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  • Hahnbee Choi, Cert. CN

Fish Oils | Quality Products & Best Practices

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

Omega-3s are beneficial for reducing inflammation, cognitive health, immune function, and so much more. Many studies have shown that incorporating omega-3s into the diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, prevent arthritis, aid in growth and development, and more, which is why Americans easily spend over $1 billion a year on over-the-counter fish oils.

But, low-quality fish oils are highly susceptible to oxidation due to their large number of double bonds and position in the fatty acid chain, making the fish oil market one of the world’s most immutable markets. Unfortunately, like the rest of the pet world, fish oil companies can make it hard to specify what makes a “good fish" oil. Here is what to look for and avoid in a quality fish oil supplement.

Evaluate Your Current Product

Assess whether the fish oil you are feeding right now is already rancid by the taste and smell test. Fresh fish oil should have no fishy taste or smell, just like fresh fish. If you have fish oil capsules, break them open to test the oil.

No Additives, Flavoring, Preservatives

Read the label to ensure no flavorings, additives, or preservatives. Plant additions such as rosemary extract or soy additives should be avoided.

Smaller Bottles

Fish oil goes rancid very quickly. Check expiration dates and buy smaller bottles more frequently to try and reduce oil rancidity. Ideally, you should purchase a new bottle every 3-4 weeks and store it in the fridge.


Low temperatures slow down rancidity. Store fish oils in the fridge to avoid oxidation as long as possible.

Combo Oils

Avoid oils containing omega-6s and/or omega-9s, as this defeats the purpose of feeding an omega-3 supplement to balance fats. Only purchase an omega-3 oil.

Refined vs. Unrefined

Some bottles will state “refined” or “unrefined.” A refined product means the brand can state that toxins are removed, but the oil undergoes more processing. Unrefined oils are often higher quality sourcing and therefore have lower toxin levels. What kind you want to purchase is up to you.


Purchase a UV-protected bottle made of glass (glass is less important than UV protection). This means that the bottle should be tinted to keep excess light out of the container. Glass ensures fewer toxins from the packaging. Most UV-protected bottles are usually Amber or a light-blue color. Stay away from clear plastic bottles. If possible, avoid bottles with pumps, which introduces more oxygen to the oil.

GMP Certified

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) are regulations that require manufacturers to take proactive steps to ensure they create a safe, potent & pure product. GMPs may not always be on the label; therefore, information-digging skills may be needed.

3rd Party Purity Tested

3rd party testing is when the product is evaluated by a laboratory that should have no bias with the product to ensure product labels are genuine and safe.

High-Quality Fish Oils

  • Nordic Naturals Fish Oil: Provide a Guaranteed Analysis from a 3rd party lab, Friend of Sea (FOS) certified, made in a zero-waste biofuel-powered facility.

  • Baie Run Fish Oils: Human-grade, 3rd party tested for purity & potency.

  • Dr. Mercola Krill Oil: 33% more potent in EPA than fish oil. MSC certified package in an airless pump.

Fish oils are an easy way to dose omega-3s, especially if there is difficulty sourcing whole fish. But be on the lookout for what brands to purchase in the vast sea of fish oil supplements. I hope you learn something new today & Always Keep Exploring!

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