When it comes to dietary supplements, few are as vetted as fish oil. Most claims made on the side of a dietary supplement bottle are marked with an (*) or some other indicator related the lack of evidence supporting said claim.
Fish oils on the other hand have been clinically tested and found effective in reducing arthritis, blood pressure, and heat disease. Most studies point to the long-chain fatty acids DHA and EPA (Docosahexaenoic acid Eicosapentaenoic acid) as being responsible for the added health benefits.
Unfortunately, fish oils are not a sustainable resource. Fish oils are made from the processing of wild caught forage fish, like anchovy and herring. These wild populations have been under growing pressure by a number of industries such as animal feed, nutraceuticals, and cosmetics. The wild catch of forage fish hasn’t increased in the last two decades while the human population is growing faster than ever. Many scientists believe the forage fish populations will not support the human population by 2030.
Fortunately, we know where fish get their oils from: algae. There are plenty of micro and macroalgae that contain high amounts of DHA and EPA. A group called FIN (Feed Innovation Network) has compiled a list of algae with their fatty acid content. If you wish to increase your EPA and DHA intake in a safe and sustainable way, the best thing you can do is eat more algae.