Home > Blog > How to Buy The Best Fish Oil Supplements: Part 1 – Purity

How to Buy The Best Fish Oil Supplements: Part 1 – Purity

by Vin Kutty, MS on December 13, 2010

5 Tips for Choosing The Best Fish Oil

Criteria #1: Purity

Purity means having a fish oil pill that is virtually free of Mercury and other heavy metals (Arsenic, Cadmium and Lead), Dioxins, PCBs and Furans.

I’m not going to expand on WHY these chemicals are bad for you. The focus of this article is about how to avoid them so you can choose the best fish oil supplement for you and your family.

Bad news: if you eat Swordfish, Shark, Tilefish or King Mackerel, you will be eating quite a bit of mercury.

Good news: luckily, most fish oils are purified by molecular distillation and this high-tech process removes most of the scary stuff. This is why eating a fish oil supplement is much safer than eating whole fish.

Fish Oils in The News

best fish oil supplements are independently tested
ConsumerLab.com recently tested 52 brands of fish oil supplements for mercury. They reported, “The goods news is that every product, fish oil or Omega-3 supplement in this review was found to be free of mercury, PCBs and other contaminants found in

Toxins in Fish Oil: California Lawsuit!

ConsumerLab.com says everything is hunky-dory.

But in early 2010, an environmental group sued several fish oil manufacturers for having too much PCBs in their products.

Granted they did not start with the best fish oil supplements, here is a list of alleged offending products:

The products named in the PCB lawsuit are:

  1. GNC Liquid Norwegian Cod Liver Oil
  2. Nature Made Cod Liver Oil
  3. Nature Made Odorless Fish Oil
  4. Now Foods Double Strength Cod Liver Oil
  5. Now Foods Salmon Oil
  6. Now Foods Shark Liver Oil
  7. Solgar 100% Pure Norwegian Shark Liver Oil Complex
  8. Solgar Norwegian Cod Liver Oil
  9. Twinlab Emulsified Norwegian Cod Liver Oil
  10. Twinlab Norwegian Cod Liver Oil

Notice a pattern?
best fish oil supplements
Most are Cod liver oils and Shark liver oils. And one Salmon oil thrown in for diversity.

Does anyone (other than me) think it’s ironic that a product named ‘Solgar 100% Pure Norwegian Shark Liver Oil’ is, well, on this list?

What the heck are people doing eating Shark liver oils, anyway?!

Sharks are top predators! Every time they eat another fish or seal, they add a little more mercury to their livers. The higher up on the food chain a fish is, the more environmental junk its body and liver will carry.
best fish oil supplements

Just stay away from Shark oil and Seal oil, please!

Cod liver oil is better than shark’s but Cod are big fish too. And they live for a long time. This gives them plenty of time and opportunity to bulk up on environmental toxins.

The Best Fish Oil Supplements are Made from a few species of fish

Regular fish oil pills are made from anchovy, hoki, whiting, pollock, menhaden, mackerel and sardine. These small fish don’t live for very long. So they don’t get a chance to soak up toxins.

If you can buy fish oil made from anchovy and sardines, there is no reason to buy Shark, Cod or even Salmon oils.

When it comes to fish oils, remember, lower on the food chain the better.

By now, you may be thinking, if the PCB lawsuit had never happened, how would people have known that there was PCB in some of those fish oil brands?

Why don’t Manufacturers Share More Information?

best fish oil supplements

Because they don’t have to.

Manufacturers are not required to say how much mercury is in their pills. So they don’t.

Same goes for PCBs, Dioxins, Furans and the other heavy metals.

The FDA started a ‘Read The Label First’ campaign.

A pointless campaign, in my opinion.

Because there is no way to know if there is any mercury or PCBs by looking at the bottle label. Some of the products called out in the California lawsuit mentioned ‘No Mercury’ on the label!

What’s a consumer to do?

5 Tips for Choosing the Best Fish Oil Supplement

  1. Ask for a Certificate of Analysis
  2. Buy Products that are 3rd Party Tested
  3. Buy Products made from the types of fish mentioned above
  4. Buy Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil
  5. Buy Lovaza, the prescription Fish Oil

1. Ask For a Certificate of Analysis

This is an official document on a letterhead, with signatures etc., that tells in detail what’s in the fish oil and what’s not. Ask for the ‘Certificate of Analysis’ of your fish oil. Look for the lot number on the side of your fish oil bottle, call up the manufacturer and have them fax or email it to you.

Some will do this. Most won’t.

If they try to get rid of you by giving you a pat answer like, ‘Our product complies with all quality specifications and regulations,’ then it’s time for you to move on to another brand.

2. Buy Only 3rd Party Tested Products

Or you can go to IFOS (International Fish Oil Standards) website. IFOS is a third-party testing organization. They test fish oil supplements and publish a detailed analysis of the results on their website for the public to view.

IFOS logo

International Fish Oil Standards

A product can receive up to five stars based on passing five different categories of purity.

1 Star for Oxidation Level Less Than 75% of CRN Standard
1 Star for PCB Levels Less Than 50% of CRN Standard
1 Star for Dioxin Levels Less Than 50% of WHO Standard
1 Star for Passing All CRN/WHO Testing Categories
1 Star for Greater Than 60% Omega-3 Concentration

IFOS is not the only testing authority around.

Consumer Reports, and ConsumerLab.com test fish oil products as well, but they don’t test regularly and their results are not publicly available. They test fish oils every couple of years and they only test a fraction of the available brands of fish oil.

There are probably a few brands of fish oil that are not IFOS tested but could probably pass with 5 stars. But IFOS testing is expensive so many brands opt out.
For now, an IFOS 5-star rated fish oil is the simplest way for anyone to feel confident that they are getting the purest and best fish oil supplement available.

3. Buy Fish Oil Made from the fish listed above

As mentioned above, these are small or juvenile. And they are short-lived, so they don’t accumulate much toxins in their bodies.

Algae oil is an excellent choice for purity as well, but that’s another blog for another day.

4. Buy Only Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil

We’ve talked about this several times before on these blogs. In short, producing a pharmaceutical grade fish oil with a very high level of Omega-3 requires repeated distillation and purification. This makes the oil stronger, purer and yes, more expensive.

But it’s a simple way to make sure you’re getting the purest and best fish oil supplement.

5. Buy Lovaza, prescription fish oil

Lovaza is the first and only prescription fish oil drug for treating high triglycerides.

It’s fish oil, just like many other pharmaceutical grade fish oil products. Except, it has been through an extensive FDA approval process. This gives many people a sense of comfort.

Here’s acomparison of Lovaza vs. Fish Oil Supplements.

Like all fish oil, Lovaza can become rancid and stinky over time. So even though it started off as a very pure product, it can degrade over time.

If you are comfortable with high cost of Lovaza, anywhere between $280 and $520 per MONTH, you should definitely talk to your doctor about a prescription. Of course, your out-of-pocket costs may be lower.

In Part 2, we’ll discuss the second most important criteria for choosing the best fish oil supplement: Omega-3 content.


DISCLAIMER: This website is for your education and general health information only. The ideas and suggestions contained on this website are not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from your doctor for any health condition or problem. Users of this website should not rely on information provided on this website for their own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own physician.

Omega-3 expert and Author Vin Kutty About the Author: Vin Kutty, M.S. is OmegaVia’s Scientific Advisor and Chief Blogger. He is a nutritionist, author, and Omega-3 expert with over 20 years of experience.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

{ 133 comments… read them below or add one }

Fishoilpedia October 10, 2011 at 6:13 am

With many fish oil brands in the market today, it’s hard to make choices. Thanks for this helpful guide.


dave April 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Is your fish oil cold pressed
and is it tested for 160 toxens


Omegavia April 9, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Hi Dave – our fish oil is molecularly distilled. Vegetable oils and seed oils are cold pressed, like olive oil. Fish oil is not cold pressed. Sure, some fish oils are processed with low temperature CO2 extraction or HPLC. But there is no cold-pressing involved. Of the several steps involved in manufacturing fish oil, rendering and molecular distillation require heat. The refining, deodorization and cold-filtering steps are, well, cold. So when I hear that fish oil is ‘cold-pressed’ I laugh a little.

As for toxins, our product is very extensively tested for toxins. It is tested at IFOS labs and results summary can be seen here: http://www.ifosprogram.com/files/Innovix%20OmegaVia%20Batch%20S1D019.pdf

Hope this helps.
– Vin


Nicholas Godfrey May 6, 2012 at 1:16 am

Many brands of fish oil are a complete waste of money, and provide you with no benefits what so ever. Some things in life are worth paying that little bit extra for, especially when it comes to your health.

The benefits of fish oil, take a few weeks before you will notice, or feel a difference.

The best fish oil supplements should contain high levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), providing you with the best omega 3 fish oil.

When buying fish oil, the amount of EPA and DHA, should be on the label, and the recommended amount should not be high. Some brands will recommend taking upto 8 a day.


andy May 15, 2012 at 9:47 am

Hi Vin,
I am in India and I dont know which fish oil is best available here. Can you help. Much appreciated. Thanks


Omegavia May 20, 2012 at 4:36 am

Hi Andy – I don’t know much about the availability of Omega-3 supplements in India. Sorry! But hopefully you’ll be able to buy OmegaVia in India in the next couple of years! :-)
– Vin


Sukanya May 27, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Hello Andy,

In India, you will get plenty of fish oil brands. I have been using Twinlab and its pretty good!

Good health


Temple May 31, 2012 at 6:57 am

“The best fish oil supplements are always made from anchovies, sardines and mackerel. All three are tiny, algae-eating fish.”

How do you know what ones are made with these fish? Is it posted on the labels?


Omegavia May 31, 2012 at 9:08 am

Hi Temple – actually, we’ve changed our position on this statement a little bit. Let me explain. Fish oil made from anchovy, sardine and mackerel is still great, but there are oils from other fish species like Hoki, Whiting and Alaskan Pollock that are just as good. But we’re still not impressed with oils from large fish like Salmon and Tuna because they tend to have more environmental toxins.

To answer your question, the best solution is to call up the company that’s selling the product and ask them. Most good companies will know exactly what’s in their product. If they don’t know, that should be a red flag. FDA regulations do not require the species of fish to be mentioned on the label. If the label mentions it, it is just as a courtesy to consumers. Hope this helps.
– Vin Kutty


Lili June 1, 2012 at 8:31 am

Hi Vin,

Do you have fish oil for kids?

Can you suggest a good one for me?

Thank you.


Omegavia June 1, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Hi Lili – we do not have any products for kids at the moment. A smaller pill and something for kids are our two most common requests. And the requests are not going unheard – it’s just that developing a new product can take well over a year. As far as recommendations, I suggest something by Nordic Naturals or Barleans. Nordic has gummy worms and chewable softgels. Barleans has fruit smoothie-type products that kids can take by the spoonful. There is also a product called Brain Strong that’s sold in CVS and other drug stores – it is an Omega-3 powder that you can pour into kid’s foods. Hope this helps.
– Vin Kutty


Anil June 20, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Hi, my wife is 4 months pregnant and is having Nature’s Bounty Salmon Fish Oil capsule. How do you rate it? is it safe? It mentions that it’s mercury free..Please sugegst.


Omegavia June 22, 2012 at 10:17 am

Hi Anil – first, congrats! Taking Salmon oil during pregnancy is fine. It’s better than what most people do. Ideally, I’d like to see pregnant women take an additional DHA supplement and a Vitamin D3 supplement. Aim for at least 500 mg of DHA, especially during the third trimester and a minimum of 2000 IU of Vitamin D3.
– Vin Kutty


Joe June 25, 2012 at 5:03 am

If I am trying to lower triglycerides, would I still take one pill a day or would you recommend more?


Omegavia June 25, 2012 at 9:46 am

Hi Joe – if you want to lower triglycerides, you need to pay attention to how much Omega-3 you are consuming. The number of pills is not very useful because it’s hard to say how much Omega-3 each pill has without studying the label.

You will need between 3000 mg and 4000 mg of Omega-3 per day to make a sizable dent in your triglyceride levels. You’ll have to do some basic math to figure out how many pills are needed to get that dose. If each pill has 300 mg of Omega-3, then you will need 10 pills a day. Likewise, if your pill has 600 mg of Omega-3, you need 5 pills. This is where having pharmaceutical grade fish oil helps – it helps reduce the number of pills needed to get benefits. Hope this helps.

– Vin Kutty


Rusti June 27, 2012 at 11:34 pm

I’ve spent quite a lot of time reading here and I’ve found your articles very helpful! Kudos to you!

I’m currently taking OmegaBrite (http://www.omegabrite.com/products/gelcaps.html) and I am thinking of switching to OmegaVia. As listed below, I currently need to take 2-3 pills to equal the amount if EPA and DHA in one OmegaVia pill. Though I like that they are smaller pills, it’d be nice to take fewer. However, is there any benefit to spreading the dose out more? Otherwise, could you provide your opinion on how they compare?

Thank you for your time!!!

3 capsules=
1050mg EPA
150mg DHA
150mg Other Omega-3’s
60mg Omega 6
85mg Other Fatty Acids


Omegavia June 28, 2012 at 9:01 am

Hi Rusti – glad you like the information on our website. Spreading the dose across several hours or meals does not appear to show any benefit over taking it all at once. I think what’s more important is to take the Omega-3 with your biggest meal. The other fats present in your food helps increase absorption. OmegaBrite is a good product. It has a higher EPA to DHA ratio (7:1) than OmegaVia, which has a 3:1 ratio. Other than that, the pill size is the biggest difference and OmegaBrite is not enteric coated, while OmegaVia is. When we get calls from consumer who have trouble swallowing OmegaVia, we usually send them to OmegaBrite. Psst – don’t tell anyone but we are working on an OmegaVia Mini.
– Vin Kutty


Rusti June 27, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Also… how important is the ratio of EPA:DHA? What should we shoot for?


Omegavia June 28, 2012 at 9:06 am

Hi Rusti – the ratio of EPA to DHA is very important. If you’re under the age of 3, DHA is critical. If you’re pregnant, you need a high-DHA formula. Same if you are recovering from stroke or trauma. Your body needs a small amount of DHA every day. Without it, you’re in trouble. However, if you have depression or are trying to combat inflammation, then you need a high EPA formula. Both EPA and DHA reduce triglcyerides in the blood. But reducing triglcyerides using a high DHA formula can increase your LDL cholesterol by about 10%, which worries some people. I don’t think a 10% increase in LDL cholesterol is anything to worry about, but the new fish-oil-based drugs that are in the process of getting FDA approval are high or pure EPA products. So one size does not fit all. Only you know what your health needs are – you will have to figure out if you need a high DHA or high EPA fish oil. Hope this helps.
– Vin Kutty


Promo Items July 11, 2012 at 3:44 am

Bad news: if you eat Swordfish, Shark, Tilefish or King Mackerel, you will be eating quite a bit of mercury.
Good news: luckily, most fish oils are purified by molecular distillation and this high-tech process removes most of the scary stuff. This is why eating a fish oil supplement is much safer than eating whole fish.


Mike August 16, 2012 at 12:38 pm

excerpts from this website
“Bad news: if you eat Swordfish, Shark, Tilefish or King Mackerel, you will be eating quite a bit of mercury.”

“The best fish oil supplements are always made from anchovies, sardines, hoki, whiting, pollock and mackerel.”

i’m confused about Mackerel. can you explain why its included in both of these quotes?



Omegavia August 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Hi Mike – they are two very different species. The mackerel from Peru that’s frequently used in fish oil, is a small Pacific ocean fish, Trachurus murphyi, that could weight a pound or two at most. King Mackerel is a very large fish, Scomberomorus cavalla, that can get to 80 or 90 lbs. King Mackerel is found along the east coast of the US.
– Vin Kutty


Morgan August 20, 2012 at 10:30 am

Just need to know — based on your knowledge, what is the best Fish Oil to purchase
Thank you


Omegavia August 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Hi Morgan – there are a few that I really like. No one single pick because what’s perfect for me may not be ideal for you. Of the ones I like, I’ve listed a few of them here: http://www.omegavia.com/favorite-fish-oil-brands-part-2/
– Vin Kutty


Stephen Taylor September 13, 2012 at 11:41 am

I’ve been spending “extra money” on New Chapter’s Salmon oil for like 2 years now. They, in their magazine ad, claimed that theirs is a superior fish oil because most fish oils go through too many purification processes, thereby rendering less-helpful caplets. Have I been taken to the cleaners? What’s wrong with Salmon oil?


Vin Kutty September 30, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Hi Stephen – I wouldn’t say you’ve been taken to the cleaners because you’ve been taking good salmon oil and it has Omega-3 in it. And New Chapter is a fairly good company (owned by the folks who make Tide and Charmin.) Certainly you’ve benefited from their product. But may be you’ve been a victim of iffy marketing – raise concerns about a competitor’s product while removing that fear in yours.

Getting Omega-3 from a fish into a capsule requires processing. Period. No getting around that. Sometimes, processing is good because it removes mercury, arsenic, non-Omega-3 fats etc. Processing keep the stuff you want and gets rid of the stuff you don’t. If that’s bad, well, then I suggest these people stick to eating sushi and pass on fish oil pills.

You can buy minimally processed salmon oil and that was goes into your product. Remember, salmon is a large fish that lives for several years – this is a lot of time for it to accumulate toxins. This is why Nordic Naturals openly says that their salmon oil is low in arsenic, unlike other salmon oils. Salmon oils need to be put through an additional process to remove arsenic. It’s additional processing, but it is processing nonetheless. Is that bad? I don’t think so. If you like salmon oil, I suggest you get Nordic’s Kenai salmon oil: http://www.nordicnaturals.com/en/General_Public/Kenai_Wild™_Alaskan_Salmon_Oil/510 They talk about their gentle process of removing arsenic on the site. We do the same thing to OmegaVia – it is a proprietary and heat-free product. Very gentle and removes virtually all the arsenic.

Hope this helps.
– Vin Kutty


alison September 18, 2012 at 2:50 am

Are the women’s one a day prenatal dha vitamins good to take during pregnancy? Are they safe? I am a vegetarian so I don’t get enough omega 3’s and want to make sure this is a good vitamin!


Vin Kutty October 1, 2012 at 12:17 am

Hi Alison – yes, they are safe and necessary. And you should take them. It’s just that prenatal vitamins don’t have enough DHA. Well, may be enough for the first trimester. But EVERY SINGLE prenatal + DHA supplement I’ve seen has too little DHA and Vitamin D for the second and third trimesters. You should aim for 1000 mg DHA per day for your third trimester. Anything less is depriving your baby of proper development. There are lots of vegetarian DHA softgels. Get them!
– Vin Kutty


bpaul October 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm

very helpful info here….thanks! it surely is confusing to decide which fish oil to take. consumer lab charges for this info. i won’t mind paying a small fee for a one week access to their reports, but having to become a member for an entire year….? i don’t like it.

wonder if any one else here agrees with me….


Vin Kutty October 3, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Hi bpaul- yes, consumerlab dot com charges for the info. And IFOS does the same thing without charging you for it. Here is a list of their ‘Ultra-Refined’ product test results: http://www.ifosprogram.com/consumer-reports.aspx

We (and several others) agree with you. Consumerlab tests fish oil every couple of years or so. OmegaVia will probably be listed in it next time.
– Vin Kutty


Tania October 10, 2012 at 1:44 am

Hi there,
I am pregnant and a pescatarian. I will eat fish but do not eat meat(no gelatin capsules) can you recommend a product for me? Thanks!


Vin Kutty October 10, 2012 at 1:55 am

Hi Tania – Ovega3 may be an option for you: http://www.omegavia.com/omega-3-options-for-vegans/ When you’re in your 3rd trimester, make sure you are getting 1000 mg DHA per day.
– Vin Kutty


James November 1, 2012 at 9:54 pm

How much omega 3 should i take if im trying to get rid of acne ?


Vin Kutty November 1, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Hi James – Omega-3 alone will not get rid of acne. But it will help reduce inflammation in your skin. I strongly urge you to look into a paleo diet. If you get rid of sugar, dairy, vegetable oils and grains from your diet, acne will magically disappear. If you’re thinking ‘well, what will I eat if I get rid of all those things?’ then you know the answer to why you have acne. Once you’re on a paleo diet, take 1000 mg Omega-3 per day. Give this regimen 6 weeks and see what happens. Be sure to take before and after photos. You may be shocked.

– Vin Kutty


jay w January 12, 2013 at 11:42 am

is it safe to give animals such as my dogs pollock? thank u


Vin Kutty January 14, 2013 at 1:14 am

Hi Jay – you can feed pollock meat to dogs, certainly! And fish oil supplements made from pollock, like OmegaVia, are also fine.
– Vin Kutty


Allen January 15, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Hi there,

Can you tell me how much fish oil is one softgel? I discerned that is 1500mg. That’s a pretty honking big softgel, no?



Vin Kutty January 15, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Hi Allen – it is 1300 mg. Still big. Does Shaklee offer a product with similar levels of Omega-3?

– Vin Kutty


Cheryl Moskaluk January 19, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Will you test pure fish oils for contaminants — oils that are not chemically processsed–such as New Chapter Wholemega Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil. If so, how much are you charging consumers for this service?


Vin Kutty January 19, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Hi Cheryl – we do not offer testing services. There are several labs that do these tests. They usually cost a few hundred dollars. It may be easier if you contact your fish oil manufacturer and ask them for a third-party certificate of analysis or even an internal certificate of analysis.

– Vin Kutty


Skesh November 5, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Is solgar wild Alaskan sockeye salmon salmon oil any good..???


Vin Kutty, MS November 5, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Hi Skesh – yes, it is a good product, but quite weak. You’ll need 4 to 6 pills a day for general maintenance and about a dozen pills a day if you’re trying to lower triglycerides or chronic inflammation.


lisa fofana January 24, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Hi vin ,does takeing fish oil pills help gain weight?


Vin Kutty January 25, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Hi Lisa – no, fish oil will not help you gain weight. It will make you healthier, but not fatter.

– Vin Kutty


Bhupendra February 11, 2013 at 7:41 pm


My mom is suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis (Age 48 years). Can you suggest any fish oil capsules with at least 30 percent EPA/ DHA, active ingredients available in India?


Vin Kutty February 11, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Hi Bhupendra – I am not familiar with fish oil brands in India. But for RA, the required doses are 5000 to 7000 mg of Omega-3 per day. I’m guessing that’s between 16 and 20 pills per day. She’s better off dropping wheat and vegetable oils from her diet.

– Vin Kutty


Michelle February 22, 2013 at 5:00 am

I hope you can help me. My surgeon told me to start taking 4 fish oil pills a day. 2 am & 2 pm to help my bowels. I was in a really bad accident and had a lot of internal damage causing ongoing problems. Could you please give me a name of manufacturer with specifics of what to buy. He told me some types cause really bad odor. I don’t need that on top of all my other problems. Lol. I can’t afford the prescription one. Please help me & make it easy for me to go ask for a specific kind, pay & go. I’m not lazy, I have a hard time reading little letters and concentrating since my accident. I’m blessed to be alive! :) thank you for your help!!


Vin Kutty February 24, 2013 at 4:37 am

Hi Michelle – you ought to be OK with most high concentrates. Look for the words – pharmaceutical grade fish oils. You should not have odor issues if you go with high quality products.

– Vin Kutty


Bev February 25, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Buy Lovaza, a Rx, are you serious??? As high as Rx are today!! What brands are good, why not list that?


Vin Kutty February 25, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Hi Bev – Rx is an option for some people if their insurance covers it. But you may want to give this a read: http://www.omegavia.com/favorite-fish-oil-brands-part-2/ It has a list of brands that we recommend.

– Vin Kutty


Amanda February 27, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Hi there! I hope you can help me.

I have been trying to find a good source of omega 3 for sometime now because frankly, I just don’t like eating fish!

I recently tried Nordic Naturals, which I read were very good and low in toxins. I had some kind of reaction (hives) and I’m hoping it is just to the type of fish. It has anchovy and sardines.

Do you think it would be safe to try a brand that uses a different fish? If so, is there a good one you can recommend?




Vin Kutty March 1, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Hi Amanda,

If you take the Nordic Naturals product and gets hives every single time, then you can firmly rule it out. But if you only got it once, it may have been something else that you ate and could be coincidental. Nordic makes a good products. My guess is that you may have had histamine overload, but you’ll have to get a specialist’s diagnosis on that. Don’t know. If you’re not allergic to fish, I doubt that switching to another brand will help. If you ARE allergic to fish, then you should switch to algae Omega-3 products.

– Vin Kutty


Fiona Burdett March 11, 2013 at 3:49 am

I have recently been told I have a high amount of Triglycerides and I would like to know the best contentrated Omega fish oil tablet/liquid to take to have the maximum effect of reducing my high count without taking 9-12 of the normal ones lol?

Thanks in advance :-)



Vin Kutty March 12, 2013 at 12:30 am

Hi Fiona – to reduce triglycerides, your fish oil ideally should have at least 85% Omega-3. And you need to take 3000 to 4000 mg of Omega-3 per day. OmegaVia is a choice. Other choices are RenewLife SuperCritical Omega-3, OmegaBrite and Minami Nutrition MorEPA. Some options here: http://www.omegavia.com/favorite-fish-oil-brands-part-2/

– Vin Kutty


priti mittal March 20, 2013 at 6:44 am

Hi, I got interested in your information and seems very valuable. I had a bypass surgery (age 50) and I am allergic to Iodine (break out in hives) . I think I am alergic to fish oil also. Do you think so too? If so which omega 3 I should be taking? I was taking flex seed oil (from whole foods – bar leans brand) and it was ok. Any thoughts? Please advise? thanks


Vin Kutty March 21, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Hi Priti – I have no way of knowing if you’re allergic to fish or fish oil. Many people who are allergic to fish are not allergic to fish oil because the allergen proteins are usually removed from the oil. But it is not right to assume that if you are allergic to iodine that you are also allergic to fish. If you find out that you are, after all, allergic to fish oil, then, I’d recommend algae oils, not flaxseed oils.

– Vin Kutty


tina March 23, 2013 at 5:29 am

I need your help, my doc. just told me that I need to take fish oil (2mg a day) after I saw this e-mail I got confused and discourage to get anything. My best friend is taken GNC, and she likes it. Should I take the same? I am very skeptic to take any lab meds in fact I refuse to, But as I am on my 50ties and family heart problems I need your guidence on this, please


Vin Kutty March 23, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Hi Tina – listen to your doctor. He/she probably meant 2 grams. And that’s just how doctors talk. 2 grams (same as 2000 mg) of Omega-3 is a good dose. I would suggest you take any product that has 1000 mg or more Omega-3 per pill. Note that this is different from 1000 mg of fish oil.

– Vin Kutty


Yvonne March 29, 2013 at 5:01 pm

My son and I have taken Carlson fish oil(Omega3’s DHA &EPA) for over 5 years. It’s the liquid form in a bottle. Is this a good brand? My son just turn 6 this month, should I change to a better brand of fish oil?
Thanks very much!


Vin Kutty March 29, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Hi Yvonne – yes, it is perfectly fine. There are slightly better products, but there is no reason to change if you are happy with the product.

– Vin Kutty


andeeyu April 1, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Hi Vin,i read most of your comments and got a question to ask you.
Do you suggest diabetes to take fish oil?If so what ratio of EPA:DHA is better idea to pick?


Vin Kutty April 3, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Hi Andeeyu – yes. But the science on Omega-3 and insulin management is still emerging, so I don’t know if there is an ideal EPA/DHA ratio. I’d say just take 1000 mg of Omega-3 per day.

But we’re really side-stepping the main issue here – no pills, be it Omega-3, chromium or alpha lipoic is going to help you as much as eliminating sugar and grains from your diet. If you were only recently diagnosed as diabetic, you still have about half of your pancreatic beta cells left (the rest are gone for good) so go easy on your remaining beta cells by eating less (or no) sugar and grains.


Mika April 18, 2013 at 2:06 am

Hello I was recommended to take fish oil pills to bring my HDL’s up but I’m not sure what I’m looking for in these pills. I’m not a fan of fish and don’t want to take a pill that will make me sick, Please help!!!


Vin Kutty April 18, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Hi Mika – Omega-3 will not increase your HDL that much. Exercise will. Omega-3 will decrease your triglycerides. Fish oil will not make you sick unless you are allergic to fish or fish oil.


Nush April 20, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Is it true that Fish oil supplements helps burn fat and supplies essential fatty acids to the body? Would it help also to keep the skin oily? i suffer from psoriasis also.


Vin Kutty April 20, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Hi Nush – fish oil can help optimize energy expenditure and yes, fish oil contains a lot of essential fatty acids. 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day can help keep skin supple and may help with psoriasis.


SHARON SIMMONS May 14, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Your blog is wonderful and thank you for this information. I have high cholesterol inherited from my mom. Without going into my strict nutrition and workout plan — all of that is in order. I am going to a good family physician that is willing to allow me to try and reduce through natural means. Knowing my nutrition is in order, he suggested ramping up my fish oil intake. I am not real familiar with all the brands, but I do take the MDR fitness tabs and have had fabulous results with my energy level. I also take the Pristinium with Omega 3’s and Delta E (tocotrienols). My question is the Pristinium a good product from what you know? Has Norwegian Salmon Oil 600 mg, EPA 180 mg, DHA 120 mg, ALA 4.6 mg, DPA 34.4 mg, extra virgin oil 100 mg, peppermint oil 1 mg, Vit A 100 IU, Vit C 20 mg and Vit E 15 IU — for each softgel. I take 4 a day. I only take 2 of the Tocotrienol 125 mg a day. I’ll be retested again in a few months. My good chol is just fine —- it’s the bad chol that is not good.


Vin Kutty May 16, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Hi Sharon – your Omega-3 product is OK. Not great, not bad, just OK. It is way overpriced for having just 50% Omega-3. If you want to stay with a similar product, you may want to move to Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega. But glad to see that you’re taking 4 per day, so you’re getting enough Omega-3 for day-to-day needs.

It is not true that fish oils reduce cholesterol or LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol. Fish oils reduce triglyceride and inflammation, which are both independent risk markers for your heart. More here: http://www.omegavia.com/fish-oil-cholesterol/

For LDL levels, have your doctor check out your thyroid levels. Also, reduce carbs and talk to an integrative practitioner about healing your gut – start with wheat/gluten and fructose elimination.


Kamesh Kumar June 21, 2013 at 12:09 pm

The below article tells, it is harm to use fish oil.
Can you let us know, whether their studies are for perticularly related to the people who consumed 0mega 6 and omega 3 together? or only taking only omga-3 also? I believe still we can use fish oil for depression and reducing triglycerides. Please tell your comments on this. Also for chronic depression how much quantity omega-3 and EPA, DAP needs to be taken per day.

Thanks in advance,

Fish-oil supplements may do more harm than good, UBC researcher finds

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Fish+supplements+more+harm+than+good+researcher+finds/7857942/story.html


Vin Kutty June 22, 2013 at 5:57 am

Hi Kamesh – if you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know that I repeatedly drill the reduce-Omega-6-consumption message into our readers. No clue if anyone is listening and making that dietary change. But the whole point is: you cannot make big, significant improvements in health by JUST taking Omega-3 supplements. You will notice improvements in symptoms of Omega-3 deficiency related chronic issues by taking Omega-3 supplement. But TRUE improvements in health require reducing Omega-6 as well.

As far as the study you mention, the study was on mice, not humans. Also, this sentence explains why the noticed the results they did: ‘Fish oil supplements fed to mice already on a diet rich in vegetable oil interfered with the ability of cells in the gastrointestinal system to repair themselves…’

Also, note that this is just one study. There are almost 25,000 other Omega-3 studies that highlight the positive aspects of adequate Omega-3 consumption. Let’s keep things in perspective. If you let mass media interpret science, you will be in a constant state of confusion and panic because of headlines designed to sell, rather than inform.


Simran June 24, 2013 at 4:39 am

Iam taking Puritans pride Omega 3 (fish oil) supplements (1000mg), Is it certified brand? Can I continue take this? please comment on this.


Vin Kutty June 24, 2013 at 7:01 am

Hi Simran – if you mean IFOS certified, no. They may have other certifications that I’m not aware of.


steven June 27, 2013 at 11:04 pm

My wife takes a fish oil but the taste of her mouth when kissing and breath is very bad. Is there a brand or type you recommend that doesn’t have these side effects?


Vin Kutty June 28, 2013 at 1:23 am

Oops! Have her try an enteric coated fish oil. It might help.


Rajendranath Mehrotra July 21, 2013 at 10:58 am

Most recent research says that a fish oil capsule/ gel, containing 1000 mg DHA helps in reducing inflammation of stomach/intestine and pain signals to brain are drastically reduced. It also helps specific brain area which transmit pain signals, or damaged brain area causing neuralgic pains.
If you can suggest a source of any product which contains required DHA level and is affordable, please mail the information.


Vin Kutty July 21, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Hi Rajendranath – do you have PubMed reference to this study? I generally don’t recommend that much DHA to anyone but pregnant women. You’re better off with a balance of both EPA and DHA. If you’re trying to deal with blood lipids, inflammation, mood disorders, you’re better off with high EPA or all EPA. More on why here: http://www.omegavia.com/why-omegavia-is-high-in-epa-omega-3-dha-and-your-brain/


Connie July 30, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Hi, Vin, My doctor told me to take fish oil and to be sure its mercury free. My triglycerides were 1385 the last time they checked (yes, that is four digits). I have a bottle of Mega Red and Nature Made. Neither indicate that they are mercury free. I’ve tried contacting the companies but no reply. I cannot tolerate Lovaza. I have a bottle of that too! Do you know anything about the mercury content of the two above? I’d like to use these up before buying more but not if they have mercury. Thanks for your help.


Vin Kutty July 30, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Hi Connie – I don’t know what the mercury levels of those products are. No way to know for sure without checking the certificate of analysis. However, I have not seen mercury issues in fish or krill oil in several years. Modern technology virtually removes all traces of it.

Having said that, with a triglyceride of 1385, I’m not sure what you’re doing taking the low-potency stuff. If you take MegaRed, make sure you take 10-12 pills a day – that’s the dosage you need to notice a benefit. Oh, you’ll need to treat sugar, sweets, soda, juice, refined grains and all wheat products like poison. You need to start doing that when your triglycerides go above 200. Definitely above 500. At 1300 plus, you need to see a lipidologist immediately and follow a low-carb diet like it is your religion. If I were you, I’d go to at least 2 or 3 lipidologists to get second opinions.

People with incredibly high triglycerides do not react to low-fat diets, but only low-carb diets. Don’t waste time! More here: http://www.omegavia.com/cut-triglycerides-in-half-without-lovaza-or-fish-oil-1/


Aditya August 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Hi, I am a little confused with soo many products online. Could you suggest me one best product with perfect dosage of Vit A, D, and Omega 3 Fish Oil.


Vin Kutty August 7, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Hi Aditya – such a product does not exist. And it will not! Because what’s perfect for you depends on how much A, D and Omega-3 you already get in your diet. D, of course, is sun-exposure dependent. So each person starts at a different place. Formulating for your specific need means it may be too little or too much for someone else. That’s why we do not add these other nutrients to our Omega-3.


Reema September 4, 2013 at 11:13 am

Your blog is very informative, thank you very much. I had miscarriage in 7th week due to severe vitamin D deficiency, i am taking now 6000 IU weekly one tablet. Planning to take fish oil tablet. I am confused there are many brands, kindly let me know which brand tablet should i take and how many to increase my vit D level.


Vin Kutty September 4, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Hi Reema – I’m very sorry for your loss.

If you are severely Vitamin D deficient, 6000 IU of Vitamin D3 per week is not enough. At this level, you will remain somewhat deficient. I am very surprised that your doctor did not put you on 50,000 IU per week. I take 5000 IU per day. Vitamin D takes a while to get back to normal levels. So if I were you, I’d take 6000 IU per day for 2 weeks and then combine with at least 30 minutes of mid-day sun exposure to as much bare skin as is socially acceptable. Brand of Vitamin D does not matter. What matters is the dosage and that you are taking D3 and not D2.


Bud Flux September 6, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Hello, I have heard that Cod Liver Oil is better quality oil than just regular Fish Oils found at health food stores. Is one better than another? Thanks Bud


Vin Kutty September 6, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Hi Bud – I am not a fan of Cod liver oil for the reasons outlined here: http://www.omegavia.com/cod-liver-oil/ Generally boils down to increased pollution, lack or processing transparency and overfishing. You have much better choices with regular fish oils.


shirlee September 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm

hi…….which would you suggest Omegavia , minami platinum nutrition (if I can find it) ….or some other, for a 77 year old whose main concerns are macular eye health and the need for mental alertness….whatever you mention, how many a day would you suggest……thanks…greatly appreciate your help…..


Vin Kutty September 11, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Hi Shirlee – I think you would do fine with any good brand. You need a product with some DHA in it, not just EPA. Go for purity. search for products you can find at IFOS: http://www.ifosprogram.com/Consumer-Reports.aspx Take 1 or 2 per day. Aim for 1000 mg Omega-3 per day.


lsylvia October 1, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Hi..I’m so thankful for your information. I need your favour, can you suggest the best dosage of EPA & DHA for my kids aged 21 months(boy) and 5 years old(girl). And also your opinion about fish on these brands… SHAKLEE, NUTRILITE, ELKEN (these company always say that their product is the best and sometimes makes me difficult to choose one). I just need the most pure and contamination/mercury free fish oil. Or you may suggest me the best brands for my kids. I live in Malaysia. Thanks in advance for your future advise.



Vin Kutty October 2, 2013 at 12:28 am

Hi Isylvia – the 21 month old will be find with about 100 to 200 mg Omega-3 per day, mostly as DHA. Look at one of the Nordic naturals or Barleans liquid or flavored products. The 5 year old should be find with 300 to 500 mg or so. The brands you mention are all good, but overpriced due to them being network marketing companies. Yes, everyone says their product is the best. Have you every heard otherwise? We say the same thing! You need IFOS report to prove it.


DPK October 3, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Hi Vin,

In one of your replies above, you stated: in healing your gut – start with wheat/gluten and fructose elimination.

Here’s my understanding: fructose is processed in the liver and when too much sugar enters the liver, it can’t be processed fast enough for the body to use. And since the liver can’t differentiate between the sources of the sugar (from sweets/sodas or fruits/veggies), it starts making fats from the sugar and releasing them into the bloodstream as triglycerides.

Can you quantify how much sugar is too much at one time ? This is more an issue of quantity vs. quality correct ?

I make smoothies with mixed fruits, strawberries, peaches, pineapples and mangoes (1/2 cup has 40 calories, 6 gr sugar, 8 gr carbs), a medium banana (105 calories, 15 gr sugar, 27 gr carbs). This makes about 8 oz.

Is this too much sugar ?

If I were to sip it over a longer period of time, say in an hour, instead of gulping it down all at once, will the gradual introduction of sugar allows the body to use it up and it won’t end up in the liver ?




Vin Kutty October 3, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Hi DPK – I don’t know how much sugar is too much at one time. It depends on your body, its ability to process sugar, your level of insulin resistance etc. My wife can handle sugars. My triglycerides go up if I even look at a fruit salad or drive by Jamba Juice. But if you want a general rule, go with this: as much sugar as you can eat and still keep your blood glucose under 120. Yes, you will need a blood sugar test kit from the drug store.

If I took your smoothie, I would be in trouble. You? I dont know. You’d have to measure your blood sugar an hour and 2 hours after smoothie. DO you get happy right after smoothie? Do you go into smoothie stupor/coma 2-3 hours later and then get hungry 3 hours later? If yes to any of the above, then, yes, probably too much sugar.

Sip vs gulp – may be a tiny little bit better strategy.


sylvia October 6, 2013 at 6:07 am

Thanks for your previous reply. I have another question since I got confuse about fish oil weight in each capsule…for example 1000mg fish oil with 180 DHA , 90 EPA etc. What does it exactly mean?. Thank you.


Vin Kutty October 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Hi Sylvia – the 1000 mg of of fish oil is referring to the amount of oil. Fish oil contains some Omega-3. Just like milk contains calcium. In your case, each 1000 mg pill contains only 180 mg of EPA Omega-3 and 90 mg of DHA Omega-3. That adds up to 270 mg total Omega-3 in 1000 mg of oil. Highly concentrated fish oils can contain 500 mg or 750 mg or in the case of pharmaceutical grade fish oils, you can have as much as 900 mg of Omega-3 in 1000 mg of oil. You’re only after the Omega-3, so the other stuff is just fat. This is why I recommend more concentrated stuff.


Shyam October 10, 2013 at 1:56 pm

My child is closing to 4 years, is this the right time to start fish oil supplements?


Vin Kutty October 10, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Hi Shyam – that’s the wrong question to ask. The right question is: am I feeding my child a nutrient-dense diet that’s free of sugar and processed foods? Am I giving my child enough vegetables, eggs, meats, seafood, fruits and nuts? Reduce grains and increase vegetables and meats. If you’ve done all of the above, then, it’s OK to think about supplements to make up for an occasional lapse.


JIM October 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm




Vin Kutty October 22, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Hi Jim – not sure we agree on everything. Cod liver oil contains Omega-3, vitamins A and D. So it is good for you. I prefer to get my Omega-3 from fish and fish oil supplements. Orange juice is not good for you – get your Vitamin C and minerals from whole fruits and vegetables instead. Omega-3 reduces inflammation in the joints, but does nothing for adding moisture or preventing drying of the joints. Besides regular wear and tear, arthritic pain is caused by inflammation caused by excess Omega-6 and sugar (think orange juice!)

I am not a fan of cod liver oil. I explain why here: http://www.omegavia.com/cod-liver-oil/ But if you want a good liquid fish oil, I suggest getting Nordic Naturals.


Julia November 11, 2013 at 12:43 am

Hi Vin,

I get ovarian cancer 2 stage with the fourth chemotherapy now after big surgery, with removing two ovaries and uterus . Can I take the Fish Oil. If so, which one is the best. I am 44 years old. Please help out

thanks a lots



Vin Kutty November 11, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Hi Julie – sorry to hear that you’ve had to endure this.

In part 2 of this blog, you have some great options. Any of those would be fine.


Granit February 2, 2014 at 6:01 am

If I am trying to lower my FSH, what kind of fish oil should I get and how many mg of DHA, EPA. And should I look for no mercury. I just got new fish oil by natural factors Rx Omega-3 Factors, Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil,
DHA 200mg
EPA 400mg
Omega-3 fatty Acids 630mg
Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil concentrate 1170mg
(molecularly distilled, ultra purified)
(anchovy, sardine and/or mackerel)
I don’t know if it any good for me

Thank you


Vin Kutty February 4, 2014 at 4:25 am

Hi Granit – the product you’re taking is perfectly fine. I dont know how much impact it will have on FSH, but it will make you healthier with it than without.


Hiten July 16, 2014 at 8:47 am


What quantity of EPA and DHA in mg each should an adult male of 70kgs, 5’11” height consume per day?



Vin Kutty, MS July 16, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Hi Hiten – that depends on your diet and health. But as as rough guide, 1000 mg of Omega-3 as EPA + DHA is a good target. People with poor diets and/or chronic health issues may need twice or three times as much.


SHALINI SINGH August 21, 2014 at 7:24 pm

hi Vin,
My son is suffering from AUTISM and has just turned 5. I am exploring giving fish oil supplements to him because recent researches suggest a reduction in autistic traits with OMEGA-3 supplementation. It is now widely believed that these children as such have starving brains and their systems are low in essential nutrients specially those responsible for normal brain functioning. ( whats your opinion on this?)
I would be grateful if you could kindly advice me on the most suitable brand and dosage for my son who is borderline autistic and very high functioning.


Vin Kutty, MS August 21, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Hi Shalini – we don’t fully understand what causes autism or whether Omega-3 has any role in its development or management. Having said that, it is certainly a good idea to make sure that every child, autistic or otherwise, gets enough Omega-3 from foods or supplements…preferably thru foods. Aim for 300 to 500 mg of Omega-3 per day. There are LOTS of choices for kids: http://www.omegavia.com/omega-3-kids/ Otherwise, good old fashioned eggs, more vegetables, less grains, very little or no sugar, lots of mid-day full-body sun exposure and play for Vitamin D will all make kids healthier.


Skesh November 6, 2014 at 11:24 pm

Thanks for the advice on my previous question about solgar very help thanks.
On the same product solgar pure wild Alaskan sockeye salmon oil full spectrum omega, How much do you recommend I take for joint pains etc….your opinion would be very helpful. Thanks.


Vin Kutty, MS November 7, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Hi Skesh – take enough to deliver 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day.


PJ December 4, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Hi, Vin,
I know you wrote this four years ago, but I thought I’d check out the whole shark liver oil thing since you asked “What the heck are people doing eating Shark liver oils, anyway?!” I thought I’d find out for myself. It’s a good question. Turns out, it ain’t for omega-3, that’s for sure.

Apparently, shark Liver Oil contains compounds called alkylglycerols that are found naturally in bone marrow, spleen, and human breast milk. Alkylglycerols are involved in white blood cell formation to support immune function. So, some people, apparently quite successfully, take this oil for upping their white blood cell count due to diseases like cancer. But I hope there is something better that these folks could take for such conditions.

All this being said, I’m not promoting shark oil for anyone or would take it myself; just not appealing. I’m not a big “liver lover” in general, shark, beef, chicken or otherwise, as the liver is such a parking lot for toxins. Plus, and perhaps most importantly, we need to give the sharks a break. This is just not a sustainable source of oil, no matter how “special” it is. Many species are endangered. I noticed that Amazon does not sell it (and they’ll usually sell anything), nor does Whole Foods.

But it IS interesting and holds a very long tradition in Norway. That and the ubiquitous cod liver oil.


Vin Kutty, MS December 4, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Hi PJ – yes, there are a lot of people who consume sharks because of the ‘they never get cancer’ notion. I think the science behind it is questionable at best. Even if true, eating the liver of a top predator is a bad idea. Aside from that, liver of animals that have grazed on clean, green grass is amazingly healthy – it is the closest thing to a multivitamin in nature.


PJ December 4, 2014 at 4:05 pm

Well, then, maybe I will give domestic, grassy livers another chance. Thanks!


Vin Kutty, MS December 4, 2014 at 5:10 pm

The trick to eating liver for non-liver-eaters is: disguise. I chop/blend/grind and cook it with lots and lots of onion, garlic and olive oil. Or I mix it with ground beef and spices and make burgers.


PJ December 4, 2014 at 5:13 pm

(Gulp) I think I’ll just take a handful of really strong vitamins and a slab of wild salmon, and call it a day….lol. But thanks! :)

Jennifer January 10, 2015 at 4:52 am

I don’t understand the recommendation to take Lovaza. My understanding is that Lovaza is ethyl esters, not triglycerides. And that triglyceride form fish oil is much more easily incorporated/absorbed by our bodies. Can you elaborate on why you think Lovaza is one of the top 5 options?


Vin Kutty, MS January 10, 2015 at 6:46 pm

Hi Jennifer – the evidence that triglyceride is much more easily incorporated and absorbed by our bodies only holds water if you:

1) compare the two on a short term basis. If you plan on taking fish oils (regardless of forms) regularly and for the long term, the differences are barely noticeable.

2) compare both products when taken on empty stomach. You should take most supplements with your meals. If you take ethyl ester forms with a meal, the difference is barely noticeable.

You will hear and read a lot of internet marketing chatter about this faux debate. The science does not support taking a strong stance on the matter. Sales and marketing, however does.

I’ve written about it a lot here:

Yes, Lovaza is an ethyl ester form of fish oil. And it is very, very effective. So are many of the pharma grade ethyl ester fish oil supplements. Our company makes two different brands of fish oil with about 7 or 8 products in all…but the end of 2015 about half will be in TG form and other in EE. We have no bias either way, but do wish this confusion would go away.


Jennifer January 10, 2015 at 8:03 pm

Thanks! I appreciate your response. I’ll read the articles you linked to. I’m glad to know that as long as you take it with a meal (assuming the meal should have some natural fats in it?) EE oil should be fine, because I have a lot of it and don’t really want to toss it out and buy a different type.

Out of curiosity, the type I have is krill oil. Any comments or cautions around that?


Vin Kutty, MS January 11, 2015 at 9:24 pm

Hi Jennifer – don’t sweat the EE versus TG debate. People will continue to debate it. Let them. No need to toss out the product you have, even if it is krill oil. The only issue with krill oil is that there is very little Omega-3 in it. It’s slightly better absorbed than fish oil, but since there is so little Omega-3 to begin with, the increased absorption doesn’t do much benefit. To feel benefits with krill oil, make sure you take the same amount of Omega-3 as you would with fish oil. Unfortunately, this usually means 6 to 10 pills a day.


Jennifer January 11, 2015 at 10:27 pm

The krill oil I have is 500mg rather than the usual 300mg but that probably just means 4-6 instead of 6-10. Right now I’m taking two. Kinda in the mood to just eat fish instead. :)

Adurin January 16, 2015 at 6:08 pm

Hi Vin!

Great article however, I’m a little confused with products that separately offers omega 3 and vitamin A&D but are both derived from fish liver oil. I just want to ask if omega 3 supplements contain vitamin A and D as well , or if a vitamin A and D supplement contains omega 3’s as well (since they are both derived from fish liver oil) even if neither have it on the supplement facts on their labels. I just want to make sure if it is safe to take a separate omega3 supplement and Vitamin A and D supplement since Vitamin A can be quite toxic at high doses, and I don’t want to risk that. Anyway here are the facts from both supplements :

Fish oil(Anchovies & Mackerel) 1400 mg
Fatty acid composition:
Total omega 3 fatty acid: 910 mg
EPA: 448 mg
DHA: 308 mg
Other omega3 fatty acid: 154mg

Vitamin A (from cod liver oil): 10,000 IU
Vitamin D (cholecalciferol): 400 IU

I really hope you can help me with my Dillema. Thank you in advance!


Vin Kutty, MS January 17, 2015 at 9:27 pm

Hi Adurin – first, it is very difficult to overdose on Vitamin A, despite what you may read. If and when that happens, it is because of an absence of Vitamins D and K2. And possibly Vit E. I take 20,000 IU of Vit A with 5000 IU of Vit D3 a few times a week. Your Vit A and D is low in D. I would want at least 2000 IU of D3 per day during the winter time and less during the summer if you get a lot of sun exposure.

It is not only safe, but essential to take A, D and Omega-3. If you eat fish and liver, you would get all three in good amounts and proper proportions. There is no Vitamins A and D in fish oil supplements and hardly any Omega-3 in the A and D supplements.


Adurin January 18, 2015 at 2:32 am

Thank you so much for shedding light on this matter! There are indeed varying opinions on the toxicity levels of vitamin. I’m planning to take it every other day just to be on the safe side (does that make sense or any difference? Is taking it a few times a week in high doses more advisable because it can be stored in the body, or is it just your personal preference?) . Also, I live in the Philippines, a tropical country just above the equator so we get sunshine all year round (well except the monsoons).

Lastly, the reason why I wanted t take omega 3 is for its hirmone balancing and anti inflammatory properties. Is the amount in my omega 3 supplement substantial for that purpose?

I really really appreciate you answer! Thank you!


Vin Kutty, MS January 18, 2015 at 6:42 pm

Hi Adurin – you can take the A and D a few times a week. I do it this way because I often get enough of both from diet and sunlight respectively. Your Omega-3 is sufficient to prevent all deficiency symptoms. It may or may not reduce inflammation substantially, depending on how much Omega-6 and sugar/grains you consume. You could double your Omega-3 dosage if you want to know if that helps, without an ill effects.


Shacara Burrel January 31, 2015 at 7:53 pm

Hello, I am allergic to fresh water fish. Is there a a supplement that I can take that will give me the “fish oil” or omega that I can safely take.


Vin Kutty, MS January 31, 2015 at 11:12 pm

Hi Shacara – most fish oil supplements on the market are made from SALTEWATER fish. If you’re not allergic to saltwater fish like sardines and anchovies, you should be fine with most products – check the label carefully to see which fish was used. I would still work under a doctor’s supervision while you attempt this for the first time, with an epipen or benadryl in hand.


Tonecia April 17, 2015 at 4:05 am

My doctor has informed me that my bad cholesterol is a little high. Since I’ve been researching various OMEGA 3’s and fish oils to aid in lowering my numbers. I was almost sold on buying Super Critical Omega-3 TG until I came across OmegaVia. Why should I buy OmegaVia in lieu of Super Critical Omega-3 TG? Thanks


Vin Kutty, MS April 17, 2015 at 7:15 pm

Hi Tonecia – first, Omega-3 /fish oil will not reduce cholesterol…it doesn’t matter which brand you use or what the product label says. Omega-3 will only reduce triglycerides, if that is your issue.

The product you’re referring to is slightly different. It has less Omega-3. It is in TG form. And it costs a lot more. But its effect on Omega-3 will be the same as OmegaVia if you get the same dosage.


Amelia Yau April 25, 2015 at 8:25 am

Hi Vin,
I’m now in 7 weeks pregnancy, and now also facing Threatened Abortion status. Doctor advise me bed rest and have an injection to protect the baby. Also, Doctor has giving 3 medicine to take daily.
1) Folic Acid – 5mg – 2 times a day.
2) Duphaston – 10mg
3) Cardiprin 100 (Aspirin 100mg & Glycine 45mg)

Should I start to take Omega 3 now? I had just bought GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil, each tablet contains EPA 647mg & DHA 253mg. Is it safe for me to take GNC fish oil if I’m in the above condition?

Looking forward to your early favourite reply. Thank you.


Vin Kutty, MS April 25, 2015 at 11:13 pm

Hi Amelia – since you are under intensive medical care, you should check with your doctor before you do anything, but I would normally recommend two of those pills a day for anyone who’s pregnant. But like I said, check with your doctor.


LadyFuzzy June 21, 2015 at 3:48 am

Quick question. This has to do with IODINE content and Spring Valley- Fish Oil Brand… hope I’m asking in the right forum:

Does ‘Spring Valley’ All Natural Fish-Oil (1000mg/300mg Omega 3) contain any IODINE? I have hyperthyroidism and Fibromyalgia..I do not take any medications for it..by choice.. just natural remedies ;). I did take fish oil for a while before I was told to stop before my thyroid test.. and I do remember it being helpful. Since stopping I have more aches and pains, I’m incredibly fatigued and have serious “brain fog”. Wish fish give me back my ‘mental clarity’? I just worry it has IODINE a b day is messing with my thyroid?… Please if anyone has any advice.. thanks ahead of time.


Vin Kutty, MS June 21, 2015 at 5:53 am

Hi LadyFuzzy – I can’t comment on what’s in Spring Valley fish oil, but fish oils typically do not have measurable amounts of iodine. Fish do. But not so much in oils. If taking Omega-3 made you feel better, chances are you need a little more than 300 mg.


Sandy July 27, 2015 at 6:52 am

I know you are not fond of shark’s liver oil but I really miss my “Seabionics” that was a liquid pharmacutical brand fish oil. It came in a brown bottle and I took about 2 Tbsp. per day. I noticed a BIG difference in my carpal tunnel and my joints not aching. It was a multi level selling product and came from Norway. The company that sold it was doing fabulous until they said they could no longer get it. I guess it was helping to many people. I would love to know if you have heard of it or if it could still be found somewhere here in the US or if I have to take a trip to Norway! Thank you for your help!


Vin Kutty, MS July 27, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Hi Sandy – I have not seen that product in the US. If your symptoms improved, I suggest trying Nordic Natural’s liquid Ultimate Omega product.

(You’re right – I absolutely do not like the concept of shark liver oil)


Suresh August 19, 2015 at 7:19 am

Years back, for some reasons I stopped eating fish and meet.
I think I should take code liver oil as a suppliment for omega 3 and Vit A,D.

What must be the correct dosage of code liver oil ( I prefer seven seas??). My age is 52, weight 80 kg , height 5’11”.


Vin Kutty, MS August 19, 2015 at 2:23 pm

Hi Suresh – I’m not a fan of Cod liver oil: http://www.omegavia.com/cod-liver-oil/ I suggest you get your Omega-3 from purified fish oil and seafood. And get your D3 from sun exposure or D3 supplement. A is best from non-vegetarian foods and/or supplements.


Vin Kutty, MS January 12, 2015 at 12:44 am

Fish and other seafood are definitely the way to go. I know a lot of people who only supplement on days they don’t eat seafood.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

Innovix Pharma, Inc., Vitamins & Food Supplements, Calabasas, CA
Hassle-free returns and refunds