3 Things You Should Know When Buying Fish Oil

The three most important things to remember when shopping for fish oil supplements are:

  1. Buy the liquid form, not the capsules.
  2. Get one in a glass bottle, not plastic.
  3. Omega-3’s derived from plants aren’t as useful inside the body.

Liquid is Best

Swallowing a pill is quick and easy, but in this case, take the liquid form of fish oil.

As you know, seafood goes very bad quickly. That’s what oxidation does to fish. Fortunately, this process can be slowed down with cold temperatures. But that’s the problem… fish oil capsules aren’t chilled.

They’re manufactured in room-temperature facilities and shipped in sweltering truck beds, then they’re shelved for untold amounts of time until the day you buy them. During that process, fish oil can easily become rancid!

Raise your hand if you like the taste of fish burps… because that’s usually what happens when you consume rotten oil.

Now, swigging a bottle of fish oil might sound unappealing at first, but it’s actually quite tasty. Good brands offer a nice citrus flavor.

If you absolutely must take a capsule, get Carlson Elite Omega-3 Gems. An independent lab tests their pills for freshness, potency, and purity to insure they haven’t turned. I still recommend you refrigerate them after purchase though.

Glass Bottles are Better Than Plastic

After you decide to buy the liquid form of fish oil instead of capsules, you’ll be faced with another decision. Glass or plastic bottles? Buy glass.

Simply put, glass bottles are impervious to air; plastic bottles aren’t… Be sure to put the glass bottle in the refrigerator after opening it. This will help preserve freshness.

Fish vs Plant-Derived Omega-3’s

Omega-3 supplements come from two main sources:

  1. Long-chain fatty acids (EPA and DHA)
  2. Short-chain fatty acids (ALA)

EPA & DHA are plentiful in fish. ALA comes from nuts and plants, like flaxseed.

The research wizards at Examine.com found that supplementing with actual fish oil is much more effective than flaxseed. At present, the degree of benefit from ALA is questionable. Estimates suggest that it’s 1/10th as useful in the body as EPA/DHA.

DHA is one of the most prevalent fatty acids in the brain. Our brains actually function better with a greater supply. So pick omega-3’s derived from fish, not plants.

If you have concerns about the mercury levels in fish, it may please you to know that the makers of Carlson Fish Oil claim their products are free of detectable levels of mercury, cadmium, lead, PCBs, and 28 other contaminants. Not all manufacturers can say the same.

Recommended Brands

#1) Carlson’s Very Finest Fish Oil: 16.9 oz bottle – $33.48

#2) Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Lemon: 16 oz bottle – $38.21

#3) Pharmax Finest Pure Fish Oil (Orange): 16.9 oz bottle – $67.95


I just started using Cod Liver Oil by “Now” . I’d really appreciate your thoughts on this supplement provider.
I also just started using MCT Oil, what is your stance on this?
Thanks in advance.

    Joelle, the NOW brand of cod liver oil is decent. It’s not my favorite, but it’s also not one I’d discourage anyone from buying.

    MCT oil is great, I use it also.

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