Omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy type of fat found in fish oil, have been researched extensively. Specifically, EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) are the types of omega-3s found in fish that are shown to likely be important for heart health. The preferred way to consume omega-3s is through food, although fish oil supplements are quite popular.

About one in five adults in the United States over the age of 60 take fish oil supplements. A recent cross-sectional study that examined over 2,800 supplements and their active ingredients found that the majority overstated health benefits, with the most common type promoting cardiovascular health. Along with misleading claims, the amount of EPA and DHA varied greatly among the supplements, causing concern as to the effectiveness of some of the fish oil supplements. Another randomized, placebo-controlled study of over 25,000 participants found that taking omega-3 fatty acids did not lower the risk of cardiovascular events or cancer compared to the placebo group. These studies do not conclude that fish oil supplements contain no beneficial effects, however, they give you something to consider and discuss with your physician.

While there is not a specific recommended amount of omega-3 fatty acids you should consume daily, there are recommendations for weekly fish intake. The American Heart Association recommends Americans consume two servings (about 3-4 ounces each) of fish weekly for cardiovascular health benefits.

Here is a list of fish that include omega-3s:

  • Herring
  • Wild salmon
  • Bluefin tuna
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
  • Lake trout
  • Striped bass

Be aware that some fish such as King Mackerel, swordfish, tuna, shark and tilefish have higher levels of Mercury which should be limited, especially for young children and individuals who are pregnant or nursing.

Keep in mind that research is ongoing and what you choose to take is your personal choice. Doing your own research and looking at valid, research-backed information can go a long way in saving you money and keeping you healthy.

If you take fish oil supplements or any other dietary supplements, be sure to speak with your physician and work together to determine what supplements are best for you. Also, note that some dietary supplements affect how medications work, so it’s important to inform your physician of any and all dietary supplements that you take.


Health Claims and Doses of Fish Oil Supplements in the US, 2023,, accessed Sept. 12, 2023.

Marine n−3 Fatty Acids and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer, 2019,,  accessed Sept. 12, 2023.

“The Best Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids,”, April 4, 2022.

“Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acids,”, Nov. 1, 2021.