas MaxDHA was TAG calamari offal. However, Jarrow does not make this product anymore and switched to fish based formula. In fact, you can’t get the ethyl ester version in Australia.


      • jay kan says

        Pixe, TY for all your help! just great!
        i know you said earlier you take the Jarrow Dha before bed personally for DHa intake.. do you think it is still ok now changed from calamari to fish based Dha.? meaning how rancid it is and maybe toxin free?

  56. Brian says

    Wow, great thread, much to digest ;~)>

    After my H/A almost 3 years ago my cardio Dr told me to stop smoking, start eating fish oil, baby aspirin and get your heart going for 20 minutes 3X a week on a treadmill (or whatever I like).

    I quit smoking cold turkey – “next time you might not be so lucky”.

    I sit in front of a keyboard for a living and my cholesterol is such that I am taking a statin to boot.
    The treadmill still looks new.

    So I get the best “fish oil” walmart has to offer. After a couple years I looked closer at the supplement situation and read krill was the bomb, sometimes. Then comes calamari, before I even try some krill.

    First I get some Swansons Super DHA 500 from Calamari – Calamarine EE – 500mg DHA, 125 EPA. A bit on the pricey side. Gotta be something better?

    So now (and was mentioned earlier in the thread briefly) Carlsons EcoSmart Omega-3, 1000mg calamari, 360mg DHA, 140mg EPA as EE (again). I eat 4 a day.

    So, what’s the other 50%?

    Both come from Calamarine as EE, not rTG.

    Mentioned earlier in thread, close to Jarrow Max DHA but no comments after that (Jarrow seemed like a good recommendation).

    My daughter mentioned my complexion looked good lately. I’ll make for a pretty corpes, wonderful.

    So, what would you experts suggest?

    I’m thinking buy a costco card, eat a handful of the “good” fish oil they carry every day and see if the stuff I have will burn well enough to keep the mosquitoes away or keep buying this stuff?

    Any insight to these products would be appreciated!!!

  57. g davis says

    hi chris,
    i see you mentioned look for products with at least 200-300 mg of DHA no more that 3 cap. 2/day
    what about EPA mg?

  58. says

    Hello just read this amazing article and was wondering what your thought was on this product from from Viva Labs! I chatted with a rep online and he couldn’t answer me about a COA but the website provides allot of info? Any help would be great!!! Thanks again Chris
    Love your research

  59. says

    Hello just read this amazing article and was wondering what your thought was on this product from from Viva Labs! I chatted with a rep online and he couldn’t answer me about a COA but the website provides allot of info? Any help would be great!!! Thanks again Chris

  60. madan mohan verma says

    What is the wholesale international price of Marine Oil(KM2040) packed in drums manufactured out of Krill Meal

  61. jacob says

    Does IFOS charge you to get tested? Why wouldn’t more companies submit for testing? There is a brand I have been using that I love, high DHA. They did have a COA, but I rarely see them on any top 10 list. The marketing hype aside, the ingredients seem solid, but at such high doses I wish you could give your batch to a third party and get it tested yourself. I wonder if any labs do this for a regular consumer.

  62. Ashish says

    I use a fish oil from a company called Xtendlife based out of New Zealand. Can you post your views about the company and its fish oils. Thanks in advance.

  63. Mr. Micawber says


    So Douglas Labs doesn’t sell directly to consumers. Where do you recommend buying it? Obviously, it should be as fresh as possible right?

  64. says

    Hi Chris, I bough today, by the first time in my life, fish oil omega 3 with the name Healthy America fish oil 1200 mg Dietary Supplement with EPA 216 mg. and DHA 144 mg. Is this a recognize brand? can I trust on it? what’s your opinion about this brand?. I opened a capsule and it smell a fish but it is a fresh odor.I bough it en El Salvador, and it is suppose to be imported from the States.

  65. Sabrina says

    I ordered the Vital Choice capsules recommend by Chris. I received them the mail last Friday but realized they had been sitting in a box in the heat inside of my mail box for maybe 2 hours. I cut one open and did a taste and smell test. They don’t smell really strong but they have a slight fish smell. I tasted them and they taste somewhat like raw fish, but not bad. I’m not sure if they’re rancid?? I would really love your opinion before I start taking them because I’m pregnant and not willing to risk it.

    Thank you!!

  66. Marilyn says

    It’s 2014 and I see that Jarrow MAX DHA at Vitacost and Amazon is now made solely from calamari oil– Not sardines and anchovies. I wonder what Chris et al would say about calamari oil? Google here I come… :-)

  67. Simon says

    Hi Pixie, saw your recommendations above.

    Quell but it was very expensive rTAG and then for a good source of DHA I take Jarrows Max DHA at night. My main OM3 is Nutrigold Triacylglycerol (triglyceride) and occasionally Kirkland Natural.

    Not a single one is available in the UK.

    Any equivalent for the UK?

    Price is not an issue at all, just quality.


  68. Don says

    Chris, I saw quite a few researches suggesting that increased intake of DHA and EPA from oily fish can mediate children’s dust mite allergy symptoms, is it really true?

    Do you think Paleo diet will help kids with dust mite allergy ?

  69. Lucy says

    Any information on Shaklee Omegaguard? And which the better product Kirkland or Nature Made? Thank you for your help.

  70. Sally says

    Thanks for your work Chris. My question is, how many of the Neptune Krill Oil tabs are necessary to get the 2-3 grams per day for triglyceride reduction. Is it 2-3 grams of DHA or 2-3 grams of the combination of fish oils.

  71. says

    Vital Choice salmon oil is not “processed without heat.” Rather, “the highest temp in the process is 240 degrees… no solvent [is used], just steam and pressure.” I have that in writing from the company (April 2014). It is my understanding, however, that heat is actually not so much a concern as oxygen. “Fish oil should be covered with an inert gas, such as nitrogen, at all possible points during production. This is often referred to as nitrogen purging” ( The same article says that an alternative is to add strong enough antioxidants. I don’t know if VC’s oil has either of these protections. I asked about oxygen exposure and haven’t heard back.

  72. Sarah says

    Pixe in the beginning of the blog comments you posted that you recommend Quell as the best rTAG and Kirkland Natural as the best TAG… and you said as an experiment you are personally using Kirkland and Nutragold plus Jarrow Max… do you now prefer nutragold and jarrow max over Quell? Also, should one use natural fish oil in combination with an rTAG for superior health?

    • says

      At first I was taking the Quell but it was very expensive rTAG and then for a good source of DHA I take Jarrows Max DHA at night. My main OM3 is Nutrigold Triacylglycerol (triglyceride) and occasionally Kirkland Natural. Now I cut back because my omega-3 index is 13 and no need to waste money while at the same time get OM3 from diet. The OM3 capsules I was taking was for an experiment because I analyze my own fatty acid blood profile. I also try to eat salmon once a week and snack on sardines when they are on sale. Diet first.

      Quell rTAG is quite pure with very little DAGs and MAGs and is still one of the best, in my opinion.


  73. Meredith Landers says

    Hi Chris! Thanks for taking the time to test different fish oils! Before I read your article just now, I had been doing a lot of reading about Fish & Krill Oils. I liked what I saw about Bio Nutrition’s Omega 5x & their “Omega Desert”. Have you tried theirs?

  74. Jeff says

    Hi Pixe,

    What do you think of TrueNutrition’s Fish Oil? 1000mg (180 EPA, 120 DHA).

    I did rqeuest a CoA from them and they mentioned the fish are sourced from European cod but the physical process of manufacturing the materials and filling is handled by a cGMP manufacturer in China.

    My only issue is that their third party cert is done from a subsidiary company of sorts. Makes it seem less credible.

    Similar to Kirkland Signature that you suggest? Or worse?

  75. EM says

    What is you opinion about RealDose Essentials? Based on your article, natural TGD oils are not concentrated or purified and may contains high levels of contaminants. This product states it is super concentrated, pharmaceutical grade and ultra purified (anchovy) oil. It is also in a natural TGH form? Is this possible?

  76. Tom G says







    • Travis says

      Thank you for your information. It gives me a starting point. If more information comes along later, then I can change up.
      Again thank you

  77. Tom G says

    Shawn and Travis:

    If I may, until PIXE responds, I would suggest you try Nature’s Bounty Maximum Strength Fish Oil 1,400 mg – 980 mg Omega-3 – 130 Enteric Coated Liquid Softgels

    1 softgel taken daily contains 980mg total EPA+DHA, EPA=647mg, DHA=253mg, for a ratio EPA:DHA about 2.5 (a good number).

    You can buy these on Amazon, but they cost appreciably less when you buy at Costco. Cost is average for a Omega-3 fish oil product.

    You might want to read some customer reviews of this product on Amazon. Be sure find a match of product description, in particular for total Omega-3 provided per serving, and corresponding amounts of EPA and DHA. Nature’s Bounty makes several Omega-3 supplements which mainly differ in milligrams per serving.

    Overall, customer reviews are very good to excellent, in particular mentioning complete lack of fishy aftertaste, or fishy burps, both of which are due to rancid fish oil, which is a strongly negative indicator — with a high quality fish oil, there should be no fishy aftertaste or fishy burps!

    A more expensive brand (not necessarily indicating a higher quality product than Nature’s Bounty), which PIXE speaks highly of, is Nordic Naturals. Nordic Naturals has a line of Omega-3 fish oil products which vary in overall strength/potency, amounts in milligrams (mg) EPA and DHA per serving, and the number of capsules or softgels per serving (e.g., 2, or 3 softgels/capsules constititute 1 serving).

    My 2 cents worth. Good luck!

    • Leigh says

      So after that whole thread you then go to recommend a product based on EPA/DHA content without knowing if its rTAG/TAG or EE?


      My advice, everyone just read PIXE’s posts who is clearly the expert in this topic

      • Tom G says

        As I said, until PIXE weighs in, my 2cents about a high quality moderately priced Omega-3 fish oil supplement, where cost is an important criteria, my recommendation stands. Though I understand and agree with PIXE’s favoring rTAG/TAG over Ethyl Ester, it isn’t of necessity a critical, deciding factor in making a decision to start a trial.

        Some highest quality Omega-3 supplements are Ethyl Ester, while others are not. For example, I have taken an Omega-3 fish oil supplement, OmegaBrite, for nearly 20 years. It is Ethyl Ester, yet it is also of highest quality and a top choice for my needs, primarily treatment of Bipolar Disorder. Recently, I did a self-trial of Nordic Naturals ProEPA Elite, and, though it costs somewhat more, I have observed a possible slight difference in its effect, compared to OmegaBrite. ProEPA Elite (formerly EPA Elite) is a rTAG Supplement. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend either to someone who is looking for a high proportion EPA to DHA (7-1 for OmegaBrite, EPA-only for Nordic Naturals.)

        Shawn and Travis, you could definitely wait for PIXE to comment since she is the undisputed expert, that is, if you think only the expert should suggest or make a recommendation, and you’re willing to wait indefinitely.

        Given PIXE’s expertise, she would be the exclusive go to, but there are others in these threads who have long term experience taking Omega-3 supplements, and though their opinions may not be the Gold Standard, both of you have expressed the desire to buy a safe, high quality, moderately priced Om-3 supplement product, and you may want to try something on your own, which I encourage you to do. Nature’s Bounty (Ethyl Ester) meets those criteria, is not very expensive, and it is easily available from Costco, or online. So, meantime, I decided to suggest Nature’s Bounty (or the more expensive Nordic Naturals if you prefer) are two qualified candidates. Don’t take my word, though, do as you prefer.

        Maybe when PIXE next comments in this thread, she can state her own view about whether other users of Omega-3 supplements here can make cautious, considered suggestions/recommendations. Leigh, if you think that is a laughable idea, you’re welcome to laugh as much and as long as you like. I get it, evidently you believe no one here should start taking any Omega-3 Fish Oil product without PIXE’s approval, in which case a number of people here may need to wait a long time to get their answer. I disagree.

  78. travis says

    I have almost the same question that Shawn has. Is there any reason you wont recommend certain brand or at least a group of few to choose from. I spent hours on here and just need some advice.


    below is Shawn’ s well said question – was there an answer?


    I’m a 45 male and suffer from arthritis. I was hoping you could recommend a safe, good absorbing and moderately priced Omega 3 supplement for inflammation. Please do not refer me to a study or provide a research link as I’m not a scientist and really don’t understand what they are saying. I’ve read through this entire thread and like many others have become more confused than when I first started. If you were in my situation (putting aside the assumption of a healthy diet) which one would you take and about how much?

    Thank you,

    • says

      I am bias towards natural fish oils i.e. triacyl-sn-glycerol (TAG) that are natural fat that our bodies have evolved to digest. Also, re-esterified TAG (rTAG) are synthetic products but still fat that the gut can digest.

      For ethyl esters, which are not fish oils, the body has a defensive mechanism to prevent them from being digested to produce ethanol and free fatty acid (intermediate). As a result, you have to take high doses for them to be partially effective. Also, you need to eat fat to get them digested which is opposite of the reason why you are taking ethyl esters. So, why waste your money on a product that is difficult to digest and absorb. Yes, the FDA approved drugs Lovaza and Vascepa are ethyl esters. However, look at the size of the dose needed to get the desired pharmacological effect. As rTAGs become more studied, I would speculate that if an rTAG were to make it to FDA approval for triglyceride lowering, Lovaza and Vascepa would fade away (my opinion).

      The pharmacokinetic data of Lovaza and Vasecpa show that high doses are needed.


  79. melanie says

    I have read that Vit E supplements should be taken with Omegas to combat free radicals. Is this true?

  80. W. S. says

    Pixe, et al: I am curious if you can tell me anything about Daily DHA from

    Their web page says “molecularly distilled, ensuring no heavy metals or mercury in the supplement” and also:

    “Daily DHA™ fish oil is in the *natural* triglyceride form (TG). The TG form of fish oil is more bioavailable than ethyl esters (EE). The triglyceride form is easier for the body to digest and absorb. The triglyceride form is a more stable form of fish oil that will not oxidize in the capsule. This means no “fishy taste” or burping of fish oil and better DHA uptake into cells.”

    “Our mercury-free DHA is the finest essential fatty acid available in the world and a proven nutrient for cardiovascular fitness.”

    Their price is well below Quell, etc. What’s the story on this?

    • says

      I will place an order for this item and let you know in the future the results. Sounds interesting product and I bet it is re-esterified rTAG.

  81. Alina Gharabegian says

    Hi, Chris –

    Thanks for the thorough article. When I cut my pill in half, I could smell lemon. Is it possible that the pill is flavored with lemon to make it taste better, etc., or is it NECESSARILY the case that lemon is used to mask rancidity? Thanks.


  82. Amy says

    First, I would like to say “Thank You!” to all who have contributed information. This has been a very informative read.
    I have been having a side effect issue from taking fish oil that I have not seen discussed and I was hoping to receive some feed back from the experts.
    I have tried a few different fish oil products and two very different brands caused my tongue to taste metallic after just a couple of weeks of taking the product. Of course, I immediately stopped the product. But it has me wondering, am I the only person experiencing this side effect? And, what potentially is wrong with the fish oil that is causing this side effect? Is the radiation from Fukushima finally catching up to the fish oil industry?

    • Tom G says

      Metallic taste is most often a consequence of the fish oil’s being rancid. Either the fish oil wasn’t fresh, it was rancid already at the time manufacture, or, it turned rancid due to improper storage or not being discarded by a sell-buy date by the manufacturer or the retail store, i.e., drug store, health foods store, etc.

      There may be still other reasons for your having a metallic taste, other than or in addition to rancidity of the fish oil product.

      PIXE covers side effect questions quite thoroughly, so you might want to wait until you hear from her before you make any buying decisions or courses of action, should you want to submit a formal complaint to the appropriate authorities, etc.

    • says

      Without telling us the brand that gave you this bad taste, tell us the amount of EPA and DHA in the product and I will offer an explanation. It is known that certain types of omega-3s compounds cause your taste buds to change.

  83. Shawn says


    I’m a 45 male and suffer from arthritis. I was hoping you could recommend a safe, good absorbing and moderately priced Omega 3 supplement for inflammation. Please do not refer me to a study or provide a research link as I’m not a scientist and really don’t understand what they are saying. I’ve read through this entire thread and like many others have become more confused than when I first started. If you were in my situation (putting aside the assumption of a healthy diet) which one would you take and about how much?

    Thank you,

    • says

      Hi Shawn:
      Sorry for the delay as I was busy compiling information on sellers of bogus krill oil dietary supplements.

      As a starter for inflammation, start reducing your intake of omega-6s from fast foods use of linoleic acid (LA) from vegetable cooking oils (soy, corn, and cottonseed) and arachidonic acid (AA) derived mainly from meat and dairy products. LA and AA contributes to the production of pro-inflammatory compounds and compete with enzymes used with omega-3s to produce anti-inflammatory compounds.


    • says

      This is a good product but taste is a little awful (personal) opinion. In this case, Coromega did perform better than traditional fish oil because it is an emulsion. That is the reason and function of the gall bladder is to produce phospholipids that are powerful emulsifiers. Here is a link to the paper on the clinical trial with Coromega.
      Enhanced Absorption of n-3 Fatty Acids from Emulsified Compared with Encapsulated Fish Oil Susan. K. Raatz, PhD, RD; J. Bruce Redmon, MD; Nyra J. Wimmergren, RN; James V. Donadio, MD*; Douglas M. Bibus, PhD.
      General Clinical Research Center and Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, *The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
      J Am Diet Assoc. 2009; 109:1076-1081
      Dr. Raatz has published several peer reviewed papers on the absorption and ingestion of fish oil and fish.

  84. says

    I thought I would give your followers a warning about companies selling fake krill oil. I purchased more than 120 samples of krill oil from various companies and I can say about 1/3 are not krill oil. These 1/3 products are mainly corn, soybean, or olive oil with astaxanthin. You should not purchase products that just list the krill oil content and this is a red flag. Also, it is a violation of DSHEA not to list the amounts of bioactives EPA and DHA since these are what is being supplemented. See my latest post at with details on two products of krill oil. Amazing how expensive this $67.00 product is for 60 capsules and you get very little krill oil. Wow, I can buy about 60 tins of sardines for that money and get about 1300 mg EPA+DHA per tin.

    Also, asking any readers if they purchased the BioTrust product OmegaKrill 5X. Does your product have a date of manufacture or expiration date? Also, the product contains polysorbate 80.


    • Weightress says

      Yes…I have place 2 orders already for BioTrust OmegaKrill 5x and I’m SO glad to have read THIS article and the Snakeoil article as well. Thanks Pixe!! There is a LOT# and a BEST BEFORE date printed on the container.

  85. big_emon says

    Hi all, i have a blood mercury posion from amalgam and also a very thick blood because i have a jawbone cavitation/jawbone infection/jawbone toxicity(different names same meaning), this jawbone toxicity produce a very acidic enviroment and makes me hiperagregation(a very thick blood)…Now i consume Carlson fish oil Elite but i see it’s not from salmon, is salmon fish oil better ? i also take Carlson DHA fish opil, but again i just realize that it is not from salmon, is salmon DHA better ? thank you foir helping me all, Giod bless

  86. Merry says

    Hi Chris, I am trying to find an appropriate oil to feed my cat – one with the omega-3’s but with vitamin A filtered out. They get vitamin Already in their regular canned food and this is considered enough. I also want an oil with heavy minerals filtered out. You wrote high heated used in this process removes the vitamin A, but maybe it breaks down everything else, too – I don’t know! But interested if you know of anything that matches up with what I am looking for. Nordic Naturals makes a pet cod liver oil but it is only for medium to large size dogs (it retains the vitamin A). Thanks!

    • Amanda says

      Hi Merry! I have the exact same questions, I noticed no one here has replied with an answer, but I am wondering if you have found the answers elsewhere and if you would share them with me! I have a cat with IBS that has drastically improved on Spectrum Naturals Fish Oil caps-which seem to be Vit A free since the sources are mackerel, sardines and anchovies but I am not certain that these are entirely Vit A free…. I would like to learn more! Thanks!

  87. Dedee says


    Is Kirkland Fish oil a good choice? I like the price, but it also makes me question the quality.

    I’m looking for a good quality fish oil that is free of toxins, and this product appears to be USP verified for mercury, pcbs, etc.

    I believe I also want something that does not contain ethyl esters, although I’m a bit confused about this topic. Does Kirkland meet this criteria?

    I noticed above that you mentioned not to use the enterically coated capsules. Does the following link match the Kirkland product that you were referring to? I saw you gave a link to UK Costco, but was wondering if this is the same product on Amazon.

    Thank you.

    • says

      That is the correct product. Take two per day and you meet the AHA recommendation of two oily fish meals (3.5 oz) per week.

  88. Roop says

    Most of “good ” fish oils use anchovies, mackeral, tuna as their raw material. However these fish have very high histamine values. From that standpoint one would like salmon based fish oil as salmon has low histamine value. With that background which fish oil would you recommend for those who like to observe a low histamine diet and want to use fish oil.

  89. Julie says

    very interesting and informational article! You might consider putting Omega Cure from Omega Innovations on your list of recommended fish oils. After reading your article (and tons more) on rancid fish oils, I started really researching (and trying) fish oils and found that Omega Cure has the only quality that I can trust. I’ve tried Nordic Naturals – overrated and sells rancid fish oils that have been traveling all over the world on warm cargo ships (said by their own customer service agent) and they have horrible customer service (will gladly take your money but will not take any responsibility if there are issues “we inspect every bottle that leaves our facility and every bottle leaves in perfect condition. we are not responsible if something happened during shipment. you’re going to have to take it up with the delivery company”)

  90. says

    Just got my Omega-3 index back from OmegaQuant and it is 13.4. As an experiment to test to see if the advertising about taking fish oil works, I have been taking two capsules per day (800 mg EPA 400 mg DHA) of NutraGold Triacylglycerol (Triglyceride on the label) and Jarrows Max DHA (250 mg DHA and 65 mg DHA) at night. I also take Kirkland Natural Omega-3 Fish oil (not the enteric ethyl esters). Both are TAG. I also eat sardines and salmon at least once per week and I exercise twice per day. I am not sure what contributed most to the rise in the omega-3 index, diet or supplements. I think both made a contribution.

    However, although I am happy with my score, I don’t want to get a false sense of longevity based on an omega-3 index. Knowing that the odds are in my favor based on all those studies about CVD and CHD and omega-3s, I will continue my normal lifestyle. I don’t smoke or drink and try to eat healthy with an occasional apple pie and ice cream.

    As I mentioned, I would invest in the omega-3 index test at $29.95 at I got my results within one week. Good investment, however, don’t get complacent about your health. Lightening could strike you while you are taking your fish oil.

    Obviously, your results will vary.


  91. Patty says

    It is Vital Choice all the way. Have been taking it for years. Their cans of sockeye salmon and albacore tuna are beyond perfect..

  92. Rhonda says

    Hi Pixe,
    Like Ticamon, I am interested in your opinion of the Metagenics Fish Oil, as a practitioner only product, it is readily available in Australia.

  93. jay says

    hi, so am i right that krill oil is not a good fish oil supplement to take?
    and has the Biotrust new supplement got your approval Pixe?
    many thanks to you and all giving input here!!
    i am not wanting a high EPA particularly , just normal extra bit of some kind of omega 3. EPA/ DHA still eluding me so far!!

    • says

      Don’t waste your money. I will have details shortly.
      Lot # 1401051 there is no expiration or manufacturing date on my bottle which I believe is a violation of the law.
      Stay tuned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • says

          My bottle with lot number 1401051 with no expiration or manufacture date (violation of DSHEA) does not contain Krill oil. Because there is no date, no telling when the product was produced. It is not the equivalent amount 2,300 mg DHA/EPA claimed.

          I filed a complaint with the FDA and FTC for false claims and false advertising.

          This is a ripoff to me. False advertising. I would not purchase this product based on “OmegaKrill 5X” thinking that you will get Krill oil. See my current report at


  94. Ticamom says

    Many opinion on Metagenics brand? They have a high dha product that provides 600 dha (and 60 EPA) in just 1 pill. Granted it’s much more expensive (around $50 for 90 servings) but I like the high dose in just one pill. Was wondering if quality justified price. Thanks!

    • Randi says

      The Omega Cure product is monitored by two dedicated doctors that are also owner of the company that distribute this product. Their raw material is based on oil produced from pure and fresh atlantic cod liver. The raw material used in the production of this oil has certain requirements; One of them is that the raw material must be totally fresh and come from a cod catch on the same day it goes into crude oil production. I also know that the raw material goes through a particular selection for this brand. Only two producers in the world can comply with the standards that Omega Cure require for the oil that they distribute. Therefore the high price. They btw have celebrity customers like Jennifer Aniston.

      • Julie says

        Omega cure is the ONLY fish oil that I trust. You know it’s fresh when you can put a spoonful of fish oil in your mouth and it’s not fishy. Must take within 5 weeks or it starts to smell fishy – another indicator that the oil is super fresh upon delivery.
        Also unlike other fish oil companies, they send you the oil in a fully insulated box with ice packs in it.

        Companies like Nordic Naturals will send you fish oils in transparent bottles that arrive warm (stay away).

      • Mo says

        Randi, where did you get the information on their sourcing and production process? Everything I can find on this company seems to be sales literature, although I really do like their premise.

  95. alice says

    how can a molecular distilled product claimed to be in natural Triglyceride form eg Jarrow max DHA? I am confused!

  96. Tom Gossard says


    In my comment just completed I misstated the amount of DHA contained in four caps OmegaBrite Ethyl Ester, and, correspondingly the ratio of EPA to DHA I stated is different.

    Each cap of OmegaBrite contains 350 mg EPA, and 50 mg DHA, a ratio of 7 to 1 EPA to DHA. 3 caps daily is the suggested dose on the OmegaBrite label. That works out to 3X350 mg or 1050 mg total EPA, and 3X50 or 150 mg DHA in one daily dose 3 caps. In addition, 3 caps supplies 150 mg “Other Omega-3 Fatty Acids,” 60 mg “Omega-6 Fatty Acids,” and 85 mg “Other Fatty Acids.”

    My daily dose of OmegaBrite caps is four (4) caps, which altogether contain 1,400 mg EPA, and 200 mg DHA [not 350 mg as I misstated]. I apologize for any confusion arising from these discrepancies.

  97. Tom Gossard says

    For tasty, creative ways to prepare sardines Italy and Portugal, for example, have had centuries of experience incorporating them into their daily diet. A good Italian cookbook with varieties of seafood recipes will probably give you ideas for preparing sardines the way *you will enjoy them.* They’re very tasty when prepared and cooked properly in a good recipe.

    Anchovies, too, are a practical and versatile choice of oily fish which, like sardines, will provide substantial quantities of healthy Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Again, cultures such as those in Italy, Portugal, and Scandinavia would be valuable and rewarding to consult. Fresh anchovies are much harder to find a good source, but with a little persistence you might find one to supply you. Fresh anchovies are also tasty – very tasty imo – whether fresh or salted and tinned. Have fun exploring and creating your own delicious recipes as you gain more experience. Grilling for fresh sardines and anchovies is an ideal way to prepare a hot dish and the harmonious accompanying ingredients and dishes are similarly extensive.

    For approx. 20 years I have taken OmegaBrite Ethyl Ester Omega-3 EPA/DHA exclusively, for general overall health, and specifically as adjunct to prescription mood stabilizers and antidepressants, for bipolar depression and major depression. They have proved invaluable to use in such capacity, with consistent effectiveness and strength dose-dependent, i.e., two caps is about as much more effective as one compared to none, three and four capsules the same improvement in mood and affect. Beyond four caps, which taken altogether contain 1,400 mg EPA and 350 mg DHA, I experience only slight improvement. Hence, 4 caps once a day is a good dosage for me. I have had no fishy burps or fish aftertaste at this dosage.

    At one time past, OmegaBrite EPA/DHA caps received 5 stars on the FIOS website, however OmegaBrite is no longer listed there. This is puzzling to me, why the OmegaBrite people would not continue to submit samples for testing by FIOS – they do continue to receive a very high rating by ConsumerLab, perhaps the OmegaBrite people consider that rating to suffice. I don’t know if there is a significant cost to send samples periodically to FIOS, but that could be the reason, however I don’t know and thus far I haven’t asked OmegaBrite for an answer to the question of cost of testing.

    Recently, on Pixe’s suggestion I purchased one bottle of Nordic Naturals EPA Elite Omega-3 EPA/DHA to try. I have been taking 2 caps a day of the Nordic Naturals EPA ELITE, and have noticed little to no difference in the way I feel compared to OmegaBrite. Two caps of Nordic Naturals Elite according to the label on the bottle contain 1,600 mg EPA and 60 mg “Other Omega-3s” which presumably include DHA, though a DHA value is not given, so I don’t know for certain.

    Both OmegaBrite EPA/DHA Ethyl Ester and Nordic Naturals EPA Elite Ethyl Ester have a very high ratio of EPA to DHA, approx. 7 to 1 for OmegaBrite, and indeterminate for Nordic Naturals but certainly also very high ratio, probably in excess of the 7 : 1 ratio EPA to DHA for OmegaBrite.

    My reason for choosing to use Omega-3s with such high ratios EPA to DHA is that a couple of recently published double-blind research studies of effectiveness of Omega 3s for adjunct treatment of bipolar depression, have stated that mental health researchers generally have come to find that high EPA to DHA ratio, including pure EPA alone, are more effective than combined EPA/DHA Omega-3 formulations. I have found this to be true for myself, that a high ratio EPA to DHA Omega-3 results in my feeling better than other Omega-3s I’ve tried recently which have the more typical ratios 2 to 1, 3 to 1, or 4 to 1 EPA to DHA found in other brands. For most people’s general overall health I expect one of those higher ratio EPA to EHA brand Omega-3s would be preferable to the very high ratio EPA to DHA found in OmegaBrite and Nordic Naturals EPA Elite. Nordic Naturals have a number of other Omega-3 EPA/DHA products which have more typical ratios EPA to DHA, so one of those would be preferable I guess to the EPA Elite product which I take.

  98. jayme says

    I am in agreement with Dannie ^^ I am a healthy 21 year old in good shape, and without high cholesterol or blood pressure problems. In simplified terms can someone just tell me if taking a normal omega-3 supplement from Nordic Naturals would be considered safe and somewhat effective in providing my body with healthy fatty acids?
    What, if anything, is so bad about this company and they way they produce their omega-3 and cod liver oil supplements?
    This thread began in 2010, so what is the current recommended company that we should be buying from?
    I’m just looking for a supplement that will help reduce inflammation and improve my skin. Any input would be appreciated!

    • Chad says

      Jayme- The main thing you want to look for is the amount of EPA and DHA in one capsule. The world health organization and American heart Association recommends at least 300-500 mg per day for healthy adults. If you or your family have a history cardiovascular disease they recommend 1-4 grams a day.
      I personally like Ocean Blue Omega-3 ( because they are the highest omega-3 per capsule that you can buy without a prescription. This means less capsules you have to take and less unwanted fish fat and unknown impurities because of the high purity of oil they use. They also are fully tested as per the USP guidelines and they are actually made in the USA. Most other fish oil products are made outside the USA and just packaged in the USA. Check them out and compare the EPA and DHA amounts per capsule versus Nordic naturals.

    • says

      It is not so much about the company, it is about the product. Nordic Naturals is expensive but they are rTAG and no ethyl esters. Re-esterified triacylglycerol is not natural fish oil. Technically, it is classified as omega-3 triacylglycerol (formerly triglyceride). I believe Nordic is in control of the whole process from catch to capsule. They have improved their products because the older products still had residual ethyl esters from the conversion to rTAGs. Their EPA elite product which is about 80% EPA/EPA/EPA rTAG which in my thoughts will challenge the prescription drug Vascepa that is ethyl ester. My thought is that you can do more with less for rTAG because it is fat that the body’s digestion mechanism recognizes. In my opinion, Vascepa patients are overdosed because of the body’s defensive system (digestion) to block ethyl esters from being digested and absorbed.

      It is my opinion that even though Nordic Naturals is expensive, you have to look at it from the scientific point. You may only need to take much less of the Nordic Natural product to get the same effect of more expensive ethyl ester products of higher concentrations or other products that are delivered in an enteric capsule.

      Don’t believe all the marketing fiction as I will explain more snake oil products at

      Only my opinion and best to diet first to get the Inuit effect.

  99. dannie says

    i am 25 y/o and i am just trying to include omega-3 supplements in my diet to become healthier overall because of all the benefits it provides. however, i didnt realize how much there was to choosing a fish oil supplement brand to buy and i am honestly in info overload!!!! i am becoming overwhelmed with it all. therefore, i was wondering if you could answer 2 questions for me… 1-do you take omega-3 fish oil supplements? 2-if you do, which brand do you take? i figure if i choose the brand that an omega-3 fish oil supplement expert chooses for themself then that would be the smartest way to go.

    • says

      I would do a dietary inventory of the foods you typically eat weekly and calculate how much omega-3s you get from the diet. I eat salmon and sardines once a week when possible although salmon is expensive. In my area, there was a sale on Season Brand Skinless & Boneless Sardines for $1.98 that provides 1,300 mg of omega-3s. I purchased several cans and snack on these.

      The American Heart Association recommends two oily fish meals a week which is about 500-600 mg/day omega-3. Eating two cans of sardines a week provides about 371 mg/day for about $208/year or $17.33/month or about $.60/day. Seems the price is competitive with some bogus “fish oil” dietary supplements and you get a good source of protein. I know, eating a can of sardines twice a week does not seem appealing but, be creative.

      Another alternative is to get an omega-3 index test that is currently on sale for $29.95 from This way, you can determine your status and save your money purchasing omega-3 dietary supplements that depending on the brand, maybe useless.

      Diet first, exercise, stop smoking, etc. and perhaps you can change your OM6/OM3 ratio for the better.

      Personal opinion.

      • Theresa says

        Hi, I found this, incredibly informative albeit hard to digest article, in my search for info on Simply Right fish oil -from Sam’s Club- specifically dosage and contents. I am relatively young and have high blood pressure that I would like to try to get in check the more natural way. Tired of doctors, Dr visits, Dr bills, pills pills pills and the cost of those pills let alone what they do to the rest of my body. I’ve been looking into fish oil and Coq10 for this reason. I’d like to know what your, informed, opinion is on the Simply Right brand. Any and all information is much appreciated. Please help me digest this info and some, helpful, supplements.

  100. Jan Walker says

    Just wondered if you have any opinion on the Brand Omax3. I currently take Puritan’s Price Omega 3 Salmon oil. Not sure of the quality of this brand.

      • rocks2stocks says

        Omax3 is heavily tilted to EPA. Each softgel contains 563 mg EPA and 138 mg DHA for a 4.1:1 ratio. By comparison (using Pixe’s numbers), Nutrigold Triple Strength is 3:1, Lovaza is 1.3:1. The rTAG product Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega is 1.4:1. If you take Omax3 it’s because you are more interested in EPA.

  101. Simon says

    Ok, so read about 2 years of comments.

    I’ve always imported Carlsons liquid fish oil from the states but am now quite confused.

    Is it ok?

    I’m in the UK , money is not an concern, Pixie, what would you suggest that’s purchasable in the UK?

    • says

      Not to patronize US companies abroad, but try the simple Costco Kirkland Natural 400 count TAG oil (,cos_7.2,cos_7.2.1/142959). Each capsule supplies 300 mg EPA+DHA. Taking two of these will provide 600 mg/day which I believe is about the recommended daily dose in the UK. The UK has much more stricter laws for dietary supplements. I believe the Eskimo brand is from the UK. Perhaps you don’t need to supplement. Invest in a good diet or get the omega-3 index kit $30.00 US to determine your status. Then, you may not need to supplement.


      • Randi says

        Fish oil is such a wide expression. What kind of fish?, which source for the crude oil?, where is the oil itself produced?, conditions?, sustainability? When this information is blury, I am as always more concerned about totox value than EPA/DHA, which in principle is a matter of daily intake only.

        The quality of the final product will always depend on the source and quality of what goes into the final production.

      • Simon says

        Thanks Pixie.

        I’ve never heard of Kirkland, this is a reputable brand?

        Is Carlsons not a reputable brand ?

        • says

          Kirkland is a reputable brand from Costco. It is USP verified.

          From USP: “Seeing the USP Verified Mark on a dietary supplement label indicates that the product:
          Contains the ingredients listed on the label, in the declared potency and amounts Read More.
          Does not contain harmful levels of specified contaminants Read More.
          Will break down and release into the body within a specified amount of time Read More.
          Has been made according to FDA current Good Manufacturing Practices using sanitary and well-controlled procedures Read More.
          Assurance of safe, sanitary, well-controlled, and well-documented manufacturing and monitoring processes indicates that a supplement manufacturer is quality-conscious, and that the supplement will be manufactured with consistent quality from batch to batch.”

          However, get only the natural one (real fish oil) and not the enteric one that is ethyl ester and to me, less effective.

          Be aware that the softgels are rather large. Each capsule weighs 1.53025 g with length 24.50 mm and diameter 10.09 mm.


      • Tom G says

        Pixe, your recommending Kirkland is a perfect example of a product which varies in quality depending on where you buy it. Mail order Kirkland, even from Costco, has been found to contain rancid fish oil in some cases where the consumer has had a negative experience, past sell-by date in others. I don’t know if there is a similar difference in quality buying in-store, but it raises the question, is the lower cost worthwhile. Obviously, buyer beware applies, but not everybody can remember which product is consistently good quality, and which may vary in quality to the point of making it an unacceptable choice.

  102. says

    What are your thoughts on Ocean Blue Omega-3? Looks like the highest amount of EPA & DHA in one capsule. 1050 mg of omega-3 per capsule, 675mg of EPA and 300mg of DHA in each capsule. This is higher than Lovaza!

    They actually did a clinical trial on their product.

    Also, you should read the newest article on krill oil… does not seem to work as good as people were told.

    Berge K, Musa-Veloso K, Harwood M, Hoem N, Burri L,. Krill Oil supplementation lowers serum triglycerides without increasing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in adults with borderline high or high triglyceride levels. Nutrition Research 2014; 34: 126-133

    • says

      This product does not have the highest OM3 per capsule. Others on the market are Nutrigold Triple Strength Omega-3 Gold in which one softgel supplies 750 mg EPA-EE and 250 mg DHA-EE. If you take these high dose products that contain the same active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) that are in the FDA-approved prescription drugs Lovaza (465 mg EPA-EE, 370 mg DHA-EE) and Vascepa (1,000 mg EPA-EE), you should read the prescribing information for Lovaza ( and

      Of particular interest for taking these high dose products, you can’t stop taking them without consultation with your doctor.

      Here is part of what is on the warning label for Lovaza: “Your doctor may start you on a diet that is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, carbohydrates, and low in added sugars before giving you LOVAZA. Stay on this diet while taking LOVAZA.
      * Your doctor should do blood tests to check your triglyceride, bad cholesterol and liver function levels while you take LOVAZA.
      What are the possible side effects of LOVAZA?
      LOVAZA may cause serious side effects, including:
      * increases in the results of blood tests used to check your liver function (ALT and AST) and your bad cholesterol levels (LDL-C).
      * increases in the frequency of a heart rhythm problem (atrial fibrillation or flutter) may especially happen in the first few months of taking LOVAZA if you already have that problem.”

      Also, the serving size for Ocean Blue (my bottle Lot 05CGO 1B, Exp. 07-2015) says two softgels that will provide 2,100 mg of omega-3s. The FDA does not allow more than 2,000 mg OM3 for a dietary supplement.

      At least OB is partially honest about the label in that they say up front that it is an ethyl ester. The only contradiction is the term “fish oil” in which case this product dietary supplement is not the oil extracted from fish and is not “fish oil.” Also, the clinical trial was a nice way to showcase their product to compete with the prescription drugs at a fraction of the price.

      Not sure of the statement “Made from 100% American fish oils” while the label says “Fish Oil (from anchovy).”

      Also, these products don’t work well on a low fat diet which is the main reason for taking Lovaza and Vascepa is to lower blood fat. See the story on EPANOVA, the free fatty acid pending FDA approval for lowering blood fat (TAG) while on a low fat diet.


  103. Jenny says

    Thank you so much for this information. Could you please address some of the concerns regarding rancidity of the Fermented Cod Liver Oil? I had read about this in a few places, and was ready to order until I read through your comments. Do you know more about how Green Pastures sources their fish and their process? Do you still recommend this as you did in the article?
    Thank you!!!

  104. Richard Parker says

    What is your view of BioTrust OmegaKrill 5x, which is making some spectacular claims regarding purity, bioavailability, rancidity, and balance of EPA/DHA? Do they have a COA as far as you can tell?

    • Weightress says

      As of today, 10/15/2014, BioTrust’s recent batch is listed on the IFOS website (and I received an email from BioTrust w/that analysis as well). Is this the same thing as the Certificate of Analysis (COA) you’re referring to?

      • says

        Notice that it is only certified for EPA and DHA as a fish oil and not certified for phospholipids that are in krill oil. I asked the company to go through the IKOS certification process because I believe they would fail for having just a trace of krill oil in this product that is not krill oil. If the product is being marketed as OmegaKrill, then why not have it certified for Krill Oil and phospholipids and not as a “fish oil.” Can BioTrust prove to us that: “OmegaKrill 5X™ is easily the #1 Omega-3 supplement on the market.”?

        The IFOS consumer report is similar to COA but the IFOS consumer report is the sanitized simple consumer report. Some companies (Nutrigold) will send the entire report that they received from IFOS so that you can see all the details. Again, BioTrust (I have nothing against the company) has not come up with the OmegaKrill5x clinical claim study (peer reviewed) for their product. This raised a red flag at FDA and FTC for potential violations. Any clinical claims must be with the product making the claim and not some other study using a similar product with, in BioTrust’s case, polysorbate 80. Since they shipped me a product with no dates (cGMP potential violation, 21 CFR Part 111) on the bottle, I would rather verify first, then trust later.
        See my additional comments:

        In my opinion, a better product would be Coromega’s fish oil. They have published a clinical study using their product and they can substantiate their claim of “3x” better absorption.

        Diet first,

  105. Joe Amo says

    I currently take 3 teaspoons daily of Carlson’s Omega 3 fish oil. I’m looking to switch to a krill oil product but it needs to be a liquid as I have trouble swallowing pills. I’ve found this product on the web and would like to know if you’ve ever heard of this company or have an opinion of their product. My goal is to lower my cholesterol and triglycerides.

    Thank You

  106. jay kan says

    hi pixe hoping we can see what you found regarding the Biotrust Omega 3 5x new supplement soon .. thanks for all this input /testing info … are you still taking the Triglyceride Omega 3 Gold? or something else … thank you !!

    • says

      I am in the process of putting together a brief report on this dietary supplement. See “Enhanced increase of omega-3 index in healthy individuals with response to 4-week n-3 fatty acid supplementation from krill oil versus fish oil”
      to prep for the information that I will be posting.
      Also see the back and forth between the authors and letters to the editor.

    • says

      Grab these two important reports before they disappear. They are in relation to krill oil and I will comment on the misleading information for the Biotrust product shortly.


      Very interesting reading that contradicts the current bogus information that krill oil has 75-90% of omega-3 attached to phospholipids.


      • rocks2stocks says


        The 3 krill oil comparison study, sponsored by Enzymotec, has always bugged me because of an apples/oranges issue. Product A is Neptune krill oil (NKO), product B is Aker (Superba) krill oil, and product C is Enzymotec krill/fish oil blend. Enzymotec makes a pure krill oil and yet they chose to compare their blend to the other two companies’ pure krill oils. And guess what, the blend (with a ton of added astaxanthin) outperforms the pure products.

        Of the three, only Superba is not a construct. As I remember, the astaxanthin in Neptune is concentrated from krill oil and added back in to the product (see the patent). The astaxanthin in the Enzymotec blend comes from algae, and some of the omega-3s come from fish oil.

        If you look at various U.S. brands of krill oil, you will see many that state as the source NKO or Superba, but you will not find the name Enzymotec on any. I think Mercola krill oil is based on Enzymotec’s pure product with added astaxanthin and with slightly jacked-up specs. Several companies sell the Enzymotec blend including Source Naturals and Olympic.

        A/the U.S. distributor for Enzymotec is Azantis. Neptune and Enzymotec have been in a long-running patent infringement lawsuit. If Enzymotec loses, their products might disappear from the U.S. market.

        • says

          Thanks for the update. Yes, I already knew that information and I have analyzed more than 75 different brands of krill oil products.
          See my sister site:

          We discovered that about 25% of the “krill oil” products on the market are not krill oil and do not contain the oil from krill. I do have products with Cyvex and Azantis (Enzymotec) as suppliers of the oil.

          What is disturbing about these 75+ products, many do not list the source of the oil as if to hide something.

          If you want to read interesting drama, get the briefs and paperwork submitted to USPTO about the krill oil patent dispute. These patents also reveal that DHA and EPA are not predominately bond to phospholipids as several of the clinical trials claim. Seems these “peer reviewed” articles don’t check or even read the current references. They all quote the misleading article in Alternative Medicine Review “Krill Oil Monograph”, Vol. 15, Number 1, Page 84, 2007. Figures 3 and 4. However, the article does have good background information and references on krill oil.

          See Nils (from AkerBioMarine) nice description of their Superba Krill oil at


          • rocks2stocks says


            Thanks for the very informative Nils/Aker report.

            Too bad ConsumerLab didn’t test Superba. Has anyone tested Superba for spoilage other than the study sponsored by Enzymotec?

            • says

              Here is the slide presentation from the AOCS Newcastle Australia November 2013 conference by Nils from AkerBiomarine.
              “Composition of Antarctic krill oil and methods for its harvesting, production and qualitative and quantitative

              Seems that krill oil is not just phospholipids but also contains TAGs and free fatty acids. It also depends on how the oil is extracted from krill. Neptune and Aker use two different methods to get the oil.

              See the pages 28 to 31 that show that the TAG part of the oil contains lots of DHA and EPA esterified to TAGs. The PL LC-MS data is not shown. These slides contradict what the bogus clinical trials stating that most of EPA and DHA are on the PL.

              Probably should download the link before Aker removes it.


        • says

          I would disagree with the choice Nature’s Bounty Maximum Strength Fish Oil 1,400 mg – 980 mg Omega-3 in the enteric form. This is an ethyl ester and what makes it less effective is the fact that it is in enteric coated capsule. Ethyl esters are already less absorbed going the normal route with digestion starting in the stomach. By using an enteric coating, you are bypassing this crucial step for digestion and hence absorption. To the best of my knowledge, there is no efficacy for ethyl esters in enteric coating capsules. My personal opinion would be a TAG of similar strength without enteric coating. For example, try Nutrigold Triglyceride 1,200 mg supplying 200 mg EPA and 120 mg DHA per capsule. I take these and my Omega-3 index is 13.4% taking two of these daily and eating salmon or sardines once a week. These will outperform ethyl esters of higher strength because it is a TAG (rTAG) for which the digestion system will recognize.

          • Tom G says

            Hi Pixe,

            Thanks for the tip re: enteric coated OM-3 being less efficacious than w/o enteric coating.

            Perhaps, in addition, you could suggest a moderate-priced alternative to the more expensive Nordic Naturals, for those of us who, like myself, need to spend as little as possible while also supporting our health and medical requirements. To date I haven’t found any rTag OM-3 that meets your exacting criteria, and which costs any less than the Nordic Naturals, which costs me at least $40 per month, or higher, which is a real financial sacrifice.

            As always, thank you very much for sharing your expert knowledge and experience!

        • says

          What is your knowledge of KriaXanthin by Cyvex? It appears that this so called “100 % Krill Oil” is missing the phospholipids per many labels such as Vitacost. Our analyses shows very little phosphorous and could be just fish oil (low quality) with added astaxanthin. Many products with great reviews but the consumers don’t realize that they are taking perhaps fish oil. That is why some of the lowest priced krill oil supplements contain unlabeled source KriaXanthin from Cyvex.

  107. Tom Gossard says

    Has any research been done to find out if DHA might be a better choice for ADHD than, say, Wellbutrin, Ritalin… etc.? I have a reason for asking which is I have been diagnosed having Adult Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD, AADD), and, for which I take Wellbutrin SR (also for depression). I recently tried a brand of EPA/DHA fish oil pills. I had to stop taking them soon after starting them, because they were very over-stimulating. I guess you could say I couldn’t tolerate them, but I wonder if that same effect would suggest DHA could be helpful for ADD/ADHD.

    Note I started this comment with a question concerning using Wellbutrin because it treats both my depression and to an extent the ADD (though I can’t say I’ve seen much difference with Wellbutrin re: ADD). So in a sense I’m asking, since Wellbutrin does help some with ADHD/ADD evidently, might DHA work as well or better than the prescription Wellbutrin.

    • says

      See the article:

      Here is copy of the introduction: “Vegepa Pure EPA Shows Potential as Non-Medical Co-Therapy Treatment for ADHD
      Methylphenidate prescriptions have increased fourfold in the last decade, and yet estimates as to its effectiveness suggest a sizeable ‘gap’ where children do not respond to such drug-based treatment. A recent double-blind pilot trial shows a potential natural treatment breakthrough that may help fill this gap for children resistant to medication.”

      Here is the link from medline to get to the article:

      Please note that I am just passing on what is in the public domain and my comments are not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure any medical problems or disease. Consult with your health care practitioner before taking any dietary supplements.

      I have purchased and analyzed more than 1,000 dietary supplements that supply the bioactive molecules EPA and DHA. I purchased my Vegepa from England but I believe you can get it on Amazon.


      • Tom Gossard says

        I believe the product you are referring to is sold as “Pharmepa STEP 1 RESTORE E-EPA 90 – pure EPA fish oil for omega-3 deficiency – 60 capsules” and is available in the USA from

        The only Vegepa EPA product I could locate is intended for children, and is a lower dose EPA. Orange flavored chewables. It is purchasable from Igennus in the UK, and can be shipped to the USA.

  108. Panda Beera says

    Thanks to Chris and all the following contributors. It’s taken a while to get to the bottom of the page but I’ve learned so much!

    I currently use oils (fish and krill) from a company called Thorne Research.

    Does anyone have thoughts about the quality of their products, esp the fish and krill oils? Their website says that they have TGA certification and in-house lab testing, which sounds suspicious to me but I have had many people recommend their products.

    Here is info about one of their products:

    Super EPA
    concentrated omega-3 fatty acids from cold-water fish
    •to help maintain healthy heart and brain function*
    •425 mg EPA and 270 mg DHA per softgel
    •molecular distillation removes heavy metals and other potential contaminants
    •enhances mood and memory*

    EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) (from Fish Oil) 425 mg.
    DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) (from Fish Oil) 270 mg.

    Other Ingredients: Gelatin (bovine), Purified Water and Glycerin (vegetable source) gelcap, Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols).
    Contains ingredient derived from fish (fish oil = anchovy, sardine, mackerel).

    Based on recommendations on this site, I’m thinking of switching to Nordic Naturals, which seems like a better product in terms of formula and certification. And it is more affordable than the Thorne Research, though still plenty expensive.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

      • jay kan says

        hi, just wondering what is the bad and good news here regarding the thorne Super EPA ?? .. thanks so much pixe

        • says

          The good news is that you can share this product with your pet because it is the same product sold as Thorne Research SuperEPA Vet. Bottle says, “Warnings: For animal use only.” Here is what consumers who purchased the same product you are taking for their pets are saying on Amazon:
          Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
          Amazon: “5.0 out of 5 stars Great product, March 11, 2014
          This review is from: Thorne Research Veterinary – Super EPA VET 90gc [Health and Beauty] (Health and Beauty)
          Bought this for my dog who has back issues. Rap it in a piece of white bread for him to ingest. He eats it with no problems. He’s very active and not showing any signs of back related issues. Is part of a regime with food that has glucosimine and chondrotin.

          Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
          After using it for a couple months, the dog’s coat became smooth and shiny. Boxer fur is usually prickly, but the Thorne’s made it soft.
          Help other customers find the most helpful reviews

          Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
          This review is from: Thorne Research Veterinary – Super EPA VET 90gc [Health and Beauty] (Health and Beauty)
          This is an excellent, palatable product for dogs. It must be tasty, as the dog eats it up without disguising it in cheese or a meatball. His skin is shinier and he seems calmer when taking it.
          Maybe they made a mistake in the manufacture of the product. Here are the details of my two bottles:

          Thorne Research Super EPA with lot #305032 Exp. 01-2014, capsule mass = 1.67367 g, L=25.67 mm, D=10.44 mm and supplies 1.29956 g of marine fatty acid ethyl esters of which 425 mg are EPA-EE and 270 mg DHA-EE.

          Thorne Research Super EPAVet “Supports Dermatological, cognitive, & Cardiovascular health” (for animal use only) with lot #313613 Exp. 09-2015, capsule mass = 1.79117 g, L=26.48 mm, D=10.34 mm and supplies 1.29185 g of marine fatty acid ethyl esters of which 425 mg are EPA-EE and 270 mg DHA-EE. Has the NASC seal National Animal Supplement Council “The Benchmark of Quality.” Wow, no statement of quality on the same product for humans. See the photos at under Thorne research to see if this is the same product as yours.

          The bad news is that you have to share with your dog or other pets. However, don’t worry because if your pet’s supply runs out or your supply runs out, you can use the others and vice versa.

          My analysis shows that the gelatin capsule and the omega-3 ethyl esters in the capsules are identical. Don’t jump to conclusions because my bottle expired 01-2014 and the newer batch you purchased maybe a better match in size and mass with the new lot that has the same identical label contents as my expired bottle.

          According to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, this product is illegal. Don’t worry, it is only a dietary supplement and does not need pre-market approval by the FDA. No one will know (violation of cGMP) or care if I filled the human dietary supplement bottle with the same capsules that I used to fill the “animal use only” bottle because they both cost the same on Amazon. My company is just following the status quo as most nutraceutical companies are doing the same thing because FDA does not have the resources to police us.

          One consolation on the SuperEPAVet product label that you can use is this statement: “If animal’s condition worsens or does not improve, stop product administration and consult your veterinarian.”

          Wishing you and your pet happy fish oiling.

  109. says

    The only omega3 fish oil I could find that is made up of Halal gelatins was by noorvitamins . However having read all the information and compare it with the label of noorvitamins I found the EPA is 180 and DHA is 120. My Dr prescribed this for me because if my triglycerides readings in my last physical. Please advice am I doing more harm than good?

    • says


      See Nutrition Enhancement Halal Fish Oil

      My bottle is TAG (natural fat) with 180 mg EPA and 120 mg DHA per label which I have not verified. This is just your standard fish oil formulation and because it is fat, your digestion system will recognize it.

      My capsule weighs 1.56858 g with length 25.58 mm and diameter 9.40 mm. Mass of oil is 1.01286 g which translates into 17.8% EPA and 11.8 % DHA expressed as free fatty acid equivalents per CRN, USP, and GOED protocols.

      Capsule is enteric. There is no difference between absorption from enteric vs non-enteric capsule according to a clinical trial with TAG oil.

      Diet first then supplement if need be with consultation with your health care provider.


  110. basejumper says

    Great stuff throughout this page. Thanks to all that have contributed!


    have you analyzed Ascenta Healths NutraSea products? I have been taking this one for a while but am always keeping an eye open for a higher quality and less expensive products.
    Also, do you have any information on green-lipped mussel oil? I saw an article a while back on them but have not dove into the research papers yet.

    Thank for your time.

  111. says

    A good source of reading in regards to the what’s trending in EPA for the treatment of various health issues can be found at: then see all the sections within:

    Read the reports and slide lectures so that you can be informed about the biology and chemistry of the health affects of omega-3s. Information is particularly of help for those obtaining OM3 naturally from the diet.

    If you are a consumer and don’t care about your rights when purchasing a diet supplement and buyers beware, disregard this post.


    • Sydney says

      Pixe, I am completely confused ..
      I need help to find a product that will help me ..
      My overall Cholesterol level is borderline high, and my Triglyceride levels are borderline high ..
      I need to know which Reputable Omega 3 do you recommend for me, to address these issues .
      Do I need the EE form, or the Tryg form ?
      And which brand do you suggest please ..
      Thank you for any thoughts.

  112. Tom Gossard says

    Pixe, I would appreciate your citing references to back up your alleged statements of fact. I know it can be cumbersome but I for one would greatly appreciate it. I do my own research and such references are of immense value to me, since I read a lot of erroneous information and flawed interpretations all over the health advice and guidance sites on the internet. Also, myself, I am very cautious about making categorical statements when I haven’t done due diligence from reputable, highest quality information sources. Thanks.

    On an unrelated topic, I have just had an bad reaction to a specific popular brand Omega-3 supplement. It was my first experience with the brand, and, since I have not taken any other brand Omega-3 supplements other than the one I have been taking for years, I don’t want to cite the brand name because I’m not sure what caused me to have such a surprising and unusual reaction. It might be an interaction between the formulation of the supplement and one or other of the several differing types of medications I take for bipolar depression.

    Which brings me to the point I want to make, that one should exercise caution when starting a new or different Omega-3 supplement, and check with your doctor before starting to take an Omega-3 supplement. (As it happens, I did, but my Psychiatrist didn’t recommend a specific brand to take, which could be part of the problem.) Further, as with myself, if you take a combination of several drugs for this or that condition, it warrants extreme caution, including stopping taking the particular supplement. Omega-3 supplements are powerful medicines in addition to being good for overall health, or for a particular health issue.


    • says

      Sorry to hear of your problem fish oil. Send me the name via my website and out of the 1,000+ different omega-3 products, I may have analyzed your brand. What details about “buyer beware” do you need specifics?

      A good source of information about EPA and treating high blood fat (triacylglycerols) is:

      Great reading for all the links and trials on diabetics and how the FDA dealt with the approval of Vascepa (prescription EPA ethyl ester). It also describes how the FDA turned down Vascepa sNDA (supplemental new drug application) for lower blood fat levels. Provides details on basic good health and the diet.


    • Pixe says

      The first place to start is

      Then see section 7 about labeling. The consumer will perhaps drive the marketplace driving out those who do not follow the rules. Read the law then pick up any fish oil dietary supplement bottle and read the supplement facts label. I have more 1,000 bottles of dietary supplements and analyzed them all.

      First observation is that the US is a dumping ground for products that can’t get approved in other countries and because of the standard American diet (SAD) they prey upon naive citizens wanting the Inuit affect.

      Second observation is that many say “natural” but are far from that. I noticed that companies whose product is TAG will proudly display the correct information in the supplement facts panel about the true identity of the active nutraceutical ingredient (ANI). Others who are ashamed of the identity of their ANI do not list the true identity but instead hide behind the good name “fish oil.” For example, Now Foods Fish Oil supplements with higher 18/12 TAG oil and then compare with the labels say from Mason MaxEPA. MaxEPA was the first prescription drug ( real “fish oil” that was marketed by Seven Seas in the UK.

      Buyer beware that EPA only supplements are trending because of the greater awareness of EPA to assist in perhaps improving those who have mental health issues. Do a search of EPA only fish oils and see what you get. Again, diet first then supplement under the supervision of a health care provider. Do your due diligence. Verify, then trust.


      • Randi says

        Very important comment. However what about the source of the 18/12 TAG oil, raw material and production conditions in Peru. Also lack of sustainability branding is a problem. Most 18/12 oils with origin Peru cannot get MSC branding.

  113. says

    Can you change this in your introduction?

    “Ethyl ester oil. Occurs when natural triglyceride oil is concentrated and molecularly distilled to remove impurities. The ester form is still in a semi-natural state because it is the result of a process that naturally occurs in the body. The advantage to this form is that it can double or triple the levels of EPA and DHA.”

    This is incorrect. Should read something like this:
    “Marine fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) are produced by reacting ethanol and a catalyst with fish body oils or fish offal oils that have been extracted from fish. The resulting FAEEs are purified (molecular distillation, super critical CO2, or chromatography) to separate the polyunsaturated omega-3s from the other lower molecular weight compounds.”

    This is important because it should be noted that the original molecular structure of the oil in the fish has been changed and both physical and chemical properties are different than the starting oil original in the marine source.

    Ethyl esters have saved thousands of lives and will continue. If you do not need excessive amounts of omega-3s, why take an ethyl ester. These ethyl ester were made from natural TAG based molecules in the fish. The body has to convert them back to some of the original TAG molecules in the fish for the body to use them. Consumers don’t realize that this process is inefficient because pancreatic lipase evolved to digest fat. Ethyl esters are a poor substrate for this enzyme and are digested by another less efficient enzyme.

    The body has a natural mechanism to prevent chemicals from gaining access to the systemic circulation. That is why drug companies spend billions of dollars developing drugs (pro-drugs) to gain access to your blood. One popular compound used to derivatize these bioactive compounds is ethanol to make an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) to provide the bioactive molecule (examples EPA, DHA, DPA, ARA).

    If you are eating a healthy diet of good fats, you may need just an extra dose of OM3s if there are no medical issues. However, those on fixed incomes, homeless, etc. who can’t afford an affluent diet of eating oily fish (salmon) that are expensive , a low cost natural omega-3 dietary supplement (5 cents day) may reduce many health issues.

    If you must take a dietary supplement, especial “fish oil”, do your due diligence and verify before you trust.

    This is my opinion.

  114. Paul Crombie says

    Hi. Great site and thread. I have now spent three hours on it. I kind of got lost:-) my late father suffered from sever arthritis. Over the past three years I have removed as much omega 6 from my diet as possible and that takes effort since corn is in every food stuff produced in this country. I am 60 and I want to avoid that arthritis road map. Can you point me toward an omega 3 practice that would be optimum for reducing or postponing this nasty desease?

    Also, as to buyer beware…there is no such thing…it’s a fallacy in today’s world. We’re not buying horses any more. I want FDA over site.

    Thanx again for such a super site

    • says

      Do you want me to tell you horror studies of “buyer beware” with mislabeling, fake labels, failure to disclose the true identity of products, and the most outrageous of them all is the famous “bait and switch” practices in the omega-3 dietary supplement industry? There are good companies out there selling honest product and truthful labels. The fad now is “super critical” omega-3s that is the buzz word.

      Perhaps the consumer will determine the marketplace and weed out those “snake oil” products.

  115. ernie says

    New to the fish oil scene.Am 51 with Rheumatoid for 4-5yrs now.Thoughts on Carlson products esp MedOmega 2800.
    Also ive read that taking a fish oil supplement with glucosamine sulfate is beneficial for the joints.The fish oil is suppose to help in the uptake of the glucosamine.Is this true?

  116. Lois says

    I take 2 fish oil softgels a day…one in the morning, one at night…It is Puritan Pride Triple Omega 3-6-9-(fish,flax,borage oils)
    There has been news lately that says fish oil really has no benefit, so my question is, should I continue taking this product or not…because in the long run, is it doing this 65 year old woman any good???

    • says

      Any product having a combination at Omega-3,6,9 is a waste of money. Most people get more than enough omega-6 in there diets that they only need to supplement with Omega-3. You need to have a balance of omega-3 to omega-6 for your body to properly function in harmony. Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and omega-6s are pro-inflammatory. Your body needs both, but in balanced ratio. Most people are 20:1 Omega-6 to omega-3, but we should be striving to be 2:1. Also, know that flax seed/oils omega-3 is predominately ALA which does not convert very well into EPA or DHA in the body so you are not getting the correct beneficial PUFA’s such as EPA and DHA.

  117. May says

    Hi Khris,

    great info you are sharing and thanks for that .
    would like to check with you that the product southpose oceank (omega 3 6 9 ) 1000 mg / causule .
    I just started to take this one .

    hope to hear from you soon, thanks.


  118. Jean says


    I need your help

    I would like to know, what do you think about Myprotein’s Omega 3

    which is reaaaaly cheap, but the (wellknown) website doesn’t provide much informations.

    Could it be dangerous?
    Even though the absobtion of the oméga 3 is bad, the price is really hot.

    Do you advice me to purchase it (1000 capsules).

    Im aiming for intellectual improvement.

    Thanks a lot and sorry if there is any mistakes (as english isn’t my first language)

  119. michael peluso says

    Hi Chris,
    I was hoping you might be able to recommend a good EPA supplement for a patient suffering from cachexia due to end stage renal disease as well as being the recipient of an allogenic stem cell transplant for AML. I have read sever studies citing 1.4-2g of EPA/day can help with Protein Energy-Wasting which is what they call cachexia in ERD patients. She is on peritoneal dialysis so she needs to avoid Vitamin A and K, ironically the ones you spoke about in the recommendations you made above. Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you!

  120. jay kan says

    hi very grateful for all postings here !! just wondering am i right in thinking that both fermented CLO and also krill are not ok cause of potential rancidity and toxicity ??
    also eagerly awaiting what PixE thinks of the Biotrust Omega 3 5x product .. using both krill and fish oil and also in something called Verisorb?? that is supposed to protect it from going rancid….

    • Randi says

      I do not have good enough data on krill, but expect some rancidity/oxidation as this is usually upconcentrated. Upconcentrated fish oils are known to have of the highest totox values. Toxins is a separate issue, and has nothing to do with rancidity. “Fermented” fish oil is also a highly rancid/oxidated product.
      Do not have information about verisorb, but the only way to stop oxidation development is to neutrilize the product at enzyme level and seal the product with nitrogen against exposure to oxigen and light. An already developed oxidation process can not be reversed. Only camouflaged with for instance flavouring.

    • says

      I placed my order for Biotrust Omega 3 5x on Wednesday February 19, 2014 and I am awaiting the product and will analyze the softgel contents and the softgel material to determine what is actually in the supplement. Marketing looks interesting.

      Here is a quote from their website:

      “The Problem…

      Most consumers of nutrition products are often surprised to learn that the FDA (the Food and Drug Administration) does not test, monitor or approve dietary supplements.

      Just think about that for a second. This means that all the hundreds of thousands of fat burners, performance boosters, vitamins, minerals, herbs and protein powders you see online and on store shelves everywhere are completely unregulated. It’s difficult to know what you’re really getting.

      You see, the FDA leaves it up to the individual supplement companies to formulate, test and monitor their own products. As you can imagine, many supplement companies cut all kinds of corners when it comes to quality control in order to boost their profit margins.

      Buyer Beware: What Are You Swallowing?”

      Sounds familiar, “the fox guarding the hen house” doctrine.
      I have discovered that some krill oil products masquerading as “krill oil” are actually a mixture of fish oil with astaxanthin and have very little if any krill oil in the capsule. See my sister website:

      I pointed this out to but they did not act on the information probably because these companies did not pay the fee to have their product evaluated. I am skeptical of these companies “independent testing” publishing data on “approved” or “third party” tested results. I would rather do my own testing which I fund my own research and if anyone wants to challenge my results, I will give them the data. My philosophy on dietary supplements is not to trust, but to verify.

      Some of these companies offering “independent testing” ratings are for profit and some will redirect your inquiry about the product to a web site selling the product. To me, this is a conflict of interest. However, some of these rating sites “independent testing” do provide a service to weed out products that are mislabeled and report that the label contents do not match rating companies “independent testing” values.

      I guest you have to start somewhere.


      • says

        Chris, Marshall, Randi, Pixe and Altostrata, and everyone else who pitched in here, thank you for such an illuminating discussion. I greatly appreciate you all sharing what you know, and good questions to ask, as we seek to take advantage of the choices that we have, and make intelligent decisions based on our own priorities.

        • says

          Here is an excellent article tracing the development of the human brain. Article is open access (free to download).

          Nutrients 2011, 3, 529-554; doi:10.3390/nu3050529

          Title: “Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA): An Ancient Nutrient for the Modern Human Brain”
          Here is a segment of the abstract in case others don’t want to waste their time reading the entire article.

          “Abstract: Modern humans have evolved with a staple source of preformed
          docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the diet. An important turning point in human evolution was the discovery of high-quality, easily digested nutrients from coastal seafood and inland freshwater sources. Multi-generational exploitation of seafood by shore-based dwellers coincided with the rapid expansion of grey matter in the cerebral cortex, which characterizes the modern human brain.”

          “The excessive consumption of omega-6 fatty acids in the modern Western diet further displaces DHA from membrane phospholipids. An emerging body of research is exploring a unique role for DHA in neurodevelopment and the prevention of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. DHA is increasingly being added back into the food supply as fish oil or algal oil supplementation.”


          • says

            Dear Pixe, I greatly appreciate all of the information you have been sharing. I just finished studying the entire comments here, and taking notes, and following the links. Fascinating! Thank you for helping me to understand fish oil processing, EFA synthesis and digestion, and the comparison between flax/fish/krill oils. You taught me to see through claims of purified Omega-3s, and distinguish between the EFAs .

            I’m thinking that I want to use a fish oil that is as close to eating the real food as possible, for when I don’t eat as much fish as usual. I believe that the real food likely has properties that we haven’t discovered and encapsulated yet.

            I narrowed my choices down to include a few that I didn’t see you mention:
            Pure Alaska Salmon Oil (I like their story)
            Barlean’s Wild & Whole Salmon Oil (I used to think that they were a reputable brand)
            Nature’s Bounty Fish Oil, Salmon Oil, Norwegian Cod LIver Oil, and Calamari Oil (I used to think that they were a low-quality brand)

            Will you share what you know about these products? Are they the real thing?

            Congrats on your Omega-3 test result! :) Unfortunately, it is illegal where I live :( but I’m sure my dr. will do one at my next appt. :)

      • Randi says

        This is very important information about dietary supplements. It falls in between regulations. It is not food, and it is not medicine, and regulations are few. All consumers should therefore pay attention to content and quality of their dietary supplements.

  121. says

    Pending US Senate bill S. 1310.
    If you are for or against more government regulations to protect the consumer from tainted dietary supplements, false advertising, label errors, and dangerous impurities, contact your senator about pending Senate bill S-1310. A bill to: “To improve the safety of dietary supplements by amending the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require manufacturers of dietary supplements to register dietary supplement products with the Food and Drug Administration and to amend labeling requirements with respect to dietary supplements.” You can read the bill at: .


    • says

      This bill would effectively allow the “Government” to restrict and punish companies who produce supplements of any kind. At which point the “Government” decides something in that supplement is harmful. So no, this is a very bad idea to support this bill. It may make supplement companies more liable to share exactly what is in their product. But at the same time, the abuses of this bill and the removal of ingredients that some board deems as harmful far out weight its helpfulness. Why make more laws? Why not let the consumer independently find out what is the best? Isn’t that in fact the point of this blog? Weak and bad products will get weeded out naturally by us discerning people. Like you Pixe.

  122. Tom G says

    I am diagnosed Bipolar and Adult ADD. I have a meds regimen which works well for me but dosages are high for each med, hence to avert a depressive episode I found it necessary to add fish oil. It is best to avoid any depression, or return to stable as soon as possible, otherwise I may need to increase dosage of my regular meds, but not a good option because I already take high doses. Should I need to increase it might be better for me to begin ECT treatments.

    I use OmegaBrite fish oil gelcaps at a set dosage of 4 softgels daily, I can take more if I start to become depressed, but then the issue becomes cost per day. So I am considering trying another brand. Problem is I don’t know enough to make a dosage comparison between one brand and another, nor can I determine which other brands would come closest to OmegaBrite comparing doses.

    Btw, I am extremely grateful that fish oil has been so successful, consistent, while being flexible to change. It’s like my quality of life given my disorders, depends on fish oil, acting as a natural med.

    • says

      Reference to OM3 and depression.
      “n-3 Fatty Acid Intakes Are Inversely Related to
      Elevated Depressive Symptoms among United
      States Women”

      Here is the summary of the article: “In sum, among United States women, higher intakes of n–3 fatty acids [absolute (n–3) and relative to n–6 fatty acids (n–3:n–6)] were associated with lower risk of elevated depressive symptoms, specifically in domains of somatic complaints (mainly n–3 PUFAs) and positive affect mainly n–3 HUFAs).” Please not that I am not a physician and this information is in the public domain along with numerous other publications showing the correlation with increased consumption of omega-3s EPA+DHA supplied by the diet and alternatively by dietary supplements.

      OmegaBrite is not fish oil and it is the ethyl ester and may not provide optimum support for cognitive decline.

      There are other OM3 supplements that are in TAG with higher DHA than EPA that perhaps will be more appropriate for cognitive support. However, I am not trying to sway your choice one way or the other about whether you choose to EE or TAG supplement. I take the common sense approach that fish contain TAG and dietary supplements based on what is in the fish is better for you if you must supplement your diet. The one of the most abundant fatty acids in the brain is DHA esterified to phospholipids. Current debate is whether krill oil is best at providing DHA to the brain and the mechanism of transport across the blood brain barrier is from non-esterified (free) DHA in the plasma bound to albumin.

      There is extensive research being conducted using re-esterified TAG omega-3s for treating cognitive decline and depression.

      As always, check with your health care provider before you take any dietary supplements.


      • Tom G says

        Hi Pixie,

        Thank you for your very informative reply to my question.

        Per fish oil, from the Omega-Brite website:

        “Scientifically formulated by Carol Locke, MD, while on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, OmegaBrite® is a concentrated high EPA, pharmaceutical-quality omega-3 fatty acid supplement from fish oil promoting positive mood, cardiac and joint health, and overall well being.”

        “OmegaBrite®’s total omega-3 concentration is 90%, making it 3X more potent than most common fish oil brands on the market. Only OmegaBrite® contains 70% EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), the highest concentration available of this natural, anti-inflammatory molecule. One OmegaBrite® 500mg softgel capsule supplies you with 350mg of EPA and 50mg of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Many healthcare professionals recommend this 7:1 ratio, which is the highest in the industry.”

        I’d be interested to know from what information source you learned that OmegaBrite isn’t made from fish oil.
        As an aside, I’ve taken OmegaBrite for over 20 years, such that by now my body digests it with only occasional “fishy” burps, but when I do have burps now they’re still fishy tasting. Anyway, it’s a minor point.

        I will follow up the study which you quoted from, and find other peer reviewed studies. I hope at least one will be double-blind and have a large enough cohort to obtain more significant results. Thanks for posting the excerpt.

        I will continue to investigate to find a Omega 3 supplement which is both effective and safe, and easily tolerated by me, at a lower price, if obtainable.
        Meanwhile, Omega-Brite has been consistently helpful. My own concern is that at some point in the future I may need to take <3 grams EPA Omega-Brite, or 7 gelcaps daily, which on my present income is expensive indeed.

        Thanks again! If you have further comments, info to pass along I will be most grateful to receive.


        • Randi says

          As I have commented before on this site. “Fishy burps” is not a sign of a good quality oil. It is rather a sign of oxidated oil which your body is trying to get rid of. That’s why the burping. Please search the internet for what oxidation does to your cells. Just a little reminder

          • Tom G says

            I need to clarify: I have no fishy burps, not even slight ones, with OmegaBrite, nor have I ever had them as best I can remember. My memory isn’t reliable enough, specifically to recall which brands of fish oil caps did produce fishy burps twenty years ago, but I can say I definitely haven’t experienced any since 1999, which is when I resumed taking OmegaBrite 4 caps per day specifically for symptoms of bipolar disorder, on the recommendation of my psychiatrist.

            Sorry you were mislead by my initial comment, to which I didn’t pay close enough attention.

            • Tom G says

              and, I well know what oxidation does to cells. Believe me when I say I have done my own exhaustive research of all available literature, and I have further studied to discover how each peer reviewed and published research study was designed, in addition to spending 5+ years professional work for a mental health research center, where I was paid to analyze in-house studies which then were later published in the top tier medical and mental health journals.

              I know that in no way qualifies me as having *any degree of professional authority* — I’m no doubt not an “expert”— to do anything but comment mental health, mental health related and/or specific psychiatric or behavioral disorders in any authority. I’m a science writer and a mental health patient for 15 years.

              • Tom G says

                sorry for all my sub-comments.

                Since I did little else in this section than ask my question, read other comments with their corresponding replies; then cranked at length about something that actually was my fault.

                My experience thus far of your blog is a positive one, and I really appreciate and respect your perspective on health matters generally, given your extensive apparently high quality education and training, including alternative and Oriental medicine. You write very well and you seem to me careful and cautious in your suggestions and recommendations not to overstate your expertise. And you aren’t or don’t seem to be dogmatic or ideological. I will enjoy keeping up with your blog. I need all the help I can get with my bipolar disorder, a need which never has stopped and I doubt ever will.



  123. shari says

    I always rely on Nordic Naturals because they are number one in all the important areas when it comes to deciding how to choose a quality fish oil. First, they surpass all international pharmaceutical standards, they offer their oils in the true triglyceride form, they have exceptional purity and freshness, they have control over the manufacturing from boat to bottle, there are 25 published studies on their products and more than 30 in progress and their corporate social responsibility is unmatched. They will offer anyone a certificate of analysis if you call or email them and ask. They have every certification imaginable and they have won many many awards. Perhaps this is why they are the number one selling fish oil brand in the USA. To learn more, see I trust this company because they have invested in this industry and they are transparent in what they do. I have yet to see a purer, fresher, great tasting oil.

  124. Rob says

    Chris Keller,

    I’m appreciative of this extensive review of fish oil, very informative and helps me decide on what to buy.

    I’m just wondering why you didn’t include the fact that Krill Oil is contaminated and that Krill Oil cannot be purified of toxins, pcb’s etc. like fish oil can?

    Here’s a link that further explains:

  125. Denis says


    From your previous posts, I understand that “Quell Fish Oil EPA/DHA Plus D 60 Softgels” are very high quality supplies. It also has VitaminD3 which is great for me since I am almost getting zero amount of direct sunlight here in one of the coldest cities in Canada. Unfortunately, it’s so hard to find Quells in Canada. What other brands would you advice equal to that one and easy to find in Canada?

    PS: I would like to have 1 pills instead of 2 so I eliminated “Nordic Naturals Ultimates”.

  126. says

    Thank you for some great research. I stumbled across your site today after having just sat through a 30 minute video extolling the virtues of a ‘new’ Krill Oil product.

    It was very convincing to the average person on the street and obviously highly sales driven to sell the product. The presenters appear to be well credentialed having medical and research backgrounds which also makes the claims about the product quite plausible.

    This is the reason I decided to do some further research as I find so many conflicting views about the benefits of Omega Oils in general.

    I would be very interested to hear your comments on this particular product. It is called Omega Krill 5X from Bio Trust Nutrition or

    Thank you – John F

        • says

          That non-ionic surfactant is polysorbate 80. Some people have had an allergic reaction to this compound. Do a search to see what you come up with. I am not sure why the company did not list the true identity of this compound. Perhaps they don’t know what it is.

  127. David says

    Thought this might be of general interest … Fish Oil Reports ( is an independent ranking of the best fish oil supplements by cost per gram of EPA and DHA. It also includes IFOS quality ratings. I found it very useful in my search for a good (but cheap) fish oil supplement.

    • says

      This is the sort of information that consumers need, rather than PIXE’s more abstract approach, though I wonder about the inclusion of Nature Made. I bought some and it smelled awful. Returned!

      • says

        The does not tell the whole story. It is only for price which does not equal quality, source, accuracy of the labels, and the identity of the liquid in the softgels. My comments are based on science and has nothing to do with price.

        However, many consumers are taking more fish oil than is necessary because your body will reach a steady-state concentration of omega-3s. Spend the money to get an omega-3 index report rather than investing in perhaps useless brands of omega-3 dietary supplements. Depending on your goal, you will perhaps need a targeted health outcome approach. Do you need cognitive support, then you will need more DHA than EPA. For cardio, you may need EPA only.

        In the end, the best approach to omega-3 deficiencies is from the diet if the source of the marine organisms are low in toxins.


        • says

          I agree, PIXE, your site contains much extremely valuable information, and you are much more concerned about quality, which I appreciate very much. But — the formats you use to present the data make retrieving and interpreting your information difficult to someone who is a consumer rather than a biochem researcher.

  128. Randi says

    There was also a comment about how it may be good for the fish oil that it is heated during the process of removing toxins and PCBs. My respond to that is that the oil is of course “stressed” in a way, going through such a process. However if the crude oil is low oxidized and of very good quality, the process itself is quick in a sence that it will reach a very high temperature during a very short time. After all it is important also not to take an oil with toxins and PCBs. Therefore this process is important.

  129. Jami says

    What are your thoughts on Advocare’s Omega Plex? One serving contains 600mg EHA and 400mg DHA with 6 IU of Vitamin E. Recommended dosage is 2 capsules twice daily. Do you have an opinion on this dosage or on this particular brand? My husband needs to improve his lipids (he is currently walking & eating healthy). With those two changes he was able to bring his Triglycerides down 125 points but still has work to do. I want to make sure I get informed opinions before I make my final choice on brands.
    Thank you for your article; there is a lot of information!

  130. Jacob says

    Carlson EcoSmart Omega-3 is another calamari oil product like Jarrow Max DHA. They are about the same price per gram of DHA, but Carlson’s has more EPA. Nowhere does Carlson say they are using Pharma Marine’s Calamarine product, but the Carlson product details line up perfectly with the Calamarine 140/360 ethyl ester formulation. Each gelcap has 1000 mg of calamari oil, of which 140 mg is EPA and 360 mg is DHA.

    The flavor is mild – barely fishy at all. If I take them without food, worst case I just get lemon burps. Look for Carlson’s in a 180-count bottle, or in a 90-count bottle with 30-count bonus for the best price.

  131. Mark says

    Also, i forgot to add, isn’t heat extraction used in all fish oil supplement production? (except for the cold pressed green pastures fermented product) and if so, then the chances are that the fragile PUFS will be damaged and turn rancid in the capsule. I’m not sure if the heat used in extraction is ‘gentle? but if not then surely ALL omega 3 fish oil supplements should be avoided as you are consuming rancid PUFS? Also, if the heat used is not ‘gentle’ then does this also apply to all non cold pressed/fermented cod liver oil products??? Surely HEAT is the important factor here?

  132. Mark says

    I live in the UK and after spending over an hour reading this thread (and getting mightily confused along the way) i want to ask if i can just eat oily fish 3 times a week and eat Kerrygold butter (which is grass fed) for my omega 3’s???!!!
    Seems a lot easier and even pixe says it is best to get nutrients from whole foods first and supplement secondly. Maybe oily fish is the best/safest way to go re omega 3’s? Selenium in the fish should protect from the heavy metals and eating oily fish low in the food chain should also help.
    Just a thought

    • Randi says

      Suprisingly no comments about Anicidine and Peroxide value. Oxidated supplements still don’t have focus in the industry. This is in my opinion the most important feature besides toxins and PCB. Oxidation produces free radicals which again is known to be bad for your cells. I focus less on EPA /DHA as the difference and effect is minimal. I focus more on oxidation and toxins. I don’t want to take anything that may help me get cancer.

  133. Alexander says

    Here was I looking for information as to the best fish oil obtainable, from someone who had studied the subject. I looked at the beginning comments that were posted A W A Y back in May, 2011 and stared taking notes as to what should be taken or avoided.
    The more I read, the more confused I became, then to add to my misery, it would appear that on January, 2012, Chris Kresser donned a cape and became ‘Mighty Pixie’, a man of few words, and the color of the mud deepened.
    Sigh … I guess I’ll just continue buying what I’ve been purchasing for the past several years

    • says

      Sorry if I offended you with my post because I thought I was just trying to be helpful by supplying additional information. If you were to ask a question about the product you have been taking “for the past several years” and I discovered that it was marine biodiesel, I would let you know so that your health is not compromised. Do you care to share with us the product you have been taking “for the past several years”? I take Triglyceride Omega-3 Gold that supplies 400 mg EPA and 200 mg DHA per capsule that gives a total of 600 mg/day. This is approximately what the American Heart Association is recommending for those with out heart disease. This product is what is known as re-esterified fish oil. The fish oil “is sourced from certified sustainable wild-caught Pacific fish (Cod, Pollack) found in deep, cold, pure Alaskan Ocean waters.”

      Hope you continue to enjoy your product that you have been taking for the past several years and I hope it is not marine biodiesel.


  134. Rhonda says

    Hi, I am totally confused as to what I should or should not be taking as far as Fish Oil goes. I have been taking Blackmores and recently purchased Natures Own Omega Platinum. Are either of these good or bad for me. Do I even need to take Fish Oil? My husband and I are 56 years old and thought we were doing the right thing but it appears we may not be :(

    • says

      I am just jumping in here to add some additional information to the discussion even though the question was addressed to Chris.

      Since I believe you are from Australia, which has the TGA, which is protecting the citizens of your country, the two products you mentioned are good and are approved. See which gives some info on intake. In the US, the AHA recommends about 600 mg/day EPA+DHA for those without heart disease. Check to see if Australia has a DRI (dietary reference intake) for omega-3s. Many foods are fortified with omega-3s such as eggs, breads, etc so that everyone is getting some of these omega-3s. The question is, how much additional omega-3s do you need will depend on your diet and how much oil fish you eat. Normally, get the nutrient from your diet first, then supplement on a need-to-basis. Other issues consumers face are pollutants in the fish and the cost and time for preparation not to mention access to this food source.

      Here is the reference to your Omega Platinum This product contains a combination of both real fish oil and krill oil. Therefore, you get the benefits of both EPA+DHA bound to TAG and PL (Phospholipids).

  135. Kris says

    Hi everyone, I am curious to know your thoughts and if you have ever heard of Designs for Health. I am currently looking for a good Omega 3 to use while pregnant. They have a Prenatal pack that includes something called OmegAvail. With all the comments I have read above this seems good but maybe I am missing something. Here is the link to the website. They even post a certificate of analysis.

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated.


  136. Dan says

    I’ve personally got the Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil and NOW’s Neptune Krill 1000(not sure where I read the recommendation for that one) Anyways, should I be taking both each day and if so how do you dose them? I intermittent fast and typically eat my first meal around noon. It’s usually then I pop 1 Krill pill. Then another after dinner at 7ish. I’m just trying to figure out how to get the cod liver oil in. Maybe a rotation of some sort. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  137. Kim says

    We ran out of Carlson’s Fish Oil liquid several months ago, and need to order again. Just listened to The Ugly Truth About Fish Oil, and he (Steven Sisskind, MD), sells Real Dose Super Critical Omega 3-TG. Would it be that much better than Carlson’s Fish Oil? So many choices, which to get?

    • Randi says

      Would stick to Carlsons which is produced of fresh cod liver oil during winter-time when temperatures are low in Norway and Iceland; against 3-TG of anchoveta from Peru produced under high temparatures and highly exposed to oxidation.

      • Kim says

        Thanks Randi. If there are any other brands equal or better would consider them, too. Otherwise will order Carlson’s.

  138. says

    I recently got some Nature Made Fish Oil One Per Day (1200 mg One Per Day formulation, 1 softgel provides 720mg of total omega-3s) from Walgreens.

    It smelled bad and generated fish burps, unusual for me. I returned it to Walgreens. No more Nature Made for me.

    • Randi says

      If you burp from fish oil, it’s your body telling you that this is not good for you. Your body knows that oxidized oil is not good for the cells, and it’s therefore trying to get rid of it.

  139. Denis says

    -I am a 26yo male.
    -I don’t have any health issues that I know. Just a few extra pounds..
    -My name memory is weak ( not too bad though )
    -My heart beats a little faster than its supposed to.
    -I don’t know if all of these info matters or not.
    I am just looking for a fish oil supply that wouldn’t be a problem if I use for many consecutive months because of some extra vitamins it includes. I know that some vitamins are harmful when you take them too much without taking a break. I don’t like to take a break and pretty ironic enough that I don’t want having to remember taking more than one pill a day. So just one.( I used to take GNC Triple Strength but not sure if that is the best) Money is not an issue at all. So which specific brands are good for me in a very long run?

  140. James Bagley says

    Where is USANA? They are generally the number one choice in the extensive Nutrisearch Comparitive Guide to Nutritional Supplements. Over 500 supplements are extensively tested in these editions. Worth looking into. Due your research.

  141. Dedee says

    I’m confused about the recommended Jarrow Max DHA. The article says it’s made from anchovies and sardines, but the Jarrow website says it’s made from calamari. Is calamari also naturally low in contaminants?

    • says

      My bottle of Jarrow formulaes Max DHA list on the bottle that it is from Calamari. However, doing some research on Jarrow’s products leads me to suspect something fishy here. Jarrow imports their oil and I originally thought they were a refiner and encapsulator. I take this product because of the high DHA content and the price is reasonable. However, until I can verify the source of the DHA, I am offering a recommendation with caution. The product that is in some Calamari products is the ethyl ester Calamarine® EE Marine Oil and is clearly marked in the “Supplement Facts Panel”. This ethyl ester product cannot be purchased in Australia because it is ethyl ester. However, Australia did approve of Nature’s Way calamari oil but only the TAG. If you are in Australia, here is the link: Here is the link for different calamarine products.:

      I have nothing against omega-3 ethyl esters and they have saved thousands of lives with the prescription drug Lovaza. My gripe is that many of the products listed as “fish oil” are not fish oil and instead are chemical compounds synthesized from oils extracted from fish. Fish oil is the oil extracted from fish and refined. Think of the oil extracted from fish as being the same type of fats (TAG) extracted from olive, peanut, corn, and linseed. Would you want your olive oil to be the ethyl esters of olive oil? They would not taste the same and are not bioequivalent. Do your due diligence and check what you are putting in your body as a dietary supplement. Remember, you are supplementing your diet with EPA and DHA and not their ethyl esters. When you eat fish, your diet will contain EPA and DHA as TAG molecules as nature has designed your digestive system. Remember, your first meal at your birth was fat (TAG).


  142. says

    Do you have any old fish oil dietary supplements and if so what are the brands and composition? I have in my collection more than 800 different products and I am trying to trace the history of different products when they came onto the market and what was the formulation. Any one else is also welcome to contribute to the discussion.

  143. Barry Cohen says

    Mercola has Krill that he offers for about $25 a bottle, a month supply or so I have to check. Does anyone know anything about his Krill Oil? This forum hasnt had the best reviews of his site.

  144. Seamaster says

    First thanks so much for your willingness to help educate and offer your time to share your research. Could you offer your thoughts on Nordic Naturals, EPA Xtra, Lemon, 1000 mg?


  145. rachel says

    What are recommendations for taking a liquid fish oil vs gel caps, enteric coating? Which is best for digestion for people with digestive challenges? What about NutraSea, any news?
    Appreciate the author’s article and hopes he comments also. Thoughts welcome.

  146. Susan Bruzzese says

    this is the most confusing post ever! PIXIE, in simplest forms, can you just list the products that you suggest I’m more confused now than ever with tag ,ee etc. I have no idea what to look for. I did go on your website, and it was lacking information that one can use. Would love to see a list of brands that are suggested.

    • says

      Sorry for the confusion. I will hopefully get a list together of some high quality products after I do some more detailed provenance studies. For the time being, a good product is Nutrigold Triglyceride (made in the USA) product. It is rTAG. What this means is that it is synthetic fish oil. To explain, let’s start with the source oil for this product. It comes from fish offal (cuttings) of Alaskan Pollock and whiting from the Alaskan fishery. Because Pollock and whiting are one of the largest fisheries in the world, the maintenance of this fishery is kept in the highest standards. As a result, products coming from this fishery are highly characterized and of the highest quality and the pollutants are highly monitored. For details see the textbook

      Now, in natural fish oil TAG, think of the capital letter E. The backbone of this letter is say glycerol (glycerin). Each of the rungs coming off E are fatty acids. In natural fish oil, the first rung (sn-1) will contain a saturated fatty acid such as palmitic acid or EPA. On rung 2 will mostly contain DHA (sn-2) and on rung 3 will mostly be another saturated or monounsaturated acid. This arrangement will depend on the species of fish, but most fish sources used in the production of “fish oil” dietary supplements will have a composition of about 30% EPA+DHA. This is where the term “18/12 TG oil” comes from i.e. 18% EPA and 12% DHA per 1.000 mg of oil or 180 mg EPA and 120 mg DHA per softgel. This was the formulation of the first prescription fish oil, MaxEPA that was approved for marketing in the UK back in 1982 (

      Now, for rTAG, heat natural refined TAG oil with ethanol and a catalyst (NaOEt) to remove the fatty acids (rungs) from glycerol with a process referred to as transeterification to convert the fatty acids to fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE). Next, do a molecular distillation to get rid of the lower (<C20) chain fatty acid ethyl esters and concentrate the higher chain FAEE such as EPA, DHA, and DPA. Take this solution and USP glycerol (glycerin) in the presence of a lipid enzyme or a catalyst to re-esterify (put back onto glycerol) the omega-3s and anything else that is left in the pot. Now, E will have essentially these three omega-3s attached on the three rungs. Now, instead of 30% EPA+DHA, the concentration has increased to perhaps 70%. What is important is that during digestion (a sequential process starting in the mouth), then moving to the stomach, the fatty acids in sn-3 will come off first (about 10% loss). Since there is a high probability that this will be either EPA or DHA will mean that your chances of absorption of these omega-3s will increase. The next sequential step is in the gut lumen where pancreatic lipase will take off the fatty acid (EPA or DHA) in position sn-1and sn-3 leaving DHA or EPA in the sn-2 position that form MAGs (2-monoacyls-sn-glycerol) which go to the enterocytes to be re-acylated (build the TAG back) and get you back E with high probability that all three rungs on glycerol contain an omega-3. In nature, you will not find TAGs with this high combination of omega-3s on the same glycerol molecule.

      To make things more interesting, some rTAGs do not have all three positions of glycerol occupied with a fatty acid due to incomplete reaction. This will lead to some MAGs (2-monoacyls-sn-glycerol) being already preformed and don’t need to be digested and will have direct passive into the enterocytes. This will mean faster absorption. For Nordic Naturals, most of their product line are rTAGs with higher amounts of these MAGs (1-5%). Some argue that this composition is more bioavailable. See the free download article on rTAGs etc. from

      Sorry for all the “verbiage.”


  147. Dionnie says

    I would like to know to know how to order this product (Moller’s dobbel omega3) my brother is very much interesting to try this medicine.. Please,,, how?


  148. ANOUK says

    Certainly lot of valuable information here. I was looking for a good quality fish oil, and ended up getting the Minami Nutrition MoEPA Plus, however I am also concerned on ANY FISH or FISH OIL that comes from the Pacific. Since Fukushima Nuclear Incident all pacific is loaded with radiation. As I avoid eating my so loved wild caught salmon from the Pacific, does anyone here knows where to get such a high quality fish oil capsules?

  149. Tom says

    In contradiction to your recommendation i read on the product Description of Jarrows Max DHA that they are made of calamari! What do you make of that?

    • says

      Jarrow’s MaxDHA is a good product that is TAG and is made from the cuttings of calamari. Be careful with calamari sourced omega-3 because there are also ethyl esters of this product.

  150. E says

    Honestly, I am so overwhelmed at all of the info. I thought I was doing okay with just getting what was on sale at my local pharmacy. I can’t spend a lot. I did find these three on Amazon. What do you think? Help please.
    1. Dr. Tobias Optimum Omega 3
    2. Pacific Coast fish oil platinum
    3. Naturerenetics Premium 3

  151. Chris Morris says

    Thank you so much for all the valuable information! My concerns are to reduce Triglycerides and inflammation related to asthma. I have been taking Kirkland Signature brand fish oil softgels. One softgel contains 410mg of EPA and 274mg of DHA. They claim deep water fish are used from Canada (anchovy and sardines) from fish oil concentrate. They claim a purification process to remove PCB’s. Is this product any good? It is about $12.00 for 180 softgels. Thank you.

  152. kbird says

    I am researching fish oil supplements for a recent RA diagnosis. Do you have any info/opinion about the product “Omega3 TG” manufactured by Athletic Greens?

    If I understand your recommendations correctly, I might consider taking a baseline (Green Pastures) PLUS a supplemental (Jarrow Max)?

  153. tracey says

    hi Im currently pregnant wanted to switch from a prenatal dha that was fish oil I was afraid of the mercury or toxin possibility. I did take this with my son he is amazing and bright and it is prenatal but at the time I didn’t realize there are options to fish supplied dha. I started taking a vegan dha epa Ovega-3 however I have very sensitive skin, I have now noticed after one bottle my skin is a mess my hands are so sore eczema red spots burning itching, winter itch on legs etc. my nursing son even has a little rash on his bottom and this is not normal for him. I ordered Naturewise Krill oil. I get nervous starting a new product. I have anxiety and worry about silly things. From what I read this is a quality supplement and company. Has anyone else taken this during pregnancy? My midwife told me I do need to stop taking a month before my due date . I assume this has to do with blood clotting, what if something were to happen early is this unsafe? if not pregnant- What happens if you have an accident and need surgery? I sure hope this is a good one.

  154. Tania says

    Great info, thank you! Unless I have missed it, could you please explain why ever since I have started taking omega-3s- Nordic Naturals, my back has been breaking out with severe acne including cystic acne. The skin on my back was flawless before this. Please help!! Thank you!

  155. Barry Cohen says

    I like Krill because of the pill size and all you mentioned above. Can you take BOTH fish oil and krill? Is it too much?? Also Vital Choice has a Krill….not sure what to do and what about the Liquid DHA?

    • Randi Bolstad says

      I know as working with a producer that Nordic Naturals are very careful about selecting their quality oil that they use in their products. They are very quality minded and one of the best in my opinion. Also “Omega-cure” is a tremendous pure quality product of CLO. If you don’t want to take the oil, I would at least bite the soft-gel to test the quality. Tasting is the way to know if your product is rancid (oxidated or not)

  156. Walker says

    Hi! I am interested in starting to take fish oil daily. I was wondering what you thoughts are on Beachbody’s Core Omega-3? Thank you

  157. Dan says

    Can anyone recommend a good fish oil in liquid form? My understanding is that for one it works out cheaper and secondly it doesn’t contain any additives that you would find in capsules. I’m also interested in Krill oil. Perhaps a combination of a fish oil and krill oil product.

    Also, is there a good source for reviews? Sorry if this has been asked before.


  158. Ivan says

    Hello, at this moment I take Xtend-Life Omega 3 / QH Ultra. I was a little tired and simple I want to try someone else’s product, and when I entered into a search engine then I get scared when I just saw how much of the product on the market
    Is there something equal or better that you can recommend as best-buy based on your experience for daily use.

  159. Trish says

    I was curious. I am looking for a product to use daily for my acne. Should I be take a fish oil from BOTH the baseline and supplemental level daily?

  160. dee says

    I’m looking for recommendations for pregnant vegetarians who eat no fish whatsoever. I also have high cholestrol.

    • says

      The product that you are looking for will have the logo or trademark of “LifesDHA”. This is a DHA only product derived from single cell organisms. LifesDHA contains the product DocosaHexaenoic Acid Single Cell Organism (DHASCO) made by DSM (formally Martek) and is extracted from the unicellular alga Crypthecodinium cohnii. Deva Vegan Vitamins has both DHA (LifesDHA) and added EPA (non-fish sourced). Amerifit Nutrition Ovega-3 DHA EPA Vegetarian is another product containing both. You need to have EPA to reduce cholesterol. However, the doses in these dietary supplements may not be the strength you need unless you take several of the capsules.

      You need to be careful of these dietary supplements and make sure that the label says “LifesDHA”. This product containing DHASCO has generally recognized as safe (GRAS # 41) status and is approved for use in infant formula. I am quoting from New Zealand A Safety Assessment TECHNICAL REPORT SERIES NO. 22 “DHASCO is produced from C. cohnii using fermentation techniques. Cultures of the organism are grown up in liquid medium in shaker flasks and are transferred to progressively larger vessels. When the culture reaches a specified cell density and fatty acid content, the cells are harvested by centrifugation and spray dried. The process for extraction of the oil is basically the same as that used in conventional vegetable oil processing plants. The oil is extracted from the biomass by blending the biomass with hexane in a continuous extraction process.”

      Here are some products that are marketed towards pregnant and nursing moms that have the “LifesDHA” trademark: Expecta Lipil DHA. See for more products. I am sure there are others but the price is high due to marketing to these groups. Also, many of these products only contain 30 supplements per bottle. You are better off purchasing a LifesDHA product that is not marketed towards women and you will get a much better price for the same ingredients.

      For pregnancy outcome, 600 mg DHA/d has been recommended. Here is an excerpt from a publication: “A supplement of 600 mg DHA/d in the last half of
      gestation resulted in overall greater gestation duration and infant
      size. A reduction in early preterm and very-low birth weight could
      be important clinical and public health outcomes of DHA supplementation.
      This trial was registered at as NCT00266825.” From “DHA supplementation and pregnancy outcomes” in Am J Clin Nutr 2013;97:808–15.

      Good luck on your pregnancy,

  161. rocks2stocks says


    I very much appreciate PIXE taking the time to share his knowledge here. From him I have learned the important differences between TAG, EE and rTag supplements. My only complaint is that sometimes his links don’t work. This one does . (The Jarrow site does not state that Max DHA is made with Calamarine. Perhaps the website has not been updated to reflect the reformulation.)

    PIXE has not hijacked Chris’ blog. He is posting on what would otherwise be a dead thread. I would suggest that no one try to imagine how Chris feels about it.

    Thanks, PIXE.

    • says

      Sorry about the link. Perhaps this will work:
      There is a table of the contents of the different types of oils TAG vs. EE. Just compare the label on any product with the listing. Pharmamarine is suppose to be the only supplier of Calamari oil but that does not mean that someone else could be selling it unregistered. Although Jarrow’s formulae does not match the currently listing on Pharmarine does not concern me since the content of the oil changes and they could perhaps be selling a different formula. In addition, Jarrow could of purshased the raw oil and then re-esterified it to get the formula that is not listed. My data shows that my bottle has rTAG. I will check to see why the trademark Calamarine is not on Jarrow’s MaxDHA.

      I am only reporting the chemical forms of these oils since this is the major concern of an effective product for various disease. I apologize if I have not provided any mercury or other toxin data since this is also of concern. These products are purified to reduce these contaminants to accepted standards. Calamari are low in contaminants because of low lifespan. In addition, the part of the calamari that is used for producing the oil is from the cuttings.


  162. Ben says

    Hi Chris,

    Add me to the list of people who would like to know what you think of the new Jarrow Max DHA formula, which is made from “calamari oil” (Marketing-speak for squid?). It’s still a great price, so I’d like to know what you think.



    • says

      Jarrow’s revised formula Max DHA is a high quality product and it is TAG oil from the waste cuttings of wild squid. To learn more about the product visit the producer’s web site My bottle Lot# 48269k 12 Ex. 11/14 was purchased from Amazon at $22.37 for 180 softgels. Each softgel supplies 250 mg DHA and 65 mg EPA. Researchers are recommending higher DHA intakes for pregnancy and lactating moms. High DHA is suspected of decreasing symptoms of Alzheimer’s and may result in a reduction of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

      The company makes both the ethyl ester and TAG derivatives of the product and you must be careful of which one you select. See my post early on in regards to Dr.’s Best DHA 500 which is an ethyl ester.


      • Kelly says


        I don’t understand why you keep posting, basically hijacking poor Chris’ blog. You’re clearly passionate about certain types of fish oils, but the fact that you’re not interested in the mercury or other heavy metal content of oils, almost negates your obsession with a particular form of oil. If the brands (with high DHA, which I’ve read over and over are not the type to get) are contaminated with heavy metals, why would they be preferable over others that have been purified?


  163. pen says

    I am iodine sensitive…….one of three doctors says hashemotos…… considering this….. which product would you recommend… thank u!!

  164. Lisa J. says

    In all honesty, I’m somewhat skeptical of fermented cod liver oil.

    Have there been independent lab tests on the benefits of fermented cod liver oil? I’m emailed Green Pastures to ask them questions about their products. Their responses are usually evasive. I wonder why?

    I would love too see more hardcore evidence before jumping the gun.

  165. Penny says

    Hi….I am sensitive to iodine in fish (hashimotos ). I’ve just recently realized that the flushing i have ( poss hashiimotos reaction) ,is attributed to using cod liver oil… I didn’t see any warning in ur article concerning iodine in the fish oil, for hashimotos… Could you plz give ur opinion on this…..I’ve been taking Carlsons Norwegian Cod Liver Oil. Could you plz make a suggestion for me… THANK YOU !

  166. Danny says

    In May of 2010 Chris Kresser recommended Vital Choice Wild Salmon Oil. I would really like to purchase a natural triglyceride fish supplement. What I don’t understand is that the EPA is greater than the DHA. I thought it was more beneficial for the DHA to be greater. Please explain.

    • says

      With all do respect to the moderator Chris.

      For VitalChoice “Wild Alaskan” Sockeye Salmon Oil, they forgot to tell their salmon to make the oil with a different DHA/EPA ratio than they naturally produce. My bottle with Lot # uc100411 that expired 8/2012 has 90 softgels. Each softgel supplies 80 mg EPA (8%) and 73 mg DHA (7.3%) for which I paid $22.00. Today, the formulae has not changed and you get 90 softgels for $24.00. The supplement facts is misleading as well as their website because you need to take three softgels to get 240 mg EPA and 220 mg DHA. Again, read your labels before you purchase your dietary supplements. In salmon, the DHA content is greater than EPA. The VitalChoice salmon oil is a low quality product with low concentrations of DHA and EPA. If the EPA is greater than DHA in products that claim to be “salmon oil”, I would not purchase it. It is widely known that there are many fake salmon oil supplements on the market that are just regular fish oil with the red pigment astaxanthin. A more cost effective purchase for high concentrations of DHA would be Jarrow Formulas Max DHA that each softgel provides 250 mg DHA (42%) and 65 mg EPA (11%) in TAG from calamari. My bottle of 180 softgels cost me $16.49 from Vitacost: or $22.37 from Amazon. Price does not include shipping. Wow, that is a tremendous difference in price for the VitalChoice (90 softgels for $22.00, 80 mg EPA, 73 mg DHA) vs. Jarrow Max DHA (250 mg DHA, 65 mg EPA).

      DHA is important for pregnant and nursing women and also has promise for improving cognitive functions. In Canada, they allow the following health claims on DHA rich fish oil: “DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, supports the normal development of the brain, eyes and nerves.”

      Before purchasing salmon oil, see the article: “Supplementing long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in canned wild Pacific pink salmon with Alaska salmon oil” at (open access, i.e. free). This article will give you the background information on where salmon oil comes from. In addition, before purchasing salmon oil or any other marine oils, read the USDA detailed database: This massive data base will give you information on trace elements as well as fatty acid content of cooked, canned, and different types of raw fish.

      I used this database to calculate how much EPA and DHA you can get from a cooked 100 grams (about 3.5 oz) of a salmon steak I purchased for $5.99 for a 4 oz portion. See my photo at to get a perspective of this cooked salmon steak in relation to a bottle of Kirkland’s Natural fish-oil capsules that can be purchased for $7.99 from Costco for 400 capsules. You can also purchase the almost identical Natural fish oil from B.Js. to get their “Berkley & Jensen Natural Extra Strength Fish Oil 1200 Mg” for $8.99, but you only get 300 capsules of the same product as the Kirkland. Both have the USP seal of approval since they are both “fish oil” in TAG as defined by USP.

  167. Danny says


    I just looked up Xtendlife Omega3/DHA Fish Oil (on their website) and found this info, “Our Omega3 / DHA Fish Oil is a 50/50 blend of hoki oil in its natural triglyceride form and a concentrated molecularly distilled tuna oil in an ethyl ester form. Both are exceptionally pure.” Would a 50/50 blend be to keep the cost down and how effective would this type of fish oil be?

    Thank you

  168. Danny says


    Does anyone have any information regarding Standard Process brand Tuna Omega-3 Oil. I asked about their processing/extraction methods and they stated, “The only additional information I can provide at this time is that it is filtered. Our vendors feel their filtration process is proprietary.” They also stated, “During manufacturing, our marine oils are processed to retain their natural triglyceride structure.” What bothers me is that the information sheet and the packaging doesn’t state anything about ethyl ester or triglycerides. Has anyone on this site found out any more info regarding this brand?

    • says

      My bottle of Standard Process Tuna Omega-3 oil was purchased from Amazon and now the cost is $33.00 for 120 capsules that are pearls that weigh 0.97271 g. Each capsule supplies 150 mg DHA and 30 mg EPA from refined tuna oil, TAG. Refined tuna has GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status via three GRAS applications. GRAS numbers 94, 109, and 379 (from Ocean Nutrition Canada) cover tuna oil. Find all GRAS applications at: GRAS 379 will give you details on how the oil is extracted from tuna byproducts. Also, there are no ethyl ester incorrectly labeled “fish oil” GRAS products. Only TAG oils have GRAS status such as menhaden, salmon, and re-esterified oils. This should tell you something about the safety of TAG oil dietary supplements.

      A better buy would be Jarrow Formulas MaxDHA from Vitacost $16.49 for 180 capsules each supplying 180 mg DHA and 65 mg EPA from Calamari oil that is TAG. Notice that these two dietary supplements have DHA > EPA. In this case, DHA is suppose to be better for retina and brain development. The reason why tuna oil got GRAS was because it is used in baby formula to promote healthy brain and retina development.

      So, the choice is cost effective to get your DHA > EPA from Calamari rather than the more expensive tuna oil. Both will also have DPA omega-3 fatty acid. I have no information on heavy metals and organic toxins for these two products. However, the GRAS application for the tuna oil discusses how they remove these toxins. Similar description is also on for calamari oil.


      • Danny says


        Thank you for the information and please excuse my ignorance on the subject of ‘fish oils’. Is TAG the same as TG (natural triglycerides) when being used in the comment section?

        Also, right now I am taking 3000mg (3 soft gels) of Xtendlife Omega3/DHA Fish Oil – 50%EE (Tuna )/50% TG (Hoki) 60 soft gels to a bottle ($17.95), so 1 bottle lasts me 20 days. I would really like to switch to something healthier, no EE, without further damaging my pocketbook. If Standard Process is a good TG/TAG product I wouldn’t mind taking that. I can get that through my chiropractor for an even better price than on Amazon (go figure!). I had no idea about ethyl ester, and thought I was purchasing a totally healthy product. I don’t think of 50% EE as healthy. And one more question… what do you think about Barlean’s Wild and Whole Alaskan Salmon Oil, listed as “Natural Triglyceride Form”?

        Again, thank you for any information you might be able to give me,


    • says

      Here is more references to GRAS fish oils. This is from GRAS Notice GRN 193:

      “Eupoly-EPA and Eupoly-DHA are substantially similar to other fish oils that are already
      regarded as GRAS for addition to foods, including menhaden oil (21 CFR 184.1472),
      small planktivorous pelagic fish body oil (GRAS Notice GRN 102), salmon oil (GRAS
      Notice GRN 146), anchovy-sardine 18/12 TG fish oil (GRAS Notice GRN 138), Marinol
      Omega-3 fish oil derived from anchovy, sardine and mackerel (GRAS Notice GRN 105),
      and tuna oil (GRAS Notice GRN 109).”

  169. JB says

    I’m in the process of taking fish oil from livers, seperated mechanically after being cooked for a short period at 70C, and trying to design an oil for capsules (or bottling) from this. My untouched oil is 100(ish)mg DHA and 60(ish)mg EPA, and I am waiting of vitamin results from the lab unfortunately. From here I am planning to use a solvent based process to partially concentrate some oil and blend it back in to the raw oil to improve the DHA/EPA content (after total removal of the solvent of course!!). By doing so I expect that I will be able to retain all the natural good stuff in the oil (phospholipids, marine DNA, any other good stuff there is) and produce a better product.

    What concentration would be best to bring the DHA/EPA up to?

    Any other advice?

    Thanks. JB
    A university student.

    • Randi Bolstad says

      The only problem on doing this would be the contaminants, that is mainly why all raw oils have to go through a refining process

    • says

      My bottle of Res-Q Power of the Sea Omega-3 supplement 1250, lot # 77341 Exp 03 2016 contains 200 softgels for which I paid $41.00 on Amazon in June 2013. Each softgel supplies 390-425 mg EPA and 300-325 mg DHA. It appears that they don’t know what the real concentration is, and they give a range perhaps due to variability from batch-to-batch. This is one of the few products that I see where they give a range. I gather this is being honest since probably those values on other bottle labels are incorrect and really are ranges. Hard to imagine that all those labels on products can have the same identical absolute amount of EPA and DHA per capsule since the concentration of omega-3s varies season-to-season, location-to-location, and species-to-species in fish. A range is probably more realistic and gets around misleading advertising since many fish oil products that are tested do not have the concentrations stated on the bottles. Most of them are lower than what is on the label.
      This product Res-Q 1250 enjoys marketing fiction by stating, “is the purest, most potent form omega-3, EPA and DHA, available.” This product is a low-grade ethyl ester omega-3 market with several saturated fatty acid ethyl ester impurities and is not the “purest, most potent form.” What is disturbing is that they have fallen to the same tactics as many products by listing “Omega-3 Fatty Acids” content instead of listing the total amount of oil concentrate or “fish oil concentrate.” This misleading listing of the amount of EPA and DHA per total omega-3 content is misleading and gives a higher percentage of EPA+DHA than is actually in the product. For Res-Q 1250, each capsule weighs 1.83932 g but the oil weighs 1.29852 g versus the “omega-3 fatty acids” of 750-850 mg. When I calculate the relative amount of EPA and DHA content to the mass of the liquid (oil concentrate) I get 32% EPA and 25% DHA. If you use the “omega-3 fatty acids” as the relative amounts you get 50% EPA and 38% DHA, which is misleading. So, (32+25) gives 57% EPA+DHA content. You have to ask yourself what is the remaining 43%. Well, this is those infamous saturated fatty acid ethyl esters that you find in marine biodiesel.
      This brings me to the point that you really have to read those labels carefully. Also, in error is the total fat content of “1.5 g” when the mass of the oil is only ~1.3 grams, unless they calculate that the capsule is fat which it is not. Most of the omega-3 dietary supplements on the market do not have up-to-date labels. Back in 2004, the FDA allowed Qualified Health Claims for Omega-3 Fatty Acids to say, “Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.” However, many products on the market do not have this statement on their products and shows that these products are not up to date with labeling.
      Finally, $41.00 is very expensive to pay for a product that is less pure than other products on the market. I gather the high cost goes towards marketing “is the purest, most potent form omega-3, EPA and DHA, available” fiction. It is not how much you take, but how much gets absorbed that counts. You are better off with natural TAG and a lower price, but you will have to take more capsules. For $41.00, I can buy 5 bottles (2,000 softgels) of Kirkland Natural (not the enteric, ethyl ester Kirkland) that will give me 600 grams total of EPA+DHA versus 150 grams (1 bottle of 200 softgels) for the Res-Q 1250.

  170. Chloe says


    I was hoping for an answer to the question about Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil and whether or not it is rancid. It smells and tastes absolutely vile and gives me stomach cramps so I just cant bring myself to take it. I figure our natural instincts should be trusted and if your senses are telling you not to take it then you probably shouldn’t?! Is it supposed to taste like this?

    Also, on their Product Test Data page it shows that a lot of the vitamin D in the FCLO is D2 rather than D3 and the Vitamin A is palmitate rather than retinol. Does this have implications and is it still the brand you most highly recommend Chris?

    • Randi Bolstad says

      Rancidity is oxidation which is known to be bad for you cells . When your body is repeating the oil, it is your body telling you that this is not good for your body. It is a natural reaction. I have test results from a lab on Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil, showing that the oxidation level is probably already at stage 2. Not within pharmacopeia standards nor in the USA or EU in other words. If not refined I can only imagine how the contaminant parameters would be!

  171. Andrea says

    Hi I am allergic to shell fish. Would taking fish oil or cod liver oil be the same as shell fish? I really need a good supplement and just can not eat fish or seafood. It repels me. So any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  172. Nick Chotta says

    Hi Chris,
    Recently I listened to an infomercial about the benefit of TG over EE Fish oil. The reason that I take fish oil supplements is for the anti-inflamatory effect for my degenerative disc disease. My doctor, Joseph Maroon conducted a study through the University of Pittsburgh. He says that it doesnt really matter what kind of fish oil you buy, just get the dose up to 3,000 mg/ day. Any thoughts on this?

  173. Lisa Jane says

    PIXE, Thank you for the response. I wouldn’t necessarily say that the Swanson product has been “working” for us. I don’t think either of us feel any different for taking it! I had just read and heard over the years how important it was take fish oil. Do you notice a difference when you take it, other than improved cholesterol levels?

    I don’t have to worry about cholesterol levels, myself. Mine are naturally very good. I am taking it more for brain power and inflammation. I read recently in Nutrition Action Healthletter that arthritic people with the highest blood levels of DHA have the least cartilage loss. This is a correlation — not cause and effect — but the study also found that there was no correlation between cartilage health and EPA blood concentrations. (Osteoarthritis Cartilage 20: 382, 2012).

    Thank you very much for pointing out that the Swanson EFAs Super EPA is only about 50% Omega-3’s. Now I think I understand how to read the label. So the Kirkland product you recommend is only 30% Omega-3’s, but according to the article you referenced above, that is the amount expected in a natural fish oil.

    Thanks also for the article information. The link that you provided did not work for me, but I did a Google Scholar search and was able to access the article because my college has access to full text. I didn’t see any comparisons there of absorption/availability as a liquid oil versus in a regular gel cap. Do you know? Are the gel caps just as easily absorbed?

  174. says

    The good news for you is that if these have been working for you and your husband, then why change. The bad news is that you are taking marine biodiesel fuel. My bottle 189621 MFG 11/11 Swanson EFAs Super EPA 300 mg EPA, 200 mg DHA out of 1,000 mg ecOmega 30/20 is only 50% EPA and DHA and not the 90% you quoted. Did you ever wonder what the other 50% is? Well, it is saturated and monunsaturated fatty acid ethyl esters which is the same flammable chemicals that are in marine biodiesel fuel. To me, this is a low quality omega-3 ethyl ester dietary supplement. Although you may have paid $6.49 for 100 softgels, it is my opinion that you are wasting your money. With ethyl esters, they must be taken with a high fat meal to be effective. To me, a better investment would be the Costco Kirkland “Natural Omega-3 Fish Oil 1000 mg” 400 softgels for $5.99 when on sale otherwise $7.49 After $2.50 OFF. This is USP verified for content and purity. Taking two of these per day gives you 600 mg EPA + DHA which are already in the natural TAG (fat) form that your digestive system knows how to deal with since your birth date.

    A very good article on TAG vs EE digestion and metabolism can be found in the peer reviewed article just published in Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, Please cite this article as: J.P. Schuchardt, A. Hahn, Bioavailability of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, Prostaglandins Leukotrienes Essent.Fatty Acids (2013), with title “Review Bioavailability of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids”.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but this is what the science shows (analytical chemistry) your Swanson Super EPA to be composed of.


  175. Lisa Jane says

    Hello. I’ve been reading this article and many posts with interest. PIXE, have you done any analysis of any of the Swanson brand products? I have been buying all my supplements from Swanson ( for years as they seem to be a good value. My husband and I have been taking their ecOmega Super EPA gel caps (300 mg EPA, 200 DHA, 50 mg other EFA’s) for years. Since these are over 90% EFA’s, does that mean they are high quality? Are they EE’s?

    Swanson has many other fish oil, krill oil, etc. products. I’m very curious if you have tested any of them. Thanks in advance!

  176. Mary says

    “Most already were taking cholesterol-lowering statins, aspirin and other medicines to lower their chances of heart problems.”

    Doesn’t tell us how well fish oil works for those of us who take it instead of statins.

    • says

      From a sample of one: I’ve been taking 3,000-4,000mg EPA+DHA in EE fish oil for years, and my LDL-HDL ratio is outstanding. Recent imaging shows, at 62, absolutely clean coronary arteries — and my father’s family had terrible heart disease. No statins for me. (I do eat fairly healthily, very little red meat, ingest more than 3 grams oat bran per day, plus olive oil and lots of nuts.)

      • Lisa Jane says

        Hello Altostrata. Did you come to a decision about what fish oil to take? I am in a similar situation in that I need something to deliver 3.000 mg of well-absorbed EPA+DPA daily without breaking the bank. I could research dose and price of the list of rTAG products which PIXE posted here Jan. 2, 2013… but if you’ve already done that I would really appreciate if you would share your conclusions. Thanks!

        • says

          Lisa Jane, I would surely appreciate your comparison of rTAG products!

          For now, I’m taking Natural Factors Omega-3 Factors. Still awaiting PIXE’s data on that.

          I got terrible fish burps from the Jarrow MaxDHA from calamari, which is also underpowered for my purposes, which are similar to yours.

          • says

            My bottle of Natural Factors Omega-3 Factors with 400 mg EPA (37.7%) and 200 mg DHA (18.8%) with total of 56.5% total EPA+DHA has the remaining product as fatty acid ethyl esters and is the same as marine biodiesel. I would not take this product for myself. As I mentioned earlier, there are other ethyl esters of higher purity and less expensive. Double check the Health From the Sun Eco-DHA because the bottle I have has 400 mg DHA and 100 mg EPA.

            Also, you should get an omega-3 index determined because knowing this number will mean that you could possible cut back on your intake. The money you use to pay for the test can be offset with less capsules taken. It was shown that taking high concentrations of these omega-3s becomes the same effectiveness after a certain concentration has be taken. Then, all you need is a smaller maintenance dose. After taking high concentrations of OM3, your body will reach a steady state concentrations where taking more does not do you any good because your body is saturated. I will try to find the specific reference to this study. I believe this is one of the reasons why the FDA has a limit of 3,000 mg (3 g) daily dose of OM3’s as dietary supplements. Here is the statement: “In response to a petition (GRASP 6G0316) from the National Fish Meal and Oil Association (NFMOA), FDA issued a final rule on June 5, 1997 (62 FR 30751) (the June 1997 final rule) affirming menhaden oil as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use as a direct human food ingredient with limitations on the maximum use levels of menhaden oil in specific food categories. FDA concluded that these limitations are necessary to ensure that daily intakes of EPA and DHA from menhaden oil do not exceed 3.0 grams per person per day (g/p/d). As stated in the June 1997 final rule, the maximum limit of 3.0 g/p/d on the total daily intake of EPA and DHA is a safeguard against the possible adverse effects of these fatty acids on increased bleeding time (the time taken for bleeding from a standardized skin wound to cease), glycemic control in non-insulin dependent diabetics, and increased levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.”

            Menhaden oil is TAG fish oil containing 180 mg EPA and 120 mg DHA. The other impurities in EE fish oil are not GRAS and I believe they are being sold illegally on the market as dietary supplements. There are no GRAS ethyl ester omega-3s dietary supplements in the database (public).

            I will get back to you about rTAG products as I mentioned are more expensive than the traditional fish oil dietary supplements. However, you digestive system knows how to handle these fats since your birth date. My student is in the process of updating my database on all the products with mass, size, cost, TAG vs EE, etc. With more than 675 products, this will take some time since I also have photographed every product.

            Then don’t get me started on the krill oil marketing fiction from scientific fact.


            • says

              Thanks, PIXE. That’s a very good point, maybe I’ve reached omega-3 saturation.

              Several of us in this conversation are looking for that quality-price-strength junction. Most likely this would be a high-quality EE or a low-price rTAG. If you can identify such, we would be very grateful.

              From Amazon:
              Health from the sun® eco dha™ contains molecularly distilled, concentrated calamari oil in fish gelatin capsules. each 2 softgel serving provides 800 mg dha, 200 mg epa and 1,200 iu vitamin d3. the oil is concentrated at a favorable 4:1 ratio of dha and epa, the naturally occurring ratio of dha and epa found naturally in vital organs and breast milk. As an nutritional supplement, the raw material used in eco dha(tm) is harvested and processed using techniques involving little to no by-catch. As with all health from the sun(r) marine oils, eco dha(tm) is independently tested, using strict guidelines, for pcbs, heavy metals and other contaminants.

  177. LongOfTooth says

    Not only do we have to be concerned about what the consumption of rancid fish oil does to our bodies and apparently a high percentage of all fish oil capsules are rancid according to a study done in New Zealand.

    And now we learn that the benefits of fish oil have been greatly overstated.

    Fish oil doesn’t help prevent heart attacks, study shows

    I could go on but don’t have the time.

    I’ve run out of reasons to take fish oil or krill oil.

    • JB says

      I’m from New Zealand and am trying to produce a quality fish oil at the moment. I think you will find ALL fish oils are rancid, but it is just to varying degrees of rancidity.

      Also, I’m no expert on the subject, I’ve been researching for a while now, but if there is one thing I know it’s not to trust fox news.

      There is also tonnes of other benefits that are seemingly ignored in this article, so I’d hardly say the benefits are over stated.

      But yes, if you are wanting to take these to prevent a heart attack I’d probably make general lifestyle changes instead.

  178. mary says

    Hi Pixe,

    I would also like to know which of the EEs are high-quality.

    Thanks for all of your hard work.

    • says

      Mary and Alto:
      I just returned from Vitamin Shoppe and I purchased their Ultimate Gold Omega-3 Fish Oil ethyl esters supplying 735 mg EPA and 165 mg DHA in a 26.69 mm long by 10.75 mm diameter capsule that weighs 1.92351 g. This a large capsule that is made of a hard crackling softgel. My bottle 06613110 Exp 03/2015 cost me $16.49 for 60 softgels. I would get BEST VALUE: Omega 3 Fish Oil 735 Epa / 165 Dha (1290 MG) (120 Softgels , $0.25/serving ) which for me would be more cost effective with $0.25 per softgel that supplies 900 mg of EPA+DHA as ethyl esters. This product is very pure and I would not consider this as marine biodiesel because it has very very low concentrations (impurities) of saturated and mono-unsaturated fatty acid ethyl esters. I did not analyze these products for PCBs, heavy metals, or dioxins.

      Another product that I would take is Health from the Sun Omega-3 PFO Pure fish Oil Ultra Potent. My bottle 150806 Exp 11/13 provides 750 mg EPA and 250 mg DHA as ethyl esters in a capsule that weighs 1.76521 g with length 26.17 mm and diameter 10.40 cost me $24.46 for 60 softgels i.e. $0.41 per capsule. This product is very pure and is sourced from Alaskan Pollock, whiting and/or cod and is made in the USA. I believe it is sourced from the same fish offal as Pure Alaska Omega-3 that I purchased and discussed above.

      So, if I needed to lower my serum lipid profile (triglycerides) these are the products that I would be comfortable taking. However, this is my personal choice and it may not fit your needs or medical conditions. Also check with your health-care provider before taking any dietary supplements. Again, the products that I would take were not analyzed for PCBs, dioxins, or heavy metals. Therefore, caution is advised.

      Hope this helps.


  179. says

    PIXE, thanks, as ever, for your patience and knowledge.

    This is very important to me, so I want to bring it to your attention again. In you list some EE-type fish oil products. Some you say are of “high quality” and some of “low quality.”

    Which EEs on that list are “high quality” (meaning NOT “marine biodiesel”)? Next to rTAGS, this seems like my best option, as I take 3-4 grams EPA+DHA per day.

    Please post the subset of EEs responding to this question.

        • says

          My suggestions are based on chemical analysis and I am not a physician. In addition, I did not determine the concentrations of PCBs, heavy metals, and dioxin in these products. My main interest was in determining which products were mislabeled and contain marine biodiesel fuel. The products that are of high purity in ethyl esters EPA and DHA with very, very low concentrations of saturated and mono-saturated fatty acid ethyl esters (found in cheaper low quality products, same as marine biodiesel) are:
          Minami Cardio-3 which is made in the EU which has stricter rules than those products made in the US and OMAX3. My bottle Minami Cardio-3 Lot 25982C Exp 4/14 has 60 capsules providing 635 mg EPA and 194 mg DHA has 82.9% of these two PUFAs in a capsule that weighs 1.46164 g with diameter 9.65 mm and length 25.06 mm.

          For OMAX-3, my box Lot 1106083 Exp 4/13 has 562.5 mg EPA and 137.5 mg DHA in a softgel that weighs 1.22488 g with length = 22.20 mm and diameter = 9.31. This product is made by boiling natural fish oil with H2SO4 (concentrated sulfuric acid, yes car battery acid) with ethanol to make the ethyl esters. The ethyl esters are then extracted with hexane (Page 11 and 12 of patent). You can read the detail production process for this product in US Patent 7652068. Product also claims in the patent to cure baldness.


    • says

      Costco Chingford
      1 Shadbolt Avenue
      Off Harbet Road

      Get the Kirkland Natural Omega-3 Fish Oil 1000 mg (400 capsules) and it has the USP seal of approval. This is natural “18/12″ fish oil that has the similar quality as MaxEPA from Seven Seas in the UK. MaxEPA was the first prescription natural fish oil drug that has proven efficacy and safety. However, as all dietary supplements also carry the warning “check with your health care provider before use”, this would be a good idea.

      See my web site for more information on fish oils.


  180. Kristen Sandoz says

    Hi! I was wondering if you could tell me the difference between fermented and rancid? I know that rancid oils are very bad for your body and I am definitely effected by rancid oils. I also know one way to tell that they are rancid is to smell them and if they smell like stinky fish then they are bad. I’ve also heard how wonderful Fermented Cod Liver Oil is for you and I have tried taking Green Pature’s FCLO & Butter Oil. I got the chocolate paste kind and it was so terrible that I really have to work at taking it. And there is NO way my kids will take it. It smells and tastes like stinky fish. Why is it not concidered rancid and why does it not effect a person body the same way rancidness does?

    Also, my family currently takes Eskimo PurEFA 1000mg by Integrative Therapeutics. I have trouble with it as it makes me feel sick to my stomache about 10mins after I take it and I can get a headache from it. Is this a good type of Fish Oil to take and why might I have those sympotms? Could there be a binder in it that bothers me?

    Thanks for your time! You article is the best resource I have found yet on this confusing subject.

    • says

      My bottle of Integrative Therapeutics Tyler Eskimo-3 “Natural Stable Fish Oil” (Lot U1 121211 EXP 4/30/2013) is real fish oil but lower in EPA and DHA compared to cheaper brands. However, these are pearls size. On the low end based on label, there is only 22.6% EPA and DHA as compared to say Kirkland which is 30% but in a larger harder to swallow capsule. The Eskimo-3 is a reputable brand source. The capsule I analyzed contains a trace amount of trans fat and I will look into the possible reasons. This is one of the few products I have analyzed that shows a larger than normal trans fat content. You could try putting them in the freezer and take them frozen to lesson the stomach problems. This has worked for me. Check the label because there are several items like “natural lime flavor” etc.

      At least this product tells who made it “Manufactured by Cardinova International, Uppsala, Sweden” whereas many other dietary supplement products don’t list who made them. They only list “distributed by” or “manufactured for” which leaves the consumer to wonder where and how they were produced.


  181. says

    Note: This study found absorbability of krill oil was the best, but it contains more fat overall. rTAGs were absorbed about 20% better than EEs (thereby indicating to me a price premium of only 20% is justfied). To varying degrees, all raised omega-3 levels in plasma.

    Lipids Health Dis. 2011 Aug 22;10:145. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-10-145.
    Incorporation of EPA and DHA into plasma phospholipids in response to different omega-3 fatty acid formulations–a comparative bioavailability study of fish oil vs. krill oil.
    Schuchardt JP, Schneider I, Meyer H, Neubronner J, von Schacky C, Hahn A.

    Bioavailability of omega-3 fatty acids (FA) depends on their chemical form. Superior bioavailability has been suggested for phospholipid (PL) bound omega-3 FA in krill oil, but identical doses of different chemical forms have not been compared.
    In a double-blinded crossover trial, we compared the uptake of three EPA+DHA formulations derived from fish oil (re-esterified triacylglycerides [rTAG], ethyl-esters [EE]) and krill oil (mainly PL). Changes of the FA compositions in plasma PL were used as a proxy for bioavailability. Twelve healthy young men (mean age 31 y) were randomized to 1680 mg EPA+DHA given either as rTAG, EE or krill oil. FA levels in plasma PL were analyzed pre-dose and 2, 4, 6, 8, 24, 48, and 72 h after capsule ingestion. Additionally, the proportion of free EPA and DHA in the applied supplements was analyzed.
    The highest incorporation of EPA+DHA into plasma PL was provoked by krill oil (mean AUC0-72 h: 80.03 ± 34.71%*h), followed by fish oil rTAG (mean AUC0-72 h: 59.78 ± 36.75%*h) and EE (mean AUC0-72 h: 47.53 ± 38.42%*h). Due to high standard deviation values, there were no significant differences for DHA and the sum of EPA+DHA levels between the three treatments. However, a trend (p = 0.057) was observed for the differences in EPA bioavailability. Statistical pair-wise group comparison’s revealed a trend (p = 0.086) between rTAG and krill oil. FA analysis of the supplements showed that the krill oil sample contained 22% of the total EPA amount as free EPA and 21% of the total DHA amount as free DHA, while the two fish oil samples did not contain any free FA.
    By comparing plasma PL FA compositions in response to almost identical doses of EPA+DHA in different chemical forms (rTAG vs. EE [both derived from fish oil] vs. krill oil), we demonstrated that EPA+DHA were absorbed in the following order: krill oil > rTAG > EE. While this is the first study to report these differences in bioavailability after oral administration, the study is limited by an endpoint that is not representative for tissue composition. In future long-term studies, such a parameter should be addressed (e.g. the omega-3 index), together with parameters representative for the biological effects of EPA+DHA, such as serum TAG levels, blood pressure and others. Addressing these issues seems important in order to make the use of marine n-3 FA more efficient. Finally, the unexpected high content of free EPA and DHA in krill oil, which might have a significant influence on the bioavailability, should be investigated in more depth and taken into consideration in future trials.

    • says

      Your VitalChoice Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Oil is a waste of money in my opinion. The reason being that you are paying $24.00 for 90 capsules with each capsule providing only 80 mg EPA and 73 mg DHA. For the off sale price of Costco Kirkland Natural Omega-3 1000 mg fish oil provides 180 mg EPA and 120 mg DHA per softgel for $9.99 for 400 softgels (I paid $5.99 in January 2013 on sale). The math is easy. Also, you need to be careful of the term “wild salmon” because wild salmon will usually have the DHA concentration greater than the EPA and this is not the case for this product. My bottle (Lot 377069-01, Exp 04/15) of Vitamin World Cold Water Salmon oil (240 rapid release softgels) 1000 with 400 mg “active EPA/DHA” has 90 mg EPA and 110 mg DHA per softgel. I paid $15.99 for 240 but this is still to expensive. What is your reasoning for taking salmon oil?

      Again, a better deal is the Kirkland natural (my bottle Lot 395187-01 EXP 11/16) and it has the USP label that is correct. This product has the same natural fish oil as BJs Berkley & Jensen (my bottle Lot 1055108, EXP JAN 2015) “Natural Extra Strength Fish Oil 1200 mg” with 300 softgels. However, you get less softgels at a higher price. They both claim low Hg and PCBs.


  182. says

    A great round up on the various types and quality of oils.

    I found through a contact who was manufacturing a kind of multi for eye health containing high dose omega 3s, that after much research their company preferred the natural triglyceride form of oil for their product. Aside from increased bio-availability, his research over quite some time had led him to the belief that the ethyl ester forms potentially retain too much residual ethanol through the distillation process.

    This was all several years ago however and perhaps things have changed with fish oil production.

    What I also find fascinating is Dr Leo Galland’s extensive research and clinical experience with fatty acid deficiency. And that fatty acid conversion to prostaglandins can be disturbed via a missing enzyme called delta-6 needed for converting Linolenic acids to n-3s. In this instance, you need EPA and DHA supplementation. Period. However, how many people ever find out they have a chronic fatty acid /prostaglandin deficiency for this reason? I’d hazard a guess, very few.

    A 1990 study discussed the the role PG deficiency plays in a number of chronic diseases. It also hypothesized that the PG deficiency potentially has a much larger role to play in any number of diseases with unknown etiology. Dr Galland’s case studies seem to suggest that, in part, this may well be true.

    Fascinating stuff.

  183. says

    Yes, PIXE, does your testing identify PCBs and other contaminants?

    Up above, in his main article, Chris Kresser says this about natural triglyercide fish oil:
    “And because it isn’t purified, it can have high levels of contaminants such as heavy metals, PCBs, and dioxins.”

    While, he says, natural triglyercide fish oil is more bioavailable, wouldn’t you agree contamination is a major drawback of these products? Or do you think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks? Heavy metals include mercury.

    PIXE, could you clarify your statement above: “Some Nordic Naturals, Quell, Pharmax, Jarrow MaxDHA, Bluebonnet, Nutri-Med Logic, and Ascentra NutraSea products to name a scarce few. Expensive production to make “synthetic fish oil.”” Are you saying those brands are the bad kind of synthetic fish oil?

    Please give us a list of your top 20 TAG fish oils, if you can. This would immensely aid shopping.

    • says

      With all do respect, the statement “And because it isn’t purified, it can have high levels of contaminants such as heavy metals, PCBs, and dioxins.” is not correct. See the authority on marine oil processing at: He has testified at several GRAS hearings on TAG based fish oils.

      The ethyl ester products are misleading when they say “molecular distilled.” Molecular distilling separates or fractionates compounds based on vapor pressure and molecular weight. If this were true for ethyl ester products then they should only contain a narrow molecular weight of products such as those with carbon numbers greater than 20 i.e. EPA, DHA, and DPA ethyl esters. Based on my analyses, this is not true and they contain high concentrations of C14 (myristic), C16 (palmitic), and C18 (stearic) saturated fatty acid ethyl esters which are the identical compounds in marine biodiesel.


      • says

        PIXE, you MUST take this into consideration: Consumer Reports DID find high levels of PCBs in some natural fish oils.

        I’ve read and what I see is extensive detail about 2 types of molecular distillation as a purification process, with mention only in passing about treatment with activated carbon as an alternative. There are no other purification processes described.

        Were you referring to activated carbon as a way natural fish oils might be purified of contaminants? Which brands do this?

        • says

          See Table 5 and figure 16 in There are two major steps in going from catch to capsule for making fish oil that is a co-product of fish meal. The first step is producing “crude fish body oil (CFBO)” by the wet rendering process. This CFBO from industrial fish such as anchovies, mackerel, and menhaden are packaged in drums under nitrogen and sold to the refiners for further processing for the second step. Usually, molecular distillation is done after cleaning up the CFBO.

          I am not sure which brands process the CFBO by which method because this is proprietary information. You can follow some refiners such as Nordic Naturals and Ocean Nutrition (ONC), trade mark product MEG3 (they were purchased by Royal DSM on their web sites. ONC use to have a nice description on how they purify their fish oil but they don’t have the nice link anymore. Pronova (purchased by BASF) makes the API (active pharmaceutical ingredient) for Lovaza (prescription Omega-3 ethyl esters). See their web site
 The two patents for making the API for Lovaza are and describe in detail how these ethyl esters in high concentrations are produced. Remember that this EPA-EE and DHA-EE are the same two APIs that are found in incorrectly labeled “fish oil” dietary supplements but at a much lower concentrations. The remaining higher concentrations are saturated and mono-unsaturated fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) whose efficacy and safety have not been evaluated. These FAEE (saturated and mono-unsaturated) chemicals have been removed from the prescription Lovaza and the NDA (new drug application)-Chemistry for Lovaza and Vascepa impurity removal and testing have been approved by the FDA so that these two drugs are FDA approved prescriptions. Oddly, EPA-EE and DHA-EE were used in mislabeled “fish oil” dietary supplements long before big pharma made them prescriptions.


          • says

            As I read Table 5 and figure 16 in, particularly figure 16, these show the processing leading through molecular distillation and resulting in the end fish oil product.

            Per figure 16, there are only two variations. One goes from molecular distillation –> deodorization –> packaging and the other goes from molecular distillation –> vacuum distilled –> packaging. (The products “ethyl esters, omega-3 concentrates, etc.” are solely the result of the vacuum distilled process, which I’m guessing is an error in the chart.)

            In figure 16, all the products go through molecular distillation, which, if I understand you correctly, turns all the fish oil products into ethyl esters.

            The author (Bimbo) goes on to say “There are additional processing steps…” and lists 7 processes that I’m guessing are optional and perhaps further remove the fish oil from its “natural” state.

            Nowhere in this paper does Bimbo indicate the relative quality for human consumption of any of the fish oil products. He is merely describing various processing steps.

            Are you saying the products that follow the molecular distillation –> vacuum distilled –> packaging route are better? Having been molecularly distilled, aren’t they ethyl esters? Or are they a special kind of ethyl ester?

            • says

              In the article on the processing of fish oil, it does not have to be ethyl esters to be molecular distilled. Those diagrams and figures are the standard industry procedure for making crude fish body oils for refined fish oil for dietary supplements and drugs. All the fish oil supplements have to be purified before human consumption.

              You can read more details about the entire process of making fish oil and krill oil in a detailed report (147 pages) with references and diagrams. I recommend every one read this document (Pub date 10-19-2011) for an in depth information on all aspects of fish oil. They even discuss rancid oils and all the tests used to test them. All included are definitions of what “fish oils”. “ethyl esters”, and re-esterified fish oils. Here is the link for the 147 page document that you can read.

              Additional information can be found in the review article: “Production of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid concentrates: A review” by Nuria Rubio-Rodríguez in Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies Volume 11, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 1–12.
              I hope I did not saturate any eyeballs.


              • says

                PIXE, I bow to your greater knowledge. I have no interest in becoming a fish oil processing expert. I’m a consumer, I just want to be able to find the best omega-3 fish oil supplement that’s cost-effective for me.

                I’m sorry I’m so confused by the information you’ve been posting. Could you please clarify:

                – Does molecular distillation always produce ethyl esters?
                – Are all ethyl esters the bad kind (marine biodiesel)?
                – If not, what’s an easy way a consumer can tell a good EE from a bad EE?
                – Are the EEs you listed in the better EEs?
                – Are all TAGs the bad kind (marine biodiesel)?
                – If not, what’s an easy way a consumer can tell a good TAG from a bad TAG?
                – Are rTAGs always better than TAGs?
                – Are the rTAGs you listed in the better TAGs?
                – Is oil from calamari a good source of omega-3s?

                Perhaps you can write this up as a FAQ for your site. I can see it’s a work in progress and there’s not a lot of clear consumer information there.

                • says

                  Somehow you got all the information I presented all twisted and backwards. Sorry if I confused you or anyone else with information overload. First, molecular distillation is used to separate (fractionate) the different compounds and to remove PCBs, dioxins and furans. It is performed on both ethyl esters and TAG based omega-3s. The consumer can tell if the ethyl ester is mainly biodiesel by the concentrations of EPA and DHA. Usually, if it is more than 70% EPA and DHA, then there are less saturated fatty acid ethyl esters (short chain) that burn.

                  TAGs are natural fat in fish oil and these are not biodiesel (ethyl esters). This is the same type of fat (mother’s milk, corn oil, olive oil, flax seed, ice cream, butter, etc) you have been eating since your birth date but with a much lower concentrations, or none, of EPA and DHA.

                  Yes, the rTAGs I posted in are the better TAGs but are synthetic fish oil. I am using the term synthetic fish oil to mean that the components (fatty acids, both saturated, mono-unsaturated, and polyunsaturated) of natural fish oil TAGs have been removed from the glycerol backbone. Then, the intermediate compounds (ethyl esters) are distilled to concentrate EPA, DPA, and DHA ethyl esters. These PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acid ethyl esters) are reacted with a glycerol backbone in the presence of a special enzyme that will reattached these PUFAs back onto glycerol to make re-esterified TAGs or synthetic fish oil. In nature, the concentrations of having DHA, DHA, or EPA or any combinations of three PUFAs on glycerol is very rare but they do exist in very low, low, low concentrations.

                  The oil from calamari has less EPA and DHA than fish oil. This “calamari oil” is not really the oil extracted from calamari but instead are ethyl esters made from calamari oil and are the same as marine biodiesel fuel, and yes they make nice liquid candles.

                  The list of EEs I posted are both high and low concentrations of the ethyl esters and therefore low and high quality A high quality product that is made in the USA is Pure Alaska Omega-3 EPA DHA that is made from fish offal and is ethyl esters. My bottle Lot 417405 Exp 09/13 contains 80% EPA+DHA per softgel that weighs 0.91320 grams with length 20.22 millimeters and diameter 8.36 mm.. Each capsule has 356 mg EPA and 144 mg DHA. Therefore, 1 per day (500 mg) meets the AHA recommendations (strange coincidence). See their website for more details. Oddly, Costco sells this.

                  For your rTAG, it is difficult for the ordinary consumer to tell. One potential helpful site is the IFOS site and look under the Ultra-refined Products Category. Then look for the “Product Type” “TG softgel” and this will be rTAG. Notice that Nordic Naturals PrOmega meets their IFOS seal of approval. Product is only 60% EPA+DHA but it is rTAG fish oil.


                • says

                  What Costco is selling is Pure Alaska Omega™ Salmon Oil, 180 Softgels

                  In TWO softgels:
                  “The Total Omega Fatty Acids 600 mg – ** (Supplying DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) 220 mg, EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) 180 mg).”

                  Which in my book is 200mg EPA+DHA per softgel. There may be a higher strength Pure Alaska product out there — the “Clinical Strength” Pure Alaska Omega-3 EPA DHA you tested — but Costco is not carrying it.

                • says

                  I contacted the manufacturer of Pure Alaska and they said the better “Clinical Strength” Pure Alaska Omega-3 EPA DHA is sold in the stores. The Costco Web site carries the lesser product.

  184. rocks2stocks says

    PIXE, great to find you here. I read with interest all of your comments on the HF krill oil thread.

    You mentioned that various processing steps can produce unwanted byproducts. Do you test for any of these? And, would you expect to find them in rTag products?