Everything you need to know about top omega supplements

The Vitamin Shoppe Omega 3 Fish Oil

Published October 17th, 2018

Tested and Trusted

The Vitamin Shoppe’s omega 3 fish oil supplement claims to meet high purity standards through rigorous testing. This fish oil supplement bills itself as meeting FDA guidelines through third-party analysis and its own evaluation. The company also offers a 30-day money back guarantee. These standards encourage customers to place their trust in the Vitamin Shoppe’s omega-3 pill — but, as always, should we believe the hype?

What’s Inside

It’s difficult to determine the actual ingredients in this supplement. There is no close-up of the ingredient label available on Amazon, but a review of the product description says that The Vitamin Shoppe’s omega-3 fish oil supplement (240 softgels) contains 300mg of EPA and 200mg of DHA. It does state that the product is dairy, gluten, sugar, and dye-free. However, what appears to be the same product on The Vitamin Shoppe’s website, although it contains only 180 soft gels, lists different totals of EPA and DHA.

This could be confusing for some buyers, leading shoppers to wonder which supplement they should purchase. To add to the confusion, this brand also makes a fish oil called Super Omega-3 Fish Oil. It’s hard not to wonder why there needs to be a new “super” variety — shouldn’t the original product have already contained the appropriate amount and quality of omega-3s? Regardless, the product listed on Amazon with just 300mg of EPA and 200mg of DHA contains the absolute bare minimum of omega-3 supplementation — and certainly not enough omega-3s to assist with any kind of health condition.

What Customers Say

Misleading product detailing aside, customers who did choose this variety of The Vitamin Shoppe’s omega 3 fish oil reported disappointment in quality and that lingering fishy aftertaste we all try to avoid:

Others, still, even reported allergic reactions, despite the Amazon product’s claims of being dairy, gluten, and dye-free:


There seems to be a lot of confusion around this product online, with the ingredient list either varying based on the website where it is being sold (Amazon or The Vitamin Shoppe), or the product label not being clearly visible for buyers to examine the fish oil’s ingredients. This certainly doesn’t seem very trustworthy at all. A quality fish oil choice is one that is transparent and consistent across all retailers. Why are the bottles of this fish oil product so different across retailers?

It’s also worth noting that, when it comes to side effects, a high-quality fish oil definitely shouldn’t be causing what seems to be a common complaint with this product, even among those customers who are otherwise happy users — fishy burps.

This customer offered up 4 stars to The Vitamin Shoppe’s oil, but admitted that they had to include an extra step in their vitamin regimen:


There’s definitely no need to be freezing your fish oil to avoid fish burps! The products that ranked highest in our reviews, such as Omega XL and Nordic Naturals, have almost no fish burp complaints thanks to the quality of their products.

Customers of The Vitamin Shoppe’s omega 3 oil also weren’t particularly pleased with the size of the capsule, with some reviewers writing:


Okay, so this fish oil isn’t exactly looking like an Internet favorite. From fishy burps to capsule size to ingredients that aren’t exactly clear, and seem to vary from website to website, this fish oil already seems like one that isn’t going to hit the top of our list. But, let’s go ahead and take a look at those reviewers who are reporting positive results.

After all, it’s only fair to recognize that The Vitamin Shoppe’s fish oil does have its share of fans willing to tolerate the fishy side effects, or who managed to avoid having any at all. One reported a mood boosting benefit, while another reported a healthy lowering effect on their cholesterol:

Even with a few positive remarks, The Vitamin Shoppe’s Omega 3 Fish Oil isn’t looking like a real winner, especially alongside our previous reviews of higher quality products. Still, it’s worth taking a closer look at this fish oil’s price and safety profile, two important areas of further research for any omega 3 product.


A Lot of Cons, But Price Is a Pro

The Vitamin Shoppe’s Omega 3 fish oil capsules are sold at a cost of $29.99 USD for 240 softgels, making the low cost definitely an advantage. Because the ingredient label isn’t visible, it isn’t easy to figure out exactly how many capsules are needed per day. The Vitamin Shoppe’s website has what looks to be the same product available for 120 softgels at $23.99 USD, with 1 to 2 soft gels suggested per day. Regardless, this is certainly an affordable product. The question becomes, of course, does affordability really matter if the quality isn’t there? Our top ranking Omega XL had complaints about affordability, but each complaint was followed up with glowing compliments about the product. As the saying goes, well, you get what you pay for.


How Safe is The Vitamin Shoppe Omega 3 Fish Oil?

The Vitamin Shoppe’s Omega 3 Fish Oil supplement performed well back in 2014 during independent testing through Labdoor. Toxins like mercury and lead should occur only at the lowest possible levels in fish oil supplements, and reputable brands perform numerous tests and checks to ensure the lowest possible levels for their supplements. Labdoor is an independent tester of supplements, something that is greatly needed in a field where supplements are not under FDA regulation. Labdoor can help determine if a supplement contains anything that might be harmful to consumers and if what is printed on the label is what is actually in the bottle.

Since The Vitamin Shoppe’s fish oil supplement has done well on Labdoor in the past, this quality score seems to be what brings in a lot of customers. However, the problem with this is that 2014 was years ago, and Labdoor notes on its website that The Vitamin Shoppe product tested then is no longer available in that same formulation, adding to more confusion over what fish oil supplement consumers are actually buying.

There simply shouldn’t be so many types of the same supplement floating around online, confusing customers. Consumers shouldn’t have to wonder which The Vitamin Shoppe fish oil passed independent testing and is safe for use. In a market of supplements with clear ingredients, quality explanations, and most importantly, strong results, The Vitamin Shoppe’s fish oil doesn’t seem to have reviewers feeling so great about its safety rating or its product these days.



The Vitamin Shoppe Omega 3 Fish Oil claims to be trustworthy, with in-house and outside checks and evaluations, but the Labdoor report reviewers keep referencing is from 2014 — and it doesn’t even appear to be the same formulation being sold and reviewed on Amazon today. This is something that should be made much more clear by The Vitamin Shoppe, but, of course, all products should be passing independent testing. If this is true of each one of The Vitamin Shoppe’s fish oil varieties, this should also be made much more clear to customers. I found myself extremely confused attempting to determine exactly how much and what kind of fish oil is in The Vitamin Shoppe’s product. After so much research, examining both Amazon and The Vitamin Shoppe’s website, I still don’t actually know what makes up this fish oil supplement. The best fish oil supplements are low in lead and mercury and are derived from omega-3 rich sources, like the deep sea oils used in Nordic Naturals or the green-lipped mussels sourced from New Zealand for Omega XL’s product.

I couldn’t find The Vitamin Shoppe going into any kind of detail about its fish oil product online. The 30-day guarantee, however, is certainly good customer service, but then the question could also be asked, how much can you really learn about a supplement in 30 days? Those of us who are using our fish oil supplements to help us through chronic conditions may need longer than 30 days to really see the effects of our supplements. We don’t want to wait 30 days to know if a product worked. We want to know that what we are putting into our bodies is going to help nourish and heal us. Unfortunately, information on The Vitamin Shoppe’s Omega 3 Fish Oil is more than a little too cloudy for me to know for sure.   


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Have you looked into The Vitamin Shoppe’s Omega 3 Fish Oil product? Were you able to figure out what exactly is going on with those ingredients? Is there more than one type of the same product? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments.