This article is a companion to a video discussion on fish oil, which you can watch on YouTube here.
Using third-party reviewers, I offer my recommendations below on the cheapest and most high quality supplemental fish oil products.
CHEAPEST FISH OIL PRODUCTS
The lowest cost option that appears to be in triglyceride form is Kirkland Signature Fish Oil (154 mg EPA and 110 mg DHA per softgel). This product costs $0.01 per 100 mg of DHA and EPA. Unfortunately, it is not very concentrated. Using it would entail ingesting a lot of softgels in order to derive the results discussed in the companion video. Click here to buy the product on Amazon.
After Costco's Kirkland option comes Walmart's Spring Valley Maximum Care Omega-3, which, though more concentrated, is in the least bioavailable form - ethyl ester. One softgel contains 645 mg EPA and 310 mg DHA at the same cost of $0.01 for 100 mg of EPA and DHA. Click here to buy the product on Amazon.
If you are on a budget, these two products are the best options on the market.
CHEAPEST KRILL OIL PRODUCT
The lowest cost krill oil option is CVS's Extra Strength 100% Pure Omega-3 Krill Oil. One softgel contains only 64 mg of EPA and 30 mg of DHA, though the cost for 100 mg of EPA and DHA is $0.55 (55x more expensive than the previous two options). Click here to buy this product at CVS.
Though this is the cheapest krill oil option, it is not the cheapest phospholipid form.
NON-KRILL PHOSPHOLIPID FORM
Nordic Naturals makes an alternative to krill oil in phospholipid form, which is significantly more bioavailable than triglyceride and ethyl ester forms. It is cheaper than the cheapest krill oil option - priced at $0.29 per 100 mg of EPA and DHA. Nonetheless, it is orders of magnitude (29x) more expensive than the cheapest triglyceride and ethyl ester forms. Click here to buy the product on Amazon.
MY EPA ONLY PICK
One of my favorite products of all: OmegaVia EPA 500 Omega-3 Fish Oil provides 500 mg of EPA in a single softgel in triglyceride form, costing you $0.05 per 100 mg of EPA. Click here to buy it on Amazon.
To offer a comparison, Carlson's Elite EPA Gems provides 1000 mg of EPA per softgel in ethyl ester form at the same cost of $0.05 per 100 mg of EPA. Click here to see this inferior, overpriced product.
MY HIGH-EPA PICK
Nordic Naturals EPA is a triglyceride product providing 450 mg of EPA and 100 mg of DHA per softgel, at a cost of $0.08. Click here to buy the product.
MY DHA ONLY PICKS
There are DHA only products, but they only come in ethyl ester form.
For example, Jarrow Formulas Max DHA provides 300 mg of DHA in a softgel, costing you only $0.02 per 100 mg of DHA. Click here to buy this low-cost ethyl ester DHA product.
For vegetarians, Nordic Naturals provides a Nordic Naturals Algae DHA product with 250 mg of DHA per softgel, priced at a whopping $0.19 per 100 mg of DHA. Click here to buy this high-priced, vegetarian option.
MY HIGH-DHA PICKS
Nordic Naturals DHA Xtra provides 480 mg of DHA and 205 mg of EPA in triglyceride form per softgel, at a cost of $0.06 per 100 mg of EPA and DHA. Click here to buy the product on Amazon.
Designs for Health OmegAvail Hi-Po provides 375 mg of EPA and 375 mg of DHA, in triglyceride form, at a 1:1 ratio per softgel, at a cost of $0.08 per 100 mg of EPA and DHA. Click here to buy the product on Amazon.
Designs for Health OmegAvail Ultra DHA is DHA-dominant, with 500 mg DHA and 110 mg EPA, in triglyceride form, per softgel, at a cost of $0.13 per 100 mg of EPA and DHA. Click here to buy the product on Amazon.
HIGH QUALITY TRIGLYCERIDE PRODUCTS
For a high quality liquid triglyceride product, I recommend Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega. It has 730 mg EPA and 505 mg DHA per 1/2 teaspoon and costs $0.06 per 100 mg of EPA and DHA. Click here to buy the product on Amazon.
A more expensive, concentrated option is Designs for Health OmegAvail TG1000, which contains 662 mg of EPA and 250 mg of DHA per softgel, at a cost of $0.1 per 100 mg of EPA and DHA. Click here to buy the product on Amazon.
In addition to the vegetarian DHA only option above, Nordic Naturals produces an Algae Omega product that provides 195 mg of DHA and 97.5 mg of EPA per softgel, in ethyl ester form, at $0.14 per 100 mg of EPA and DHA. Click here to buy this high-priced, vegan product on Amazon.
WHAT I USE
I am of the opinion that Designs for Health OmegAvail is the superior brand, followed by Nordic Naturals. I no longer consume or recommend Carlson's products to clients.
Considerations to keep in mind while choosing your product include price, concentration of EPA and DHA, ratio of EPA and DHA, and the form of the molecules. Phospholipid form is the most bioavailable, but it is inordinately expensive, while triglyceride is reasonably priced and more bioavailable than ethyl ester forms.
I have consumed 8 softgels of OmegaVia EPA 500 for over a year and consider it a permanent part of my supplement regimen. For the last several months, I have been consuming a couple of softgels of Designs for Health OmegAvail TG1000 in addition to the OmegaVia, though I am likely to switch to one of the high-DHA picks when my supply of TG1000 runs out - most likely, the Designs for Health OmegAvail Ultra DHA.