About this site

Hi my name is Sarah, and I'm a fitness fanatic. I put together this site because I saw a lot of misinformation floating around on fish oil supplements. I put in hours of research, reading clinical studies to understand the underlying data on whether fish oil can be beneficial and then sifting through nutrition labels to see which supplements actually have the ingredients necessary to effect change. This site contains a collection of my findings.

I've included links to all the source material in case you're interested in some light reading. I am not a medical professional, and I don't intend to provide medical advice. Instead, I'm only pulling together information available from scientific journals and fact-checking fish oil manufacturers' claims by putting a critical eye to their nutrition labels. I hope you find this site helpful!

Are fish oil supplements effective?

Scientific research on the health benefits of fish oil have yielded mixed results. Even so, major headlines have mischaracterized the conclusions put forth by peer reviewed journals.

In fact, clinical data has shown statistically significant effects from omega-3 fatty acids on cardiac health. Consider, for example, this study written up in JAMA and another, separate study written up in The Lancet. JAMA has a 2015 impact factor of 37.7, and The Lancet has 2015 impact factor of 39.2, which puts both journals among the top 200 most well-respected peer-reviewed scientific journals. I would consider these some of the most reliable studies available on nutritional supplements.

In addition, the University of Maryland Medical Center has put together a good summary on the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on cholesterol, blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, skin disorders, macular degeneration, asthma, menstrual pain and cancer.

How do I choose a supplement?

Many fish oil supplements are out there, and many have employed misleading advertising. They market themselves on factors such as cloudiness and total omega-3 content, neither of which has an actual clinical impact.

Instead, one of the most important factors is the active omega-3 content. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are the active forms of omega-3, whereas ALA (alphalinolenic acid) is not an active form of omega-3. ALA must be converted by your body, and only a small percentage becomes useable. As a result, the most important consideration should be the amount of EPA and DHA per serving.

Despite the importance of EPA and DHA, many nutritional labels obscure the content availability at this granular level, and it's hard to find any resource that provides a comprehensive overview of this data. I spent five days reading through nutrition labels on over 100 different fish oil supplements in order to parse out the detailed information.

Hopefully, you'll find the information on this site useful. However, you should always consult with your physician to receive professional medical advice.

If you appreciate the work put in to collect all this data and aggregate a ranking, then please consider donating to keep this site running!