Well Being

Supplement Showdown: Which Fish Oil Brand Is Best?

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shutterstock_111147896Are all fish oil supplements created equal? Certainly not. Different brands contain differing amounts of omega-3s, the essential fatty acids that give fish oil its power. They're made from different types of fish (sardines and anchovies are best, though herring, tuna or salmon will also do) from different sources. And they come at quite varied price points, too. So which fish oil brand is best? See for yourself. Here's a quick comparison of five popular brands.

 

21st Century
imagesPrice: $9.99 for 60 pills (17¢ per pill)
Fish oil per pill: 1000 milligrams, including 180 mg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 120 mg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both types of omega-3 fatty acids
Fish type: Not listed
Fish source: Not listed

 

Nature Made

coupon-nature-made

Price: $7.99 for 180 pills (4¢ per pill)
Fish oil per pill: 585 mg, including 94 mg EPA and 187 mg DHA
Fish type: Anchovy, sardine
Fish source: Not listed

 

Nature's Bounty
Natures-Bounty-Fish-OilPrice: $8.99 for 130 pills (7¢ per pill)
Fish oil per pill: 1200 mg, including 216 mg EPA and 144 mg DHA
Fish type: Not listed
Fish source: Not listed

 

Spectrum

300 (1)Price: $6.99 for 60 pills (12¢ per pill)
Fish oil per pill: 1000 mg fish oil with 180 mg EPA and 120 mg DHA
Fish type: Wild-caught anchovies, mackerel and sardines
Fish source: “Deep artic Norway” (reputedly the best source, with fewer heavy metals, dioxins and PCBs)

Twinlab

300Price: $8.99 for 50 pills (18¢ per pill)
Fish oil per pill: 1500 mg, including 234 mg EPA and 156 mg DHA
Fish type: Sardine, anchovy
Fish source: “Made from deep sea cold water fish”

 

When comparing labels, keep in mind that words like extra-distilled, high-potency, super-distilled, pharmaceutical grade, professional grade, pure, purified and natural are marketing claims that have no particular meaning in terms of quality or fish source.

Sources: http://www.vaughns-1-pagers.com/food/fish-oil-summary.htm; company websites

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