We compare Omega-3 and fish oil | Important differences

The human body is in constant need of beneficial substances. Vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins, carbohydrates – all of these come from food and find their place in the metabolism. However, not all foods contain enough nutrients – and not all nutrients are present in a person’s daily diet.

Let’s take, for example, the so-called “essential fatty acids”. Their presence in the diet affects children’s growth, blood cholesterol levels in adults, skin condition, kidney function, immunity, and overall health. The only problem is that these essential fatty acids are only found in certain foods.

Most of them are found in oily sea fish and some unprocessed vegetable oils (hemp, linseed, mustard, rapeseed). These products are not part of the daily diet. On the contrary, vegetable oils containing substantial fatty acids are hardly ever eaten, and oily ocean fish like mackerel is more of a delicacy.

As a result, the body banally lacks saturated fatty acids, and we have to take them in the form of supplements. And most often for this purpose are used Omega-3 and fish oil. But which is more effective??

In this material, we will understand the difference between Omega-3 and fish oil, as well as which is better to take.



Omega-3-polyunsaturated fatty acids, which is the full name of this group of substances, are essential nutrients that the body uses in almost all of its systems.

So, the positive effect of Omega-3 is manifested in the following:

  1. Influence on normal child growth. Omega-3 deficiency can lead to a lack of growth. To dwarfism, of course, does not “reach”, but stunting is “provided”;

  2. normalize blood levels of triglycerides. This is very important for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases;

  3. Improve kidney function and reduce the risk of kidney failure and other systemic problems of this organ;

  4. Improve local skin immunity, make skin softer and more supple. Reduce the risk of development of mimic and similar wrinkles. Help with inflammation, including acne, and accelerate wound healing;

  5. Preserve and restore telomeres in the DNA molecules, thus prolonging life;

  6. Significantly improves brain function, reduces the risk of depression and depression, and decreases the risk of depression or bipolar affective disorder;

  7. Improve local immunity of the respiratory system, reduce the risk of “catching” colds.

In addition, Omega-3 reduces stress levels and improves overall psycho-emotional well-being, while increasing mental stamina. So this dietary supplement is really useful.

Most omega-3s are found in marine and oceanic fish, especially small fish like mackerel, anchovies, and herring. Can also be found in some vegetable oils such as linseed, red oil, rapeseed, hemp oil, and mustard oil. Spinach, seaweed and chia seeds contain many Omega-3s.

Omega-3 is included in fish oil because it is obtained from marine fish.

Although plant-based sources do contain omega-3s, don’t limit your diet to them alone for nutritional value. The fact is that there are 2 types of Omega-3s:

  1. ALA (ELC). Presented mainly in vegetable oils;

  2. EPA (EPA) and DHA (DHA). Presented mainly in fish oil.

All of these acids – EPA, EPA and DHA – are part of a complex with the common name Omega-3. Omega-3 and omega-3 have a similar effect, but you won’t need to keep taking only one to see the brightest effects.

As a consequence, if you want to buy omega-3 in the form of a dietary supplement, you should make sure that the complex contains all these acids – and ALA, and EPA, and DHA. The latter, for example, is highly recommended for children to take during intensive learning of new information – learning or preparing for exams. It improves brain development and protects against mental fatigue.

Despite the variety of beneficial effects, Omega-3s are still not very well researched by scientists. In particular, it is not very clear in what dosages these substances should be used. From the point of view of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, the adequate rate of intake is about 1 gram per day. But the U.S. FDA regulator says not to consume more than 2-3 grams of Omega-3 from supplements or fish oil per day.

So, to summarize.


  • Has a complex beneficial effect that extends to all organs and systems of the body;

  • Vital for infants and children during development;

  • Found in daily foods, although in limited amounts.


  • It is difficult to determine the exact dosage;

  • Would require a complete overhaul of your diet to get the recommended daily doses.

In general, Omega-3 is best used in the form of supplements. It is very difficult to consume enough sea fish, seaweed, chia seeds and other mustard oils per day to provide the necessary dosage.

Fish oil

Fish oil

Fish oil is a complex nutritional supplement that contains a huge number of useful substances. It comes mainly from cod liver. In addition, it is found in the meat of some oceanic fish species – mackerel, herring and so on.

Fish oil consists of many glycerides – mainly fatty acids. It has the most oleic and palmitic. And for the beneficial effects are responsible Omega-3 and Omega-6, which is about 5% of the total. Fish oil also contains vitamins A and D.

Fish oil was originally used in medicine because of its content of rare vitamin D. It is almost never found in other foods. But vitamin D is vital for normal development of the musculoskeletal system in children. That is why fish oil is prescribed for the prevention of rickets and similar diseases.

Vitamin A, in turn, is essential for skin and vision. It also improves the immune system and ensures normal growth in children. But most importantly, it is used in the biochemical processes that determine a person’s vision. With a lack of vitamin A can be observed not only astigmatism or similar disorders, but also impairment of color perception, and the so-called “night blindness” (a deterioration in the ability to distinguish objects at dusk).

In addition, fish oil has a positive effect on the digestive system, except when a person has catarrhal diseases (viral inflammation of mucous tissues).

However, fish oil has disadvantages. So, in some cases it contains heavy metals that are not excreted from the body, especially mercury. This is due to the lack of purity of the fish habitat from which this food additive is extracted. It may also contain ammonia and other nitrogenous derivatives, including ptomaine.

Fish oil, which has not been cleaned enough, has many harmful substances in it. It has a dark brown color. Medicinal cod-liver oil, which has passed all stages of purification and therefore is practically devoid of harmful substances, has a characteristic yellowish amber color, transparent and not bitter when shaken in water. This dietary supplement is recommended and allowed to take.

The dosage of fish oil varies depending on the degree of purification and preparation. But it is usually recommended to take at least a few of its capsules per day – that is, about 3-5 grams. The specific recommended dosage is indicated on the package. The negative effects of excessive intake is not observed, the fish oil is easily eliminated from the body naturally.

So, let’s summarize.


  • A source of rare and valuable vitamin D, which is essential for the function of connective, cartilage tissue, has a positive effect on the “strength” of bones and muscle tissue;

  • A source of vitamin A, which is important for vision and is used to prevent many visual diseases;

  • Contains omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids.


  • Insufficiently purified may contain mercury and other heavy metals, as well as other harmful substances.

Medical fish oil is recommended to buy. Only it undergoes sufficient purification, which makes it safe and healthy. But presented in the form of dietary supplements may contain harmful and dangerous substances, because no one guarantees sufficient quality processing.

Also note that fish oil is not a medication. That’s why it is used for prevention, not for treatment.


So, fish oil is a complex of useful substances that includes Omega-3, Omega-6, vitamins A and D. And directly Omega-3 is a set of polyunsaturated fatty acids necessary for normal development of the body. But this is not the only difference between these substances.



Fish oil

Beneficial effect

Affects the cardiovascular system, skin, brain, nervous system and almost all other parts of the body

Has all the benefits of Omega-3, but additionally has positive effects on vision, stomach, bones and muscles



EPA, DGA, Omega-6, other fatty acids, vitamins A and D, iodine and other trace elements

Does it contain harmful substances?


Can if it is not refined enough

In general, regular fish oil is healthier. However, there are a couple of “buts”. Firstly, it does not contain omega-3 fatty acids of plant origin (ALA), so it is recommended to supplement its intake with the use of appropriate oils or flax or chia seeds. Secondly, it’s important to calculate the proper dosage of fish oil, drinking as much as indicated on the package.

“Omega-3 is a dietary supplement mainly for adults who are able to properly control their diet. In addition, it is absolutely safe. Thanks to the many degrees and methods of purification, harmful substances like those of heavy metals are removed from it.

There is no reason to take both at the same time. You can be limited to just medicinal fish oil.

Rate the article
( No ratings yet )
Add comments

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: