Picking the right fish oil as a man can be a confusing ordeal.
Fish oil has certain benefits, but there appear to be warning areas where men should tread lightly.
This makes it all the more important to choose a fish oil supplement wisely.
We will make choosing the right one simple & easy for you so keep reading.
our top 5 picks
Before we get to the reviews let's step back and look at fish oil in a little more detail.
What Are The Benefits Of Fish Oil Supplements?
Fish oil was once considered a promising area of dietary supplementation.
Starting with studies in the 1970's and leading into the 90's, the belief was that fish oil prevented a host of diseases and debilitations, augmenting several core capabilities, especially mental acuity and heart health.
The reasons behind those benefits are two polyunsaturated Omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil, namely EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
Early studies showed those Omega-3 acids stimulated several body processes responsible for the benefits listed below:
1. Improved Brain Function
Studies showed that dementia and Alzheimer's could be slowed or prevented by increasing Omega-3 intake.
2. Better Joint Health
Inflammation and Arthritic pain seemed to decrease when adding more Omega-3 to the diet.
3. Boosted Immune System
Omega-3 seems to give added resistance to febrile diseases and viral infections like cold and flu.
4. Improved Heart Health
Because Omega 3 decreases fatty deposits in the blood, it was thought to improve circulation and decrease the risks of arterial blockage, thus minimizing heart attack and stroke.
These are still the main reasons fish oil supplements are taken.
The human body doesn't naturally produce Omega-3's, so eating oily fish (and some other seafood) is the best-known way to obtain them.
Fish such as sardines and anchovies are good sources of Omega-3, as are herring, mackerel, salmon, and swordfish.
Mussels, oysters, and shrimp are also rich in the acids.
Why Take Supplements Instead Of Eating Fish?
Mid-sized fish appear to be the best way of including Omega-3's in the diet.
The acids start out in plants, such as algae, and get eaten by smaller fish.
The acids concentrate in those fish and transfer to the larger fish who eat them.
If the fish are too large, however, they're more prone to contaminants from the water.
Everything else being equal, smaller fish tend to have less contamination.
Taking the oil from the fish was viewed as a way to avoid pollutants altogether.
In addition, packaging the oil in pill form makes it easier and more convenient to take.
This also got around the traditionally low fish consumption experienced by Americans (especially males).
U.S. men are more likely to take pills than they are to begin frying or baking more fish.
Fish oil supplements have become a multi-million dollar industry, and it's now conventional wisdom to assume a healthy benefit to taking them.
While more scientific study is needed to confirm all claims of efficacy, fish oil pills are already a firm component of the healthy supplement industry.
What Are The Negatives To Taking Fish Oil?
There are two basic dangers to watch out for with fish oil supplements.
They are "Dosage Dangers" and "Over-hyped Benefits".
Regarding the latter danger, it is now clear that the original promise of fish oil was oversold to the public.
Early research found results that have since been proven untrue.
Omega-3's benefits to heart health and mental functioning were vastly overblown.
There seems to be some real gain to be made if the subject increases Omega-3 in their system, especially in relation to Omega-6 (which derives from red meats).
If Omega -3 is low, then increasing it can help.
A modest fish diet will accomplish this.
If the subject already has such a diet, increasing the Omega-3 has almost no benefit, and in some cases can hurt.
Dosage dangers result from people with certain predispositions, such as prostate cancer or bleeding issues.
In such subjects, Omega-3 can actually cause more problems.
The maximum dosage, in general, is considered to be 2 grams (U.S.) or 5 grams (International).
A common 1000mg fish oil pill contains about 300 mg of Omega-3, so subjects should dose accordingly.
How Do You Choose The Best Fish Oil Supplement?
Like other dietary supplements, fish oil pills are unregulated as drugs.
As simple food products, they have a great deal of latitude in their manufacture and labeling.
As a consequence, many fish oil pills do not contain the Omega-3 content they claim.
In research studies, it was found that some pills might contain as little as sixty-seven percent of the benefit they touted.
This is because the pills lose more potency when exposed to air than manufactures originally thought.
Care must be taken to keep the pills sealed and secure.
Experts suggest that consumers make certain the pills they take are produced in a safe manufacturing environment (such as USA industry).
It's also best to check if the manufacturer treats their oil for contaminants and quality controls for potency and adequate dosage.
The bottom line is anyone using fish oil supplements should consult a physician.
There are simply too many unknowns, and a great many variables, that make self-dosing unwise, and potentially dangerous.
All that being said, there's no need for hysteria about fish oil supplements.
The negative comments and associations all appear to stem from a massive overreach when the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids first came to the public's attention.
Manufacturers jumped in, and of course, sold the benefits loudly and enthusiastically.
Unfortunately, they committed themselves before the science had validated every claim without qualification.
Omega-3 still seems to have many benefits, it's just that like every other vitamin or mineral, it works best as part of a total healthy regimen instead of the initially touted miracle cure.
Many of the previously heralded benefits of fish oil supplementation still hold weight.
The skin care benefits do seem to apply.
Eyesight may be aided by supplementation.
The claims about diabetes prevention are over-blown, but the digestion and metabolism augmentation appears to be real.
There's certainly no evidence that fish oil is a preventative for cancer.
It's aid to overall health, however, is indisputable.
That alone is enough reason to consider fish oil as a part of your daily intake.
Top 5 Fish Oil Supplements Compared
Here are five of the best fish oil supplements we examined online.
Dr. Tobias Omega 3 Fish Oil Triple Strength pills are at the top of the list.
These pills contain 2000 mg of fish oil with 1400 mg Omega-3 Fatty Acids (600 mg DHA, 800 mg EPA).
The pills are third-party tested for purity, product efficacy and ingredient safety.
It is purified by molecular distillation, a known method for filtering out heavy metals and other toxins without overheating the sample or depleting nutrients.
With 4x More Omega-3s Than Most Brands these pills have gotten a lot of love lately.
Not to mention they're burpless and free of any fishy aftertaste.
This manufacturer took the time to protect the safety and check the potency of their product.
However, keep in mind these pills taste really bitter.
The Omega-3 Fish Oil 1250mg Triple Strength is a well-produced product.
With 1250 mg of fish oil (1099 mg Omega-3 Fatty Acids) this product can provide you with adequate amounts of fish oil and omega-3's.
The oil is derived from wild alaskan pollock and is designed for easy absorption.
Coated with coconut oil the pills don't have the bitter taste we've become accustomed to with fish oil pills.
However, there is a minority of users who experience digestion issues.
The makers of the MegaRed Advanced 4in1 900mg combined krill and fish oil to make this product.
They've added flavoring to make the pills better tasting.
If you have a hard time swallowing fish oil pills due to taste this may be what you need.
The pills overall seem to work well, and the taste is reported as pleasant.
However, some users report less potency.
Nature Made's Ultra Omega-3 Fish Oil is a good natural fish oil supplement.
It has 1400 mg of fish oil and 1000 mg of omega-3s.
The pills go through a purification process to remove mercury ensuring safe use.
With no Artificial Ingredients this is a good supplement to take daily.
However, there isn't a lot of effort to cover the taste.
Kirkland's Signature Fish Oil is a great option for those looking for an inexpensive fish oil supplement.
This product offers 1000 mg of fish oil with 300 mg of omega-3s.
The company filters for heavy metals making this a safe product you can trust.
On top of that there are no artificial colors or flavors.
Add to that no yeast making this product gluten free as well.
Unfortunately, you can expect the fishy taste, smell, and aftertaste.
Dr. Tobias Omega 3 Fish Oil Triple Strength brand is the clear winner of this group.
It has great attention to customer satisfaction while maintaining the integrity of its product and a concern for safety.