The definitive fish oil buyer’s guide

May 24, 2010 in Uncategorized | 65 comments

fish oil graphic


Sorry, folks. Another long one. It was unavoidable, though, because I really did want this to be a “definitive guide” that covers all (or at least most) of the relevant issues involved with choosing a fish oil. Here’s a summary for the time-challenged:

  • There are seven important factors to consider when choosing a fish oil: purity, freshness, potency, nutrients, bioavailability, sustainability, and cost.
  • Not all fish oils are created equal. It’s essential to do your homework and make an informed choice. Many fish oils are oxidized or made with poor quality ingredients, and may actually cause health problems instead of solving them.
  • The potency of various products depends not only upon the levels of EPA and DHA, but also upon the molecular structure of the fats in the oil, which in turn affects absorption.
  • Natural fish oils are better absorbed than purified fish oils. Preliminary evidence suggests that krill oil (KO) may be better absorbed than fish oil, and anecdotal reports indicate that KO may be more effective for some than fish oil for reducing inflammation in some people.
  • Many fish oils are made from fish that are endangered. Choose products made from fish that are certified by organizations such as the Marine Stewardship Council.


So far in this series we’ve looked at why fish is superior to plant-based sources of omega-3. We’ve examined the importance of reducing consumption of omega-6 fats. We’ve considered how much omega-3 is needed to support health and treat disease. We’ve revealed that concerns about the safety of fish consumption have been overblown, and that eating fish regularly is not only safe, but incredibly beneficial. And in the previous article we compared the benefits of eating fish to taking fish oil.

In this final article of the series we’re going to take a closer look at fish oil. Fish oil has become wildly popular these days. Most people who are at least relatively health conscious understand that they need omega-3 in their diet, and are probably not getting enough from food (unless they eat a lot of fish).

Health care practitioners have caught on, too. I constantly hear both conventional and alternative practitioners telling their patients to take fish oil. In fact, I was listening to a podcast last week by one popular health and fitness guru in the paleo/primal world, and he advises his clients to take up to 20 grams of fish oil a day. That made me cringe.

Why? Because what most people – including health care practitioners – don’t seem to understand is that not all fish oils are created alike. There’s a tremendous difference in the ingredients, purity, freshness and therapeutic benefit of the fish oils available today. The supplement industry is rife with false claims and unsavory companies that are far more interested in profiting on the fish oil craze than they are in your health and well-being.

Recommending that people take up to 20g/d of fish oil without conveying the importance of choosing a high quality fish oil, and teaching them how to do that, is irresponsible and possibly dangerous. Taking 20g/d of a poor quality, oxidized fish oil could dramatically increase oxidative damage and inflammation – which is of course exactly the opposite of the desired effect.

In this article, I’ll focus more on dispelling common misconceptions about fish oil and helping you to choose the best product for your needs.

Factors to consider when buying fish oil

There are seven primary variables to be aware of when shopping for a fish oil:

  1. Purity. The oil must meet international standards for heavy metals, PCBs, dioxins and other contaminants. Many do not – even when they claim they do.
  2. Freshness. Omega-3 oils are susceptible to oxidation, which makes them rancid. Rancid oils are pro-inflammatory and contribute to the diseases you’re trying to relieve or prevent by taking fish oil in the first place!
  3. Potency. In order to have the desired anti-inflammatory effect, fish oil must contain an adequate amount of the long-chain omega-3 derivatives EPA and DHA. DHA is especially important.
  4. Nutrients. All fish oils contain some amount of EPA and DHA. However, fish liver oil (from cod, skate or shark) also contains naturally occurring fat-soluble vitamins that are difficult to obtain from foods.
  5. Bio-availability. The ability to absorb the beneficial components of fish oil is based on the molecular shape of the fatty acids. The more natural the structure the better.
  6. Sustainability: The fish should be harvested in a sustainable manner and species that are under threat should be avoided.
  7. Cost: the product must be relatively affordable to be practical for most people.


Many species of fish are known to concentrate toxic chemicals like heavy metals, PCBs, and dioxins which can cause serious disease, especially in children and developing fetuses. In a previous article I explained how these chemicals are typically not a concern when eating whole fish, because fish also contain selenium. Selenium binds to mercury and makes it unavailable to tissues, thus protecting against any damage it may cause.

And while fish constitute only 9% of our dietary intake of dioxins and PCBs, high doses of fish oils taken every day (as is often recommended) may raise this percentage significantly and expose us to undesirable levels of these toxins.

To address this, fish oil manufacturers use a process called molecular distillation to remove the toxins from the oil. When done correctly, molecular distillation is capable of reducing the toxins in fish oil to levels considered to be safe by the EPA and other agencies.

Although almost any fish oil manufacturer will tell you their product is free of these toxins, independent lab analyses tell a different story. Just last month (March, 2010), a lawsuit was filed in California court against the manufacturers of ten popular fish oils because they contained undisclosed and (possibly) unsafe levels of contaminants.

Unfortunately, this kind of deception is all too common in the supplement industry. That’s why it’s essential that you ask for something called a Certificate of Analysis (COA) from the manufacturer before you buy their product. A COA is an analysis performed by an independent lab to measure the ingredients of a product and confirm whether it lives up to the claims made by the manufacturer.

If the manufacturer won’t provide a COA, I start to get suspicious. This is standard practice in the industry and there’s no reason they shouldn’t be happy to show you theirs. Make sure that the independent lab they use is in fact independent and is preferably accredited, sponsored by a government agency, or has a solid reputation in the field.

This may seem like unnecessary paranoia, but when it comes to the possibility of ingesting powerful neurotoxins, it pays to do your homework.

In general, fish that are lower on the food chain like sardines and anchovies naturally have a lower concentration of contaminants. For this reason, it may be wise to look for a product made from these fish.

So what levels of these toxins are safe? As you might imagine, there is some disagreement on this question since there is no single governing body that determines acceptable levels. However, the standards that are most often followed by fish oil manufacturers are summarized in the table below.

fish oil toxin standards

* ppt = parts per trillion
* ppb = parts per billion

In a previous article we discussed selenium’s protective effect against mercury toxicity. If you are taking large doses of fish oil, and not eating any whole fish, it may be wise to ensure another regular source of selenium. Brazil nuts are by far the highest dietary source, with 1917mcg of selenium per 100g. (But they are also very high in n-6, so watch out!)


I have written extensively about the dangers of oxidized, rancid oils. They promote oxidative damage and increase inflammation, both of which are risk factors for nearly every modern disease. The more unsaturated an fat is, the more vulnerable it is to oxidation. Long-chain, omega-3 fats found in fish oil are the most unsaturated of the fats, and thus the most susceptible to being damaged.

This is why it’s absolutely crucial to ensure that the fish oil you select is fresh and not rancid. Once it has gone rancid, it will have the exact opposite effect on your body than you want it to.

The first thing to do is to check something called the “peroxide value” on the COA. This is a measure of rancidity reactions in the oil that have occurred during storage. and should be less than 5 meq/kg.

If this checks out, and you decide to order that product, break open a capsule once you receive it. There should be no “fishy” odors. They should smell like the ocean, but not like a rotten fish. They should also not have a strong lemon or lime scent, which could be an indicator that the manufacturer is trying to mask the rancidity.

A common misconception is that you can determine the quality of a fish oil by freezing it. The theory goes that if you freeze the oil and it is cloudy, it’s rancid. That is not the case. All fish contain saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, albeit in small amounts. These fatty acids make the capsules appear cloudy when frozen in products that contain whole fish oil (i.e. Vital Choice’s Wild Salmon Oil).


This is another area surrounded by significant controversy. Some argue the levels of individual constituents in fish oil aren’t paramount. Scientists discovered the healthful effects of omega-3s by studying people with fish-heavy diets, before supplemental fish oil even existed. Clinical trials using supplemental fish oils over the past few decades have contained widely variable levels of both long-chain omega-3 derivatives (EPA and DHA), and not super-high concentrations of either or both.

However, due to poor conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA, unless you are eating fish it is very likely you are deficient in long-chain omega-3s.

Following this line of reasoning, the DHA content in particular of fish and fish oils does seem important if we wish to obtain the best possible therapeutic effect. Many recent studies demonstrating the anti-inflammatory potential of fish oil used a daily dosage of DHA in the range of 1-3 grams. What’s more, foods like salmon roe that have been prized by traditional cultures for their nourishing and healing effects contain large amounts of DHA. A single 6 oz. serving of salmon roe contains 1 g of DHA. (In fact, this would be the best way by far of supplementing with DHA if money were no object. (Unfortunately, wild salmon roe goes for about $28/serving.)

The suggested DHA dose will of course depend upon the condition being treated. If you have a chronic inflammatory condition (heart disease, arthritis, Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, etc.) I would suggest taking between 1 and 2 grams per day. If you are taking it simply for health maintenance, 500 mg is probably sufficient.

Unfortunately, many fish oils do not have significant amounts of DHA. This means you’d have to take an impractically high number of capsules each day to obtain the therapeutic dose. This is not desirable, since all unsaturated oils (including fish oils) are subject to oxidative damage. We don’t want to take large quantities of them for this reason.

Remember to check the label and ensure that your product has approximately 200-300 mg of DHA per capsule. This will allow you to achieve the therapeutic dose by taking no more than 3 capsules twice a day.


All fish oils contain some amount of EPA and DHA, the long-chain omega-3 derivatives that provide the majority of the anti-inflammatory benefits seen in studies. However, fish liver oils (from cod, skate or shark) contain significant amounts of vitamins A and D in addition to EPA and DHA. Vitamins A and D are fat-soluble nutrients that are crucial to human health. Vitamin D, in particular, is difficult to obtain from commonly eaten foods – especially now that eating seafood carries a much higher risk of contamination with toxins.

Fermented cod liver oil is even more beneficial, because it contains vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 has been called “the missing nutrient” because it was only recently discovered, and many people are deficient in it.

It has been commonly believed that the benefits of vitamin K are limited to its role in blood clotting. Another popular misconception is that vitamins K1 and K2 are simply different forms of the same vitamin – with the same physiological functions.

New evidence, however, has confirmed that vitamin K2’s role in the body extends far beyond blood clotting to include protecting us from heart disease, ensuring healthy skin, forming strong bones, promoting brain function, supporting growth and development and helping to prevent cancer – to name a few.

Cod liver oil was traditionally processed by fermentation, which is likely to make it more absorbable and bio-available. Processing by fermentation also avoids the use of heat, which can damage the fragile fatty acids and cause fish oils to go rancid. Unfortunately, I am aware of only one company that sells fermented cod liver oil at this time (see below).


The ability to absorb the beneficial components of fish oil is based on the molecular shape of the fatty acids. In short, the more natural the structure and the less it is chemically altered, the better.

This is true for any nutrient, of course, and it explains why I am always in favor of obtaining nutrients from food or food-based sources when possible. Each additional step in processing from the natural state of a food to extract or isolate nutrients introduces the potential of damaging the nutrient, or changing it’s chemical form so that it’s more difficult to absorb or affects the body in a different way.

When it comes to fish oils, there are three forms currently available on the market:

  1. Natural triglyercide oil. This is what you get when you “squeeze” the whole fish and extract the natural oil from it. It is the closest to eating fish oil in its natural form, and is highly bioavailable. The drawback of this form is that, because it’s not concentrated, it usually has low levels of EPA and DHA. And because it isn’t purified, it can have high levels of contaminants such as heavy metals, PCBs, and dioxins.
  2. Ethyl ester oil. Occurs when natural triglyceride oil is concentrated and molecularly distilled to remove impurities. The ester form is still in a semi-natural state because it is the result of a process that naturally occurs in the body. The advantage to this form is that it can double or triple the levels of EPA and DHA.
  3. Synthetic triglyceride oil. This form occurs when natural triglycerides are converted to ethyl esters for concentration (as above), but then re-converted into synthetic triglycerides. The original position of the triglyceride’s carbon bonds change and the molecule’s overall structure is altered, which impacts the bioavailability of the oil.

Studies on absorption of the various types of fish oil suggest that, unsurprisingly, the natural triglyceride form is absorbed better than the ethyl ester form, which in turn is absorbed better than the synthetic triglyceride form.

One study by Lawson & Hughes in 1988 showed that 1 gram of EPA and 0.67 grams of DHA as natural triglycerides were absorbed 3.4 and 2.7 fold as well as the ethyl ester triglycerides.

In the previous article we saw that fish oils were better absorbed when taken with a high-fat meal. In another study by Lawson & Hughes later the same year, they showed that the absorption of EPA & DHA from natural triglycerides improved from 69% with a low-fat meal (8g total fat) to 90% with a high-fat meal (44g total fat). Absorption of both EPA and DHA from ethyl ester oils was increased three-fold from 20% with a low-fat meal to 60% with a high fat meal.

What about krill oil?

In addition to the three types of fish oil listed above, there is another type of oil that provides EPA & DHA: krill oil. Krill oil (KO) is extracted from Anarctic krill, Euphausia superba, a zooplankton crustacean rich in phospholipids carrying EPA and DHA. Krill oil also contains various potent antioxidants, including vitamins A & E, astaxanthin, and a novel flavonoid whose properties are not yet fully understood.

Krill oil has a unique biomolecular profile that distinguishes it from other fish oils. While EPA and DHA in fish oils comes in the form of triglycerides, the EPA and DHA is already incorporated into phospholipids, which facilitates the passage of the fatty acids through the intestinal wall. This increases the bioavailability of the EPA and DHA and improves absorption and assimilation.

Werner et al demonstrated essential fatty acids in the form of phospholipids were superior to essential fatty acids as triglycerides in significantly increasing the phospholipid concentrations of EPA and DHA in mice.

In a human study, Bunea et al compared the effect of krill oil and fish oil on blood lipids, specifically total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, and HDL. Krill oil was given at dosages of 1g/d, 1.5g/d, 2g/d or 3g/d, and fish oil was given at a single dose of 3g/d. The authors found the following:

  • KO at a daily dose of 1g, 1.5g, 2g or 3g achieved significant reductions of LDL of 32%, 36%, 37% and 39% respectively. Patients treated with 3g fish oil daily did not achieve a significant reduction in LDL.
  • HDL was significantly increased in all patients receiving KO. HDL increased 44% at 1g/d, 43% at 1.5g/d, 55% at 2g/d and 59% at 3g/d. Fish oil taken at 3g/d increased HDL by only 4%.
  • KO did not decrease triglycerides significantly at 1g and 1.5g. However, KO reduced triglycerides by 28% at 2g/d and 27% at 3g/d. Fish oil at 3g/d did not achieve a significant reduction of triglycerides.
  • Blood glucose levels were reduced by 6.3% in patients receiving 1g/d and 1.5g/d of KO, and 5.6% in patients receiving 2g/d and 3g/d of KO. A daily dose of 3g of fish oil reduced blood glucose by 3.3%.

Thus, in this study krill oil led to a significantly greater improvement in blood lipids compared to fish oil.

Note that the dosage of KO that obtained the best results, either 2g/d or 3g/d, is quite high. However, study participants received a maintenance dose of 0.5g/d for another 12 weeks after the therapeutic period of the study ended. These patients maintained the reductions in total cholesterol they attained in the study, and LDL, triglycerides and blood glucose were further reduced from baseline. There was a moderate decrease (of 3%) in HDL, but HDL was still significantly increased from baseline.

There is also unpublished research suggesting that 300 mg/d of KO reduces biochemical and subjective measures of inflammation and improves joint function and mobility in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

However, as this research is not published or peer-reviewed, and was sponsored by Neptune Technologies (the manufacturer of Neptune Krill Oil (NKO), I am cautious about interpreting its results.

So what does all of this information about bio-availability tell us?

  1. Taking fish oil capsules with a high-fat meal is essential to improve absorption of EPA and DH.
  2. Even when taken with a high-fat meal, ethyl ester oils are absorbed only 66% as well as natural triglyceride oils.
  3. Krill oil appears to significantly improve blood lipids when compared to fish oils, possibly because of its unique phospholipid structure.


The sustainability of fish oil production is difficult to gauge. Some oils are produced as a byproduct of fish harvesting, and manufacturers claim that they are simply making use of something that would normally be discarded. While this is certainly better than harvesting fish solely for their oil, it still supports harmful fishing practices.

The safest bet is to only use fish oil that is made from fish that are certified by MSF or a similar organization, such as the Environmental Defense Fund. Vital Choice Wild Salmon Oil is one example, as is Jarrow Max DHA (which is made from anchovies and sardines, both of which are generally regarded as safe to eat from an environmental standpoint).


I cover cost in the recommendations section below.


Note: I have no affiliation with any of these companies. These are simply the products I recommend based on my research. It’s very likely that there are other good products that I missed in my search. This is not an exhaustive list.

Which product you might choose from this list depends in large part upon what your goals are.

I have provided product recommendations in two different categories: baseline, and supplemental. Those wishing to to maintain health and ensure adequate nutrient intake should choose a product from the “baseline” category. Those who are dealing with a chronic inflammatory condition should also choose a product from the baseline category, but should consider adding a product from the “supplemental” category.

However, keep in mind that the absorption of the natural triglyceride oils (like the Wild Salmon Oil and Fermented Cod Liver Oil below) will be 1.5 times greater than the ethyl ester oils in the supplemental section. As a rule of thumb, all purified and molecularly distilled oils are ethyl esters.

This means you have to take 1.5 times as much of the ethyl ester oils to get the same dose of DHA that you’d get from the natural triglyceride oils. For example, Vital Choice Wild Salmon Oil has 220 mg DHA per serving. To get the same amount of DHA from Jarrow Max DHA, which is an ethyl ester oil, you’d have to take a serving that provides 333 mg of DHA.


Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil Blend (GP FCLO)

Ingredients: about 270 mg omega-3 (about 139 mg EPA, 83 mg DHA), about 1,100 IU vitamin D, about 2,300 IU vitamin A. Values listed are approximate (see disadvantages).

Price: $47.00 for 120 capsules, 2 capsules per serving. $0.78/serving.

Advantages: a whole-food product in its natural form, rather than a supplement. Is relatively low in EPA & DHA compared to other products, but contains high levels of vitamin D, as well as vitamins A & K. The fat soluble vitamins A, D & K2 are important co-factors and likely improve the absorption and assimilation of EPA & DHA. Addition of grass-fed butter oil increases levels of K2. Cold-processed with fermentation, which means this is the least oxidized product available.

Disadvantages: levels of PCBs are posted on Green Pastures’ website here, but I’ve been unable to obtain information on heavy metals or dioxins. The EPA and DHA levels are what would be expected in a whole food product, but may not be high enough for a significant anti-inflammatory effect. Values for vitamins A, D, EPA and DHA are approximate and vary batch to batch due to fermentation processing method. Peroxide values are not provided, but because it is processed without heat they are likely to be very low.

Notes: because fermented cod liver oil contains vitamins A, D and K2 in addition to EPA and DHA, and because most people are deficient in some or all of these nutrients, this is currently the only product I recommend to everyone – patients, family and friends – regardless of their health status.

Vital Choice Wild Salmon Oil (VC WSO)

Ingredients: 600 mg of omega-3 (240 mg EPA, 220 mg DHA), 340 IU vitamin D, 2,060 IU vitamin A (per 3 1,000 mg softgels).

Price: $40 bottle, 180 capsules. 3 capsules/serving, $0.68/serving.

Advantages: processed without heat using micro-filtration, which retains naturally occurring vitamins A and D. Fatty acids are in their natural triglyceride form, which makes them more absorbable. Also contains astaxanthin, which protects the oil from oxidative damage and rancidity. Contains more EPA and DHA than GP FCLO. Nutrient levels are more consistent from batch to batch and certification is performed by independent, not-for-profit organization (NSF International).

Disadvantages: when compared to GP FCLO, does not have vitamin K2 and the dose of vitamin D is significantly lower. Otherwise no disadvantages.


Jarrow Max DHA

Ingredients: 600 mg of omega-3 (250 mg DHA, 36 mg EPA) per capsule; one capsule is one serving.

Price: $14.85 (at Vitacost) for 180 capsules. $0.08/serving.

Advantages: even after considering the differences in absorptions between Jarrow Max (an ethyl ester) and the two natural triglyceride oils listed above, Jarrow Max is significantly cheaper. It’s possible to get 1g/d of DHA for $0.32. Made with anchovies and sardines, both of which are naturally low in contaminants. Jarrow faxed me their certificate of analysis, which checked out fine. This is a good choice for those wishing a high-dose of DHA in addition to eating fish or taking one of the natural triglyceride oils above.

Disadvantages: has a 7:1 ratio of DHA to EPA. Although I believe DHA to be more beneficial than EPA, the research is mixed on this and some people report that they do better with EPA.

V-Pure Vegetarian DHA

Ingredients: 350 mg DHA, 50 mg EPA per serving, 2 capsules per serving.

Price: $21.95 for 60 capsules. $0.73 per serving.

Advantages: I received several emails from vegetarians asking me what I recommended they do to meet DHA needs. This is a DHA/EPA blend derived from marine algae, which is where oily fish get EPA & DHA in the first place. The algae in this product is organically grown and 100% free of toxins and contaminants. The capsules are quite small and can be easily swallowed.

Disadvantages: I haven’t seen much research on the marine-algae DHA/EPA blends. Although it’s plausible to assume their effects would be similar to fish oils, I’d like to see some studies backing that up. Likewise, I don’t know much about V-Pure as a company. Another potential issue is that the capsules have carrageenan in them, which has been shown to exacerbate intestinal inflammation in several studies. People with gut problems like IBS and IBD may want to avoid this product. Finally, at $0.73/serving this product is expensive. To get a therapeutic dose of 1g/d taking this alone, you’d have to take 9 capsules per day which be 4.5 bottles/month, or almost $100!

Tentatively Recommended

Neptune Krill Oil

Ingredients: 300 mg of omega-3 (90 mg DHA, 150 mg EPA) per serving, two capsules per serving.

Price: $16.86 for 60 capsules. $0.56/serving, 2 capsules per serving.

Advantages: KO has a unique phospholipid structure that appears to improve the absorption of EPA & DHA. At least one study suggests that KO is superior to fish oil in improving blood lipids. KO also contains vitamins E & A, as well as astaxanthin, an antioxidant claimed to be 10 times more potent than other carotenoids. KO capsules are much smaller than fish oil capsules, are easier to swallow, and many report they don’t cause the burping common with other fish oil capsules. Several anecdotal reports suggest that krill oil can be more effective than fish oil in reducing inflammation for some people.

Disadvantages: there are few studies demonstrating the effectiveness of KO, whereas fish oil has decades of research behind it. Most of the studies that do exist on KO were sponsored by Neptune, the largest manufacturer of KO. The dosages used in the study on KO and blood lipids were very high, and taking KO at those dosages would be expensive. (However, the therapeutic dose of 2-3g/d would only be necessary for 12 weeks, as the maintenance dose of 0.5g seemed to maintain the benefits attained during the therapeutic period.) The sustainability of krill harvesting is controversial.

The reason KO gets a tentative recommendation is that there’s still comparatively little research supporting its use, and because I am still uncertain about the environmental impact of harvesting the krill for the oil. If you have information to share on either of these questions, I’m all ears!

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Glenn May 24, 2010 at 11:39 am

Thanks for this info!  I realize you made a point of saying that this is not an extensive list; still, I’m surprised that Nordic Naturals is not on here.
P.S. Enjoyed your recent interview with Stephen!


Greg May 24, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Thanks for distilling all your research, this is very helpful!
There is a typo:
…ethyl ester form, which in turn is absorbed better than the ethyl ester form


Chris Kresser May 24, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Thanks for catching that. Clearly my proofreader (ah hem, that’s me) is overworked.


John May 24, 2010 at 1:33 pm

I have been using Source Natural’s omega 3 fish oil capsules.  When I contacted them for the COA customer service told me that Artic Pure (supplier of the oil) would not give the COA to consumers.  If that remains the case, this consumer will go elsewhere.


Chris Kresser May 24, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Thanks for updating us on the Source Natural product, John. It could be that it’s fine, but as I said, I get very suspicious when they won’t provide a COA. Since there are plenty of other companies that will, I don’t see a reason to buy from one that won’t.


Moises May 24, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Nice article. I appreciate the thorough research embodied in it. I plan to make some purchases based on your recommendations.
I was surprised by your endorsement of cod liver oil. Would you like to address the citations presented by John Cannell asserting that the Vitamin A in liver negates Vitamin D activity?
P.S. Here’s another job for the proofreader (or I misunderstood it):
” There was a moderate decrease (of 3%) in HDL, but HDL was still significantly INCREASED from baseline.”


Chris Kresser May 24, 2010 at 2:57 pm


That’s not a typo. What I was saying is that HDL decline by 3% on the maintenance dose from the high point it reached during the active treatment phase of the trial, but even after that 3% decline was still significantly elevated compared to where it was before any treatment. Make sense?

Regarding Cannell’s assertion about vitamin A, I don’t buy it at all. None of the studies he refers to suggest causation – they only show correlation. Correlation is not causation. Remember that the confusion of the two is what confounded cholesterol research for decades and led us down a ridiculous dietary path.

Read these articles for more:

Vitamin A does compete to some degree with vitamin D for absorption, but on the other hand vitamin A is an important co-factor for the absorption of vitamin D.

In situations where science and evolutionary nutrition conflict, I’m far more likely to trust what our ancestors ate.


bentzurm May 24, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Thanks for all the info Chris.
I went to vitacost to take a look at the Jarrow product you listed and found another Jarrow product called “Jarrow Formulas Max DHA Liquid Delicious Lemon” which might be better. It is still DHA dominant (750 mg DHA/450 mg EPA) but not as much as the capsules.
I’ve been using Carlson’s liquid fish oil, but I think I might give this Jarrow product a try in my next order.


Chris Kresser May 24, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Thanks for the tip on the Jarrow DHA liquid. One potential issue for some is that it contains soy. However, unless one has a true allergy my guess is that the amounts are minimal. 2 tsp. of this oil give you up to 1.6g of DHA, so it seems like a good choice – especially for those who have trouble swallowing the fish oil capsules. The reviews say that kids will take it, which probably means that the taste isn’t too objectionable.


Tanya May 24, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Thank you for this list!  I have bleeding issues with EPA and it never occurred to me that a fish-based omega-3 supplement existed that was predominantly DHA with so little EPA.  This may work very well for my son and me and if it does, I’ll recommend it to my mom too.


Moises May 24, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Thanks for the quick response to my question about Vitamin’s A and D. I will need to spend some time reviewing the evidence.
Perhaps I should do an interventional study with n=1, on myself. Take D alone, and then take it with A, then drop the A out again, and see how my 25(OH)D levels vary. Maybe there’s an easy way to measure blood levels of A. I’ll have to look into this.
Regarding the HDL, I guess I confused the matter even more because I “corrected” your text to what I thought it should have been by capitalizing the word “INCREASED.” Your text has “reduced.” Your comment above suggests that my interpretation was correct.


Chris Kresser May 25, 2010 at 7:41 am

Thanks for the correction, Moises.


sda May 25, 2010 at 12:40 pm

You need to calculate the amount of the useful component per unit of product.  The concentration, like you said.  Because every pill is a different size, and “serving size” is made up.
Each pills varies in size and concentration and composition.  I’ll spoil the results for you: That Vital Choice is 15% EPA+DHA.  That Jarrow is 48% EPA+DHA. NOW ultra omega is 75% EPA+DHA.  And it is a 2:1 ratio of EPA:DHA commonly used in studies because it is commonly found in fish.
PS: the better absorption of undistilled oil is irrelevant because undistilled oil is a cocktail of contaminants.  No doctor recommends supplementing with extra PCB and heavy metal.  Every government in the world recommends capping even whole fish consumption very aggressively.


Chris Kresser May 25, 2010 at 1:47 pm

I’ve addressed all of your comments extensively in the other articles in this series. Please read them here.

I’ve made the case that DHA is more important than EPA for several reasons. See here. Also, there’s a lot of evidence suggesting that oxidation of EPA contributes significantly to aging.

The better absorption of natural oils is not at all irrelevant. Vital Choice Wild Salmon Oil is under the acceptable levels on all contaminants. So is the FCLO. Both of these oils have other nutrients and co-factors that the purified oils don’t have, as I pointed out. EPA & DHA aren’t the only considerations.

Concerns about contaminants in fish have been way overblown, as I described here.


Kevin May 26, 2010 at 8:37 am

What about Seal oil?  I think it’s banned in the USA, but it’s available here in Canada.  You can get it for as little as $15 for 300 500mg gelcaps, each containing 40mg of EPA, 50mg of DHA, and 25mg of DPA.


Chris Kresser May 26, 2010 at 9:30 am

I don’t know much about seal oil, but the same criteria I outlined in the article would apply. Those are fairly low numbers for EPA and DHA, though, so even if it’s well absorbed you may have to take quite a bit of it to benefit. I also question the sustainability and environmental impact of it if it is banned in the U.S.


Kevin May 26, 2010 at 9:56 am

All Seal products are banned in the US since the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) was enacted in 1972 in order, mainly, to protect the 600,000 dolphins which were killed by tuna fishing operations each year.   The Canadian Harp Seal population is estimated to be between 6.4 and 9.5 million animals, and the annual quota for hunting is about 300 thousand.  So it’s not an issue of sustainability, as the seal population is one of the healthiest of any marine stock.


Chris Kresser May 26, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Thanks for clarifying this, Kevin. So the only question, then, is the EPA and DHA levels. You may have to take a bit more of it than you would the salmon oil or cod liver oil to get a therapeutic effect, but otherwise it sounds fine.


Gary May 26, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Andrew Stoll (Harvard, “The Omega 3 Connection) says that EPA is the critical element. ”EPA is the omega-3 fatty acid with anti-inflammatory actions and promotes heart and joint health,” (from the OmegaBrite web site where Dr. Stoll sells his Omega 3 pills).
It seems to me that the science on this shows mixed results and that for now, if you supplement, it should be both EPA and DHA. But I’d like to know more about your reasons for preferring DHA and the research behind that.
Also, has tested a dozen or so Omega 3 supplements and gives them ratings based on the tests, which include testing for contaminants. This looks like a good source for finding a supplement that meets your criteria.
This series, by the way, has been excellent and I’ve learned a great deal. I’ve started eating fish again, which I stopped doing because of all the reports of dangers.


Chris Kresser May 26, 2010 at 6:09 pm


Thanks for your comment. I explained why I believe DHA may be more important in the first article in the series. In addition to what I wrote there, in vitro studies demonstrate DHA is superior to EPA in inhibiting the expression of inflammatory markers such as pro-inflammatory cytokines, monocyte adhesion to endothelial cells, and cell-adhesion molecules, particularly vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, intracellular adhesion molecule-1, and E-selectin.

Data now demonstrates DHA has important hemodynamic and anti-atherogenic properties. In terms of cholesterol and lipid metabolism, DHA (but not EPA) increases HDL cholesterol and increases LDL particle size, both protective against heart disease. DHA, but not EPA, can also significantly reduce heart rate, blood pressure and platelet aggregation.

Evidence also suggests that DHA plays a more important role in brain health and visual acuity, especially in developing fetuses and infants. DHA deficiency has been linked to Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline.

I agree that the data is mixed, and I could be wrong about this. But a lot of the newest evidence, as well as anthropological evidence, points towards DHA. In any event, if you take Wild Salmon Oil or Cod Liver Oil as I suggest, you’ll get a good amount of both.


Alan May 26, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Since the Green Pastures FCLO and Vital Choice Wild Salmon Oil both contain Vit D and Vit A, I was wondering what amount of Vit A one should try not to exceed. I know how much Vit D I need to consume to keep  my Vit D blood tests in a good range. I am not sure how much Vit A should be consumed.  What is you opinion on the matter.
I have learned alot from your blog, Thanks for all the hard work 


Chris Kresser May 26, 2010 at 9:08 pm

A normal dose of the FCLO and/or Wild Salmon Oil plus maybe eating a serving of beef liver once a week would be a good goal to shoot for with vitamin A.


Chris Kresser May 28, 2010 at 7:51 am


I just came across some research suggesting that the optimal ratio of vitamin A to vitamin D is between 5-8:1.  This is roughly what you’d get by following the suggestions I listed above.


Forty2 June 1, 2010 at 8:31 pm

I found Jarrow “EPA-DHA Balance” at Whole Paycheck today so I bought some. It claims 420mg EPA and 210mg DHA (or 2:1) per capsule or “softgel”. Of the various and silly-expensive options there this had the highest DHA. So my plan is to take two a day along with two a day of WF-brand cod liver oil for vitamins A and to a much lesser extent D; I’m gonna get most of my D from sunlight, at least until winter.
I’m not interested in the Green Pastures or Vital Choice supps because I think the prices are outrageous. “Oh you can’t put a price on health!” Oh yes you can.


Chris Kresser June 1, 2010 at 8:35 pm

You’ll be fine.  Keep in mind, though, that some people can’t synthesize D from sunlight very well.  Age and inflammation are two factors that inhibit conversion.  Best to have your levels checked to see if what you’re doing is working.


Marley June 16, 2010 at 12:33 am

Hi chris, thanks for all the great reading
I read that cooking meat or fish at high temps can destroy some of the omega 3.  Any thoughts on that?
Its interesting what you wrote about DHA reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines. I have an assignment for my acupuncture study looking at the effects of acupuncture on rheumatoid arthritis and it seems to work on the same things (cytokine TNF a etc)  via the vagus nerve.  So both fish oil and acupunture could be good for such inflammatory conditions.


Chris Kresser June 16, 2010 at 9:37 am

Yes, cooking at hight temps does destroy some of the n-3. They are very fragile and susceptible to oxidative damage. Best to eat some fish raw, or to cook moderately.

There’s a lot of research on the anti-inflammatory effects of acupuncture. Adenosine is another potent mediator, and if you search for “acupuncture adenosine” in Google scholar there should be a couple of good papers that might interest you.


Matt Metzgar July 14, 2010 at 6:51 pm

What do you think about fish oil in capsules versus the liquid form?


Chris Kresser July 14, 2010 at 7:23 pm

In general we absorb oils better than capsules. One less step for our digestive system to go through.


Marshall July 20, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Bravo! I maintain a blog about fish oil where I chronicle all the latest research on the benefits of omega-3 from fish oil supplements and I have to say that you have some of the best articles on omega-3 I probably have ever come across! (except my own, of course :-D )

Allow me to be the healthy skeptic now and raise a few points:

1. There’s no research that I’m aware of that supports the notion that the absorption of synthetic triglycerides is impaired relative to natural triglycerides. The only mention of this is from Xtend-Life discussing it in the context of supporting their product over other products (and it appears you stumbled across their Buyer’s Guide too… ;) Furthermore, there’s nothing to support the assertion that the carbon bond position of synthetic TG has been altered. If you assume they mean the ester bond, which is where pancreatic lipase acts to break down the triglyceride, then what are our choices for carbon bond positions? Either the carboxyl group has a covalent bond with the first carbon of the fatty acid tail, or it doesn’t. Am I missing something here? I suppose he could mean stereoisomeric triglycerides, but as this study shows, pancreatic lipase doesn’t really care which way the tail bends:

2. It’s interesting to note that the absorption rate of free acids, which aren’t bound to an alcohol base, has been show to be almost twice as high as TG:  ( I suppose they’re probably too unstable to be bottled and sold, however.

3. Krill oil has been touted by people like Dr. Mercola as being free from the toxins that fish are susceptible to, but that’s flat-out wrong according to multiple studies. (such as

4. There is actually a voluntary testing and certification program called the International fish Oil Standards program, or IFOS. I recommend that people only buy fish oils that have every batch certified by IFOS because they are far more strict than most governing bodies. The reason they’re more strict is because this allows for much higher doses to be taken when trying to treat chronic or severe conditions.

I’m sure I will think of more too. :)


Chris Kresser July 20, 2010 at 5:07 pm


1. The literature is mixed on this, but this paper and this one both show higher absorption of natural triglycerides than ethyl esters. The second one shows that the absorption of ethyl esters improves with a high fat meal, as I stated in the article. There are other papers showing they are equally well absorbed. But what isn’t controversial is that triglycerides from whole fish are better absorbed than triglycerides from fish oil in any form. I prefer to take products in their least processed, most natural form, so in general I’d choose a natural triglyceride oil over an ethyl ester oil – provided it met standards for purity.

2. Yes, FFAs are too unstable to use in supplement form.

3. As I said in my article, I’m ambivalent about krill oil. I need to see more independent studies before I make up my mind.

4. Thanks for the tip in IFOS.


Marshall July 20, 2010 at 5:23 pm

I’m not contesting the greater bioavailability of TG over EE. That is rather indisputable, in my opinion, and it’s why EE fish oils were illegal in Canada for many years (though they’ve loosened restrictions recently). There are even more studies on this than you cite here. What I think is rather dubious is the notion that synthetic triglycerides are somehow structurally different than natural triglycerides. While the ethyl alcohol base in EE is a poor candidate for pancreatic lipase, so-called synthetic triglycerides are simply omega-3 fatty acids bonded to a glycerol alcohol base via covalent carbon bonds, just like the natural form. The only “position” that could possibly change is the bending of the fatty acid tail, but as that study I cited showed, that’s irrelevant to pancreatic lipase, which is at the heart of the bio-availability discussion. While I’m sympathetic to the “natural is better” mindset and have adopted it myself, I do recognize that not all processing is bad. In this case, all that has happened is that the alcohol base has changed from glycerol to ethyl then back to glycerol. I believe that your source for that claim had less than innocent motives.


Chris Kresser July 20, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Those sources came from Pubmed, not Xtend Life.  Xtend Life sells combo ethyl ester / natural triglyceride oils, so I doubt they’d set out to prove that natural triglycerides are superior.  Vital Choice probably would, though, since their salmon oils are all natural triglyceride.


Marshall July 20, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Your comments about natural TG vs. EE vs. synthetic TG are almost word for word what’s displayed on Xtend Life’s website:
You wouldn’t get this information on PubMed because there are no studies comparing synthetic TG with natural TG. But I’m open to hearing if you’ve found something I haven’t?


Chris Kresser July 20, 2010 at 6:01 pm

I was talking about the references, not the comments.


Moises July 21, 2010 at 10:01 am

Please provide a link to your blog.


Marshall July 21, 2010 at 11:55 am

Hi Moises: My blog is at fish oil blog . com (i can’t put the full url, akismet thinks it’s spam… i’m trying to resolve this with them)
Chris: My point was basically that it seems that this notion of synthetic triglycerides having impaired absorption relative to natural triglycerides isn’t supported by research, and is probably another myth started by Xtend Life to support their product that’s a combination of natural TG and EE. Just wanted to let you know so you don’t unintentionally perpetuate a health myth, in the process of exposing other myths. :)


chuck perez July 30, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Heart scan blog suggests Pharmax Finest Pure Fish Oil which also is in the healthy 1:1 – 1:2  dha: epa range.


Marshall July 30, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Too bad he doesn’t mention anything about purity…


Ruth September 6, 2010 at 2:06 am

Thanks for this – been looking for some info on VPure as it does seem rather expensive…. but I’m a vegetarian, so I guess I’m a bit stuck really (not vegan though, so I guess I can still get DHA from eggs from grass-fed hens?) … you hear of a suppliement called Opti3? Any opinion?

Thanks :)


Chris Kresser September 6, 2010 at 8:30 am

I don’t like the Opti3. We don’t need any extra omega-6 in our diets. Most people have more than enough. Plant-based omega-3s aren’t very helpful either. You’d be better off with the VPure.


Ruth September 7, 2010 at 1:53 am

Thanks for that – will grin and bear the cost of the VPure then!


Marshall Sontag September 24, 2010 at 3:32 am

This new study sheds some light on the “synthetic” vs natural Triglyceride controversy:
Re-esterified TG (what you call synthetic) is actually far more bioavailable than FFA, TG and EE. Please update your definitive guide. :)
I’m writing my own blog post about this…


Chris Kresser September 24, 2010 at 6:50 am

Not quite ready to change my opinion based on a single study – especially when I don’t have access to the full text.


Marshall Sontag September 24, 2010 at 2:38 pm

But your opinion wasn’t based on science to begin with! Where’s the research that shows re-esterified triglycerides have impaired bioavailability?
Isn’t this the first study you’ve seen comparing rTG to TG?


Jessie Hancock October 6, 2010 at 7:54 am

Chris (and Ruth),

I’m a vegan and I’ve been researching EPA and DHA (and generally Omega-3 and Omega-6) for a long time. In response to comments about Opti3 vs V Pure I must say I disagree.

Opti3 provides far more total Omega-3 than V Pure (DHA, EPA, ALA and SDA). Despite what they say, we found next to zero EPA in V Pure when we tested it as part of a study, and they never replied to our many emails about this! If you plan to buy V Pure, I recommend you ask them to prove it actually has any EPA in it first!

As for Omega-6, there is a lot of research showing that a balance between 3,6 and 9 is good (in fact vital for heart health - check out the many reports by searching on Google). I know from talking to the Opti3 guys during my study that a lot of thought was put into the levels and combinations they used.

Regardless of the argument of Omega-6, the level in Opti3 is very low anyway and I understand only comes from sunflower oil-based parts that are included to deliver ALA (just a tiny bit of the bigger, highly beneficial picture), completing the omega-3 spectrum. 

Also Chris – Opti3 gets its most important bits, EPA and DHA - from Algae, not plants. Algaes are of course where fish their their omegas from as well. If it is of interest, I suggest you get in touch with them. They are over in UK. Seems a shame for you to discard their product so swiftly, when I know how much great research and thought has gone into it!

Hope this helps. Its not a rant and I have nothing to gain, I’m just keen to make sure fellow veggies/vegans reading this choose products correctly by having all the right information.

Ruth – forget V Pure, seriously! If not, please ask the main questions before being ripped off. I could write a book……



justin December 4, 2010 at 1:12 am

another good guide for buying omega-3s


Malin March 3, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Thank you Chris for this great guide! I was interested in ordering Green Pastures codliver oil, but unfortunately the shipping cost to Sweden would be as much as the product itself…:( So I have a question for you, do you know anything about the Scandinavian brand Möllers Tran codliver oil, from Norway? They claim they have more strict rules when it comes to both purity and freshness than the norweigan authorities and EU, the european community. Don’t think we have COA here, or is it world-wide?



Alicia March 4, 2011 at 4:34 am

Hi everyone! Im new to THS and am wondering what brand of fish oil i should take. I am living in Australia so the brands that have been mentioned arent available here. I have found one called Swisse Wild Fish Oil…..”and is one of the only fish oils in the world sourced sustainably from wild fish that swim freely in the pristine waters of the Pacific Ocean free range fish. As a result, Swisse Ultiboost High Strength Wild Fish Oil is free from the high levels of environmental toxins often found in farmed fish….” EPA levels are 270mg and DHA 180mg
They also have a product called Wild Salmon Oil which has lower EPA and DHA than the fish oil..what are your opinions?
This is the Swisse website –


Tom May 11, 2011 at 4:14 pm

New to this space and trying to catch up. How do you view prescription product Lovaza. Is pharmaceutical industry doing a good thing bringing a product like this forward?


Chris Kresser May 11, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Nope. A blatant money grab. Nothing special about Lovaza, and in fact it’s best to balance omega-3/6 ratio by reducing omega-6 intake and eating fish. No need for Big Pharma.


Marshall May 11, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Hi Chris,

You’re right about Lovaza money grab. It’s an Ethyl Ester no less, which, as the available research shows, has impaired absorption compared to re-esterified triglycerides. However, strangely, you still haven’t corrected your mistake in this “definitive” guide.

Furthermore, reducing omega-3 benefit to simply a balance of omega-6 shows an incomplete understanding of the full function of omega-3s in the body. As a single example, look at the crucial role of DHA in BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor), which is responsible for the production of new neurons and repair of damaged neurons in the brain.

What exactly about your guide, with its misinformation, makes it definitive?



Chris Kresser May 12, 2011 at 7:15 am

I understand very well the role of DHA and have written about it here and elsewhere. That doesn’t mean we need tremendous amounts of it through fish oil supplementation. Eating fish 2-3 times a week (6 oz. serving) and reducing omega-6 to 2-3% of calories (in line with evolutionary norms) is enough to balance the ratio. Think of it from an evolutionary perspective, Marshall. And consider the studies that suggest excess omega-3 (including DHA) may promote angiogenesis and cancer in susceptible individuals. N-3s are fragile and vulnerable to oxidative damage. It’s not a “more is better” type of thing.


julia May 19, 2011 at 7:53 am

i was just wondering if this thread was still going on fish oil and whether you still consider DHA superior to EPA, as i read of some down sides to dha just recently but didnt note what …unfortunately… !!!! and whether it is clearer on this subject …than it was…
are you stilll recommending the fish oils above???
and if not what???
i cant do krill it seems , so need to get the right fish oil …


Chris Kresser May 19, 2011 at 8:05 am

My recommendation is to reduce n-6 consumption to 2-3% of total calories if possible, and then eat 3 6oz. servings of fatty fish per week. Fermented cod liver oil is also a good choice, but it’s more of a fat-soluble vitamin supplement than an EPA/DHA supplement.


julia May 19, 2011 at 9:26 am

so you dont recommend the salmon oil any more?? If you cant get your hands on FCLO would you still recommend salmon oil as next choice?
or wuld something like sear’s omega RX (distilled and concentrated) or nordic naturals be suitable?
( fermented clo is not available where i am) to treat autoimmune inflammatory diseases like psoriasis ( that i have badly)
i understand the need to reduce n6 for inflam reduction but do you agree in the current recommendations to increase to about 4000 mg EPA/DHA per day for such conditions as some say… ??
i gather you would think that too much omega 3 is not good, but would this kind of level be too much, in your eyes…..


Karen May 22, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Having read through this thread and others across the web I’m still confused if taking Green Pastures FCLO will provide enough n-3 or should I/my family supplement with more? I did take the Carlson labs fish oil liquid (no A or D) on top, which seems to have a huge amount of both EPA and DHA in it but then thought was it too much of a good thing (and unnecessary cost and I worry about rancidity although on the upside it tastes ok and the kids will take it which they won’t do with the FCLO). We eat fish but wild local salmon is PROHIBITIVELY expensive in the UK and only available in season (I’m not counting tasteless, frozen wild Atlantic) which leaves mackerel/sardines which we probably don’t eat 3 times a week. I also use a lot of olive oil which made me worry that my n-6 is too high or at least not in balance – little or no processed food though so few seed oils. Any advice for a mother struggling to do her best appreciated, thanks, Chris!


Chris Kresser May 22, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Can you buy canned wild salmon? That’s one option. Otherwise, FCLO + grass-fed meat + very low intake of n-6 should be enough.


Karen May 23, 2011 at 12:13 am

Thank you, Chris. I did think of trying canned but wasn’t sure if the level of n-3 etc was compromised by canning. We do eat grass fed meat and I’ll try and reduce the n-6 intake too – is olive oil v. high? Thank you so much for the fast, succinct answer!


Marshall May 23, 2011 at 1:28 am

Karen, Olive oil has no n-6, just the hormonally-neutral n-9. Carlson’s doesn’t publish regular test results of the contamination & oxidation of their fish oils. Your best bet is to check the International Fish Oil Standards program for the 5-star brands. With these, you can ensure optimal levels of purity & freshness. They test 4 different indicators of freshness (peroxide, total oxidation, anisidine leves and acid values) as opposed to the single indicator of freshness (peroxide) that this “definitive” guide suggests to check for. Furthermore, all high quality supplements will include a fat-soluble antioxidant to protect them from oxidation, but it’s worth taking more, such as Vitamin E.

Chris: grass fed beef has around 25mg of omega-3 per oz, FCLO has 270mg of omega-3. Are you saying less than half a gram per day of omega-3 is enough?


Karen May 23, 2011 at 5:23 am

Thanks, Marshall – glad the olive oil is ok. So should I supplement with fish oil after all in your opinion? And do you know of a UK available brand that you would recommend? I’ll check out the IFSA in the meantime as you suggest, thanks for the input.


Karen May 23, 2011 at 5:32 am

Also, I just checked the Carlson bottle and it has purity guaranteed, tested using AOAC protocols etc written all over it but maybe this isn’t enough – I know I can Nordic Naturals but am not sure if any of their products are Vit D free which I want as I take the FCLO. And also some seem higher in DHA than EPA and I never know which is more important or what the ratio should be or if it doesn’t really matter. Confused as ever so any recommendations/advice appreciated!


Caesar May 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Hello, everyone.
Been minding my health for the longest time: effectively. Ditto, fish oil. When Barry Sears started to sell his (expensive) fish oil I wanted to make sure that Costo’s caplsules wre just as clear of toxins. At the time had an exchange with Costo’s CEO & head buyer. The Costo product has the same purity, according to them. There might be a better product, or, not. In OUR case we weekly consume enough salmon & sardines that sticking to the reasonably priced Costco capsules seems more than OK.
PS. The mouth/gums are huge source of vascular inflamation. Thorough immediate oral hygiene upon getting out of bed in the morning is a HUGE inflamation deterrent. Cleanliness IS next to godliness.


Karen May 29, 2011 at 1:33 am

A last word on the subject, having read Chris Masterjohn’s piece on the WAPF website ( I’m inclined to agree with you, Chris (Kresser) that it is not necessary to supplement with vast quantities of fish oil, even very pure, as it could throw everything else out of balance. A little FCLO, a good wholefoods diet, grass-fed meat and eggs, oily fish and very limited refined foods seems ok to me. And saves me a lot of money on pricey fish-oils too!


Alex July 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Hi everyone

Great post here! I’m on Maxalife fish oil supplement now and i can really say that it helps and does a lot to our body. I rarely get sick now. I have more energy than before. I don’t get tired easily. It also worked as anti-inflammatory. For those who are thinking of buying fish oil supplements, just check the ingredients first before making your purchase. Make sure also that the process was cleanly done. It should also be high in EPA and DHA.


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