Best Fish Oil Supplements for Cognitive Health

Fish oil supplements have ascended to prominence due to their high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids in fortifying cognitive health.

These essential nutrients, particularly EPA and DHA, are pivotal for brain health and functionality. They’re linked to improved cognition, mood regulation, and overall mental acuity.

However, not all fish oil supplements are created equal. Let’s dive into the world of fish oils and unfold the best products for boosting your cognitive health.

Best Fish Oil Supplements

Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega

Nordic Naturals is a market leader that provides many formulations and dosage options for fish oil supplements. The recommended dosage for this product is two soft gels daily, which deliver 1,280 mg of omega-3s (650 mg EPA and 450 mg DHA). This dietary supplement has no artificial tastes or colors and instead relies on the natural flavor of lemon to mask any potential fishiness.
All of the products are non-GMO and independently evaluated, which is a big plus in the eyes of our certified dietitians. You may quickly get test findings for your products by scanning the QR code on the package and reading the brand’s freely shared Certificates of Analysis. Larger quantities, up to 210 pills per container, are also available. Over 44,000 customers have given this product a 4.7-star rating, with many praising that it doesn’t leave a bad taste in their mouth or cause them to burp. However, tablets have been criticized for their size by certain users.

Pros

  • Not smelly
  • Third-party tested with COA available for every product

Cons

  • Pills are fairly large

Kirkland Signature Fish Oil 1000 mg

This Costco alternative has 200 servings of high-quality fish oil, making it a great value. With 1,000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per pill and 250 mg of EPA+DHA, this is the most cost-effective option we considered. If you want to see the best results, follow the instructions on the package and take one pill twice a day, ideally with food.

Pros

  • Low cost per serving
  • USP Verified

Cons

  • Softgel needs to be taken two times daily

Nature Made Burp Less Ultra Fish Oil 1400 mg

One soft gel provides the recommended daily allowance of omega-3 fatty acids (683 mg EPA and 252 mg DHA). Take the pill with a meal and a glass of water for the best results. This nature-made product does not include synthetic colors or flavors but is gluten-, milk-, and shellfish-free. They have been enteric coated and measured around an inch in length to prevent fish from vomiting after taking the pills.

Pros

  • Formulated for no fish burps
  • Affordable option

Cons

  • It should be taken with water and a meal

Life Extension Super Omega-3 Plus EPA/DHA Fish Oil

Based on the Mediterranean diet, this supplement contains the polyphenol equivalent of more than four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 2,000 milligrams of fish oil concentrate. Antarctic krill oil is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, including 700 milligrams of EPA and 500 milligrams of DHA. There is no fishy aftertaste because of the supplement’s added natural lemon flavor.
This effective supplement passed ConsumerLab.com’s heavy metals and freshness testing, making it a top selection. Experts also like that every product the company makes comes with a Certificate of Analysis and that 99 percent of the items are made in the USA. Users report no fishy burping after taking it, although a complete dose requires four pills.

Pros

  • High-quality fish oil with available COA

Cons

  • Four pills per serving

Member’s Mark Double Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil

This double-strength omega-3 supplement from the Member’s Mark brand at Sam’s Club is another reasonably priced alternative, with 1,200 mg of fish concentrate. Total omega-3 fatty acids amount to 600 mg, including 324 mg of EPA and 216 mg of DHA. Although this dose is lower than some of the others on the list, it is still quite a significant one. This supplement contains 2,000 international vitamin D units, the recommended daily allowance. One soft gel is a serving, and it’s best to take it with food.

Pros

  • MSC Certified Sustainable
  • USP Verified
  • It also contains vitamin D

Cons

  • Not as many omega-3 fatty acids as others on the list

Kori Pure Antarctic Krill Oil Multi-Benefit Omega-3

In place of fish oil, tiny crustacean oil is gaining popularity due to its highly nutritious content. Omega-3s are necessary fatty acids; each serving provides 1,200 mg in highly absorbable phospholipid form. There is no need to worry about artificial colors since the red color of these tablets comes from astaxanthin, a naturally occurring antioxidant. If you’d prefer to take smaller doses more often throughout the day, the manufacturer of this brand offers alternatives to this very hefty tablet.

Pros

  • Contains antioxidant astaxanthin
  • Scannable QR code for tracing

Cons

  • Fairly large pill

GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil Mini

Do you dislike taking big pills? Mini soft gels of fish oil from GNC are convenient and simple to take. To get the recommended serving size of 1,065 mg of omega-3s, including 734 mg of EPA, 266 mg of DHA, and 65 mg of extra omega-3s, all you need to do is take two mini pills. This best-seller comes in a 120-softgel container and a 240-softgel bottle, and it contains no artificial flavors or preservatives.

Pros

  • Mini pills are easy to swallow

Cons

  • Must be taken with food

Now Ultra Omega 3-D Fish Oil

This powerful omega-3 supplement contains 1,200 mg of fish oil concentrate, 600 mg of EPA, and 300 mg of DHA per pill. Also included is cholecalciferol from lanolin, a form of vitamin D3, at 1,000 IU per serving. Vitamin D aids in calcium absorption and has an enormous impact on immunity. Each pill is a daily dose and tastes like lemon oil; therefore, it’s best to take it with a meal.

Pros

  • 2-in-1 formulation provides omega-3s and vitamin D
  • Strict quality standards
  • Only one pill serving daily

Cons

  • Fairly large pill

HUM OMG! Omega the Great

R.D.s formulate HUM’s fish oil complex, which includes 13.4 mg of vitamin E, a crucial fat-soluble vitamin that is an antioxidant in the body. There are 1,400 milligrams (mg) of omega-3 fatty acids in the fish oil, which breaks down to 800 milligrams (mg) of EPA and 400 milligrams (mg) of DHA.
All HUM items are produced at establishments with the appropriate FDA-required GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certification. The Clean Label Project has validated the safety and efficacy of this HUM supplement via third-party testing. Not only are all of the items guaranteed to have no more than 20 parts per million of gluten, but the firm also stands by that promise.

Pros

  • Clean Label Project Certified
  • No fishy aftertaste or smell

Cons

  • Only available in a small container for a 30-day supply.

Bar Lean’s Organic Flaxseed Oil.

Are you in search of a liquid omega-3 supplement that is also vegan? In this case, flaxseed oil is the best option. This Barlean’s choice is organic, raw, and cold-pressed. It’s just organic flaxseed oil, so keep it cool and dry. You may get a substantial daily intake with only a teaspoon since one tablespoon provides 7,640 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.

Pros

  • Vegan omega-3 source

Cons

  • Not ideal for high-heat cooking

Garden of Life Prenatal DHA Omega 3 Fish Oil

Omega-3 fatty acids are important in the development process of the brain both during prenatal and postnatal stages, and evidence suggests that they could have a potential protective effect against premature delivery. It is recommended that individuals who are pregnant consume fish with low mercury levels since mercury, a metallic element, has been associated with congenital abnormalities. However, if an individual has difficulty consuming fish when pregnant, a circumstance often seen due to sickness and dietary aversions, using a prenatal supplement might provide advantages.
The company Garden of Life, which has been extensively examined and discussed in several publications, offers a range of omega-3 supplements under Minami. The aforementioned concentrated product is specifically formulated to assist in promoting pregnant health and supporting the processes of nursing and lactation. Each soft gel contains 640 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, 480 mg of DHA, and 104 mg of EPA. It is recommended to consume this supplement with water and meals. While its potency may not be as pronounced as that of other items included in this compilation, it undoubtedly contributes to meeting the nutritional requirements of pregnant individuals. The supplement exhibits a lemon flavor to mitigate the presence of any unpleasant fishy aftertaste, a sentiment widely shared by most reviewers. Furthermore, this specific supplement has been subjected to thorough assessments conducted both internally and by independent third parties to ensure its purity and absence of heavy metal contaminants.

Pros

  • Lemon flavor to minimize fishy aftertaste

Cons

  • Not as high potency as others on this list

Pet Honesty Wild Caught Omega-3 Fish Oil for Dogs & Cats

Canines and felines also need omega-3 fatty acids for optimal health. The composition of this fish oil includes sardines, mackerel, anchovies, and herrings. The liquid supplement has been formulated to support several aspects of your dog’s well-being, including joint health, cardiovascular function, skin and coat condition, cognitive function, and general physiological health. The sample under analysis has 1,598 omega-3 fatty acids, including 800 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 525 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Pros

  • Can be incorporated into existing pet food

Cons

  • Some issues with dispensing through the pump

DEVA Vegan Omega-3 DHA EPA from Algae

Although the concept of a vegan fish oil supplement may first seem contradictory, many robust plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids are compatible with those adhering to a vegan diet. The DEVA option provides a dosage of 1,000 mg of omega 3s derived from microalgae oil, with a composition of 500 mg of both EPA and DHA combined. This product, which the Vegan Society has officially recognized, is devoid of gelatin. The recommended daily intake of the vegan soft gel is one serving to be consumed after a meal.

Pros

  • Omega-3s sourced from microalgae oil

Cons

  • Fairly large pill

Nordic Naturals Children’s DHA Gummies, Tropical Punch

Kids ages two and up who aren’t big fish eaters may benefit from this gummy option from Nordic Naturals. Each gummy chew provides 600 mg of total omega-3 fatty acids, broken down into 140 mg EPA and 355 mg DHA. The gummies have no sugar and are sweetened with a small amount of stevia extract. Still, a serving is only one gummy, so it’s important to keep these out of reach of children when not in use since eating too many may result in toxicity.

Pros

  • No artificial flavors or colors
  • Third-party tested COA is available for every product

Cons

  • One gummy per serving

How we chose the best fish oil supplements

In our quest to identify the best fish oil supplements, our team of dietitians engaged in a rigorous evaluation process rooted in nutritional expertise and supported by a comprehensive analysis of key factors. Here’s a glimpse into our methodology:

  • Dosage and Serving Size: We assessed each fish oil supplement’s dosage and serving size to ensure it aligns with recommended daily intake levels.
  • Price and Servings per Container: We considered the cost per serving and the total number of servings per container to evaluate affordability.
  • Ingredients and Form: We scrutinized the ingredients used and the form of the supplement, whether it’s in soft gel, liquid, or other forms, to cater to different consumer preferences.
  • Taste and Administration: We explored taste profiles and whether the supplement could be taken with or without food, providing insights into ease of consumption.
  • Third-Party Testing: We prioritized products that have undergone third-party testing for purity, potency, and safety. This ensures that the supplement meets high-quality standards.
  • Purity and Contaminants: We examined marketing claims, ingredient lists, and overall product quality, specifically identifying companies that test for contaminants like heavy metals, pesticides, and herbicides.
  • Internal Quality Control Standards: Companies with stringent internal quality control standards were highlighted, emphasizing their commitment to producing reliable and safe supplements.

Our goal was to provide a well-rounded selection of fish oil supplements that cater to diverse personal preferences and budget considerations while prioritizing safety and quality through third-party testing and rigorous evaluation.

What to look for when shopping for the best fish oil supplements

Navigating the sea of fish oil supplements can be overwhelming, but armed with these considerations, you can confidently select the one that suits your needs:

1. Form and Size: Determine whether you prefer pill or liquid options. Choose what aligns with your convenience and lifestyle.

2. Taste and Smell: Address the common complaint of fishy aftertaste or odor. Look for coated options to eliminate the fishy scent or contain flavor inserts to make consumption more pleasant.

3. Price: Fish oil supplements span a wide price range, but higher cost doesn’t necessarily equate to better quality. Calculate the cost per dosage to make accurate comparisons among different products.

4. Quality: Scrutinize the ingredients for artificial additives and prioritize products that undergo third-party testing by reputable institutions like USP and NSF. Ensure that what’s on the label matches the product’s actual composition.

5. Sustainability: For environmentally conscious choices, seek transparency in fishing practices. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification indicates sustainable sourcing. Alternatively, explore vegan options derived from plant-based sources.

6. Dosage: Initiate a dialogue with your healthcare provider to establish the appropriate dosage for your needs. If you need a starting point, consider the guidelines provided below.

Navigating these factors empowers you to make an informed choice among the many fish oil supplements available on the market. It’s a step toward optimizing your nutrition and overall well-being.

How much fish oil should you take daily?

Determining the appropriate dose of fish oil is a crucial aspect of supplementation, and while consulting your healthcare provider is ideal, some general guidelines can serve as a starting point. 

It’s important to recognize that specific conditions and life stages may necessitate varying amounts of individual fatty acids within fish oil. Most fish oil supplements combine DHA and EPA, but there are cases where one may be prioritized over the other. Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with benefits across various health areas, including cardiovascular health, inflammation, metabolism, mood, and cognitive function, largely due to their capacity to combat free-radical activity.

However, it’s also essential to acknowledge the potential downsides to fish oil supplementation.

In essence, while fish oil supplements offer numerous potential health benefits, it’s essential to exercise prudence, especially if you fall into these specific populations or experience adverse effects. Consulting with a healthcare provider remains the best course of action to ensure your supplementation aligns with your unique health profile and needs.

Are fish oil supplements worth it?

If fish isn’t a regular part of your diet, discussing the possibility of taking a fish oil supplement with your healthcare provider can be wise. Fish oil can potentially support a range of crucial aspects of health. These fatty acids benefit the heart, brain, vision, joints, and skin.

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil, exert their influence by impacting free-radical activity. This multifaceted action has been associated with improved cardiovascular health, inflammatory conditions, metabolism, mood, cognitive function, and potential cancer prevention contributions.

Fish oil supplementation isn’t universally necessary, but certain populations can particularly benefit from it. Fish oil is advantageous throughout all stages of life, from prenatal development to senior years.

Largeman-Roth adds that if you have elevated triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, or don’t consume fish regularly (at least twice a week), considering a fish oil supplement could be a prudent step. It’s a proactive measure to ensure your body receives the vital omega-3 fatty acids required for optimal health and well-being.

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