Question

Dietary Supplements

What are substitutes for fish oil supplements?

A Answers (3)

  • AStacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answered
    While fish oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, there are nonfish sources too. Vegetarian supplements are derived from flaxseed, walnuts or algae, for example.
  • AKaren Graham, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    The thing that sets fish oil apart from other omega-3 oils is the DHA & EPA. They are only found in fish and fish oils. There are some specialty eggs that contain DHA & EPA and that is due to the feed they give the chickens.
  • AGrant Cooper, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, answered
    If you do not eat enough fish, and are not a candidate for fish oil supplementation for any reason, evening primrose seed oil, borage seed oil, or flaxseed oil may be good substitutes. The important ingredient in these oils is gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). The typical suggested dose of GLA is 1,800 mg per day.

    Avoid taking GLA and fish oil supplements together.

    People who consume 3-4 servings of fish per week, but who also consume a substantial amount of omega-6 fatty acids in the form of red meat, can benefit from GLA supplementation. Of course, the best approach is to reduce your red meat consumption. However, if this not an option for you, consider these alternative supplements. Olive oil may also be beneficial.

    Be sure to discuss the options with your physician before taking supplements, because they might be contraindicated for medical conditions you have, or interact with prescription medications you are already taking.
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Who does not need to take fish oil supplements?