A little while ago, I made a post about the cost effectiveness of protein supplements, and I found it useful enough that I thought I’d do another one that’s basically the same but looks at fish oil supplements.
Once again, I’m not really going to go into any real depth as to why I take fish oil. If you are interested, Lyle McDonald has a good article on supplements, and Martin Berkhan has one specifically about omega 3s (though it’s pretty dense).
For this post, I just took a look at a couple brands that I’ve used or read about in the past and compared how much you’re getting for your money. Here’s the table:
And here’s how to make sense of the table:
- Cost per bottle – Just like last time, since we’re talking about value, the absolute cost per bottle doesn’t mean much, but this is the cost of the bottle that I’m evaluating.
- DHA and EPA per serving – When we talk about fish oil, we don’t actually care about the volume of the fish oil. It’s the DHA/EPA omega-3 content of each tablet that we want.
- Serving Size – Serving size does not affect the value of the pills, but it is useful to know how many soft gels you’ll be taking per day.
- Soft gels per 3g DHA/EPA – Once again, I’m not going to get into how much fish oil one should take per day, but a common recommendation is 3g DHA/EPA, so this is just the number of soft gels you’ll have to take on a daily basis to hit this goal.
- Cost per g DHA/EPA – This is the cost per bottle divided by the DHA/EPA per serving divided by the servings per bottle. It tells you how much you’re paying per gram of EPA/DHA.
The two cheapest fish oils I found were both by Kirkland. I personally prefer Kirkland’s Enteric Coated Fish Oil because:
- I don’t have to take 10 of them per day to hit 3g DHA/EPA
- It’s got an enteric coating (which supposedly prevents fish burps)
- It appears to be Meg-3 certified. I read the link and still don’t really know what it is, and I’m sure it’s a scam, but it sounds cool, so I refuse to use products without it.
One last thing I’ll note is that I added Nature Made to the list because it always seems to be on sale in grocery stores with 2-for-1 deals. However, it actually ends up being almost double the price (per g DHA/EPA) as Kirkland’s Enteric Coated Fish Oil (and requiring double the soft gels per serving), and I’m guessing that it’s only 2-for-1 when the original price has been marked up by 100%. So watch out.