omega 3 vs fish oil

Omega 3 Vs. Fish Oil: Which is better?

You might need clarification about how fish oil and omega 3 differ since they often go hand in hand. If they are recommended as a supplement, doctors often ask you to have fish oil to get omega 3. Then how are the two different? Should I take Omega 3 or fish oil?  These are the most common ambiguities people are looking for answers to.

Often hailed as essential components for a well-balanced diet, these beneficial fats are renowned for their potential to promote heart health and brain function and even reduce inflammation. However, when individuals begin their quest for omega-3 supplementation, they often face a common dilemma: Should they choose omega-3 supplements or fish oil capsules? 

This comprehensive guide will delve into the nuances of omega-3 fatty acids and fish oil, helping you understand the key differences and ultimately make an informed decision for your optimal health. 

Fish Oil Vs. Omega 3 

Omega 3 fatty acid is a class of essential nutrients, whereas fish oil is considered one rich dietary source for these fatty acids. The three most common Omega- 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids include:

  1. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) (What is Alpha Lipoic Acid: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects 
  2. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  3. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) 

Other than ALA, which is plant-sourced omega fatty acid, EPA and DHA are animal-sourced and present richly in fish oil supplements. The plant sources of ALA are chia seeds, walnuts, and green leafy vegetables. 

The omega-3 fatty acids are essential since the body can not synthesize them. Therefore, we have to source them via diet. 

All fish oil supplements source omega-3 fatty acids, but not all omega three acids are from fish oil. There are various sources of these polyunsaturated fatty acids which include: 

  • Walnut 
  • Egg 
  • Chia Seed 
  • Green Leafy vegetables 
  • Avocados and much more. 

So, is fish oil Omega 3? No, fish oil is one best source of omega fatty acids.

fish oil vs omega 3 oil

Is Fish Oil the best source of Omega 3? 

Since fish oil is a concentrated oily, it sources high-quality nutrients for the human body. You can also get fish oil in the supplemental form as CardioCan if you find fish oil gel capsules hard to swallow. However, for individuals who follow a plant-based or vegetarian diet, fish oil may not align with their dietary choices. In such cases, alternative sources of omega-3s derived from algae or flaxseed oil can provide a suitable option.

Another benefit of consuming fish oil as a source of omega-3 fatty acids is that fish oil sources triglycerides and phospholipids with high bioavailability. 

How much Omega 3 fish oil is safe? 

According to experts, 3ml of fish oil consumption is considered safe for everyone. It is generally recommended to avoid consuming more than 3 grams (3000 mg) of omega-3 fatty acids per day from supplements unless under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Taking excessively high doses of omega-3 fish oil can make you prone to bleeding, especially in individuals on blood-thinning medications or with bleeding disorders. Consult with a healthcare professional before consuming a supplement you haven’t tried before,  especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications. 

Other sources of Omega three fatty acids 

Chia Seeds 

They might seem tiny, but Chia seeds are a rich source of plant-based omega three fatty acids. You can add chia seeds to source you with essential AL for a vegan-friendly diet. ALA then acts as a precursor for EPA and DHA. 

Flaxseed Oil 

It is another essential plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. It is best for those who are avoiding meat or fish. But even though ALA could convert itself into DHA and EPA, this process is less efficient. It means you have to source yourself to alternative sources of DHA and EPA other than fish. 

Algal Oil 

It is vegetarian’s first choice for omega-3 fatty acids. Algal oil is algae-driven and an excellent vegan source of EPA and DHA, the two most beneficial omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil.

Algal oil supplements provide a concentrated and bioavailable form of EPA and DHA, allowing individuals to meet their omega-3 needs while adhering to their dietary preferences. Additionally, algal oil helps address concerns about potential contaminants often associated with fish-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Krill Oil 

Krill oil is an oil extracted from small shrimp-like marine crustaceans called krill. It is also a source of omega-3 fatty acids, primarily in the form of EPA and DHA, similar to fish oil.

Krill oil has gained popularity as an alternative to fish oil due to its potential benefits and unique properties. It contains a phospholipid structure, which may enhance the absorption and utilization of omega-3s in the body compared to fish oil. Additionally, krill oil naturally contains a powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin, which provides potential additional health benefits

other sources of omega 3

Fish Oil Benefits 

Liver Health 

The liver is primarily responsible to cater all the fat we consume. And fish oil supplements improve liver function. 

People who actively consume fish oil represent better liver health and reduce hepatic inflammation. It also manages the symptoms of NAFLD by improving liver enzymes and insulin resistance. 

Fish oil also contains natural antioxidants, such as astaxanthin, which can help protect liver cells from oxidative stress and damage. It also has shown potential protective effects against liver damage caused by various factors, including alcohol, medications, and toxins.

Heart Health 

Studies have suggested that having fish oil in moderate amounts can control the incidence of cardiac arrests. Fish oil also regulates the blood levels of HDL/LDL and triglyceride, thus preventing hypertension. 

Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have anticoagulant properties that help prevent the formation of blood clots. By reducing excessive clotting, fish oil may lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Fish oil supplementation also called heart health supplements may help improve arterial function, including elasticity and dilation. Fish oil has been studied for its potential to help maintain normal heart rhythm. It may reduce the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, such as arrhythmias, by stabilizing electrical signals in the heart.

Supports Pregnancy 

Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA, are crucial for fetal brain and eye development. Fish oil supplementation during pregnancy may support healthy pregnancy outcomes and optimal infant development—fish oil supplements also protect against fetal allergies such as eczema. 

Fish oil supplementation may help promote full-term pregnancy and support the baby's growth and development.

The antioxidants present in fish oil also regulate maternal hormones for better mood and prevent postpartum depression. 

Fish Oil Side Effects 

  1. Fish oil supplements may trigger an allergic reaction in individuals allergic to fish or shellfish. Symptoms for an immediate allergic response may include itching, hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing.
  2. Fish oil can sometimes cause a fishy aftertaste or burping, which can bother some individuals. 
  3. Some people may experience digestive discomforts, such as diarrhea, indigestion, or bloating.
  4. Fish oil has mild anticoagulant properties and can slightly thin the blood. While this is generally beneficial for cardiovascular health, it may increase the risk of bleeding, especially for individuals taking blood-thinning medications or with bleeding disorders.

Frequently Asked Question

Why is Omega 3 called fish Oil?  

Because fish oil is assumed to be the best source of polyunsaturated fatty acids. 

Are fish oil and omega three the same? 

No, both are entirely different in class. Omega-3- fatty acids are a class of nutrients, while fish oil is a dietary source of such nutrients. 

Do you need fish oil and omega three supplements? 

Yes, since omega-3 fatty acids are essential, i.e., they are not made naturally within the body. Therefore we have to source them. 

Can we take both fish oil and omega-3? 

Yes, you can. Especially if you prefer vegetarian sources, you must add supplements to it, or you might fall into a deficit of DHA and EPA. 


In conclusion, the choice between fish oil and omega-3 supplements ultimately depends on individual preferences, dietary needs, and health considerations. Fish oil, derived from fatty fish, offers a convenient and widely available source of omega-3 fatty acids. It contains additional nutrients that contribute to its overall value. Incorporating omega-3 fatty acids, whether through fish oil or other sources, into a well-balanced diet can be a valuable step toward supporting optimal health and vitality. 

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