Top 5 Best Omega-3 Supplements for Leaky Gut Repair

Increasing omega-3 oils in your diet, your cells start to function optimally, calming inflammation and bringing you back to health. So, choosing a good quality omega-3 supplement is essential to healing your leaky gut.

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Top 5 Best Omega-3 Supplements for Leaky Gut Repair

Are you scouring the internet to find the best list of the top 5 best omega-3 supplements for leaky gut?  Well, you have come to the right place!  Everything you need to know about taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements you’ll find right here!

Last Updated: June 21, 2019

Omega-3 has gained significant attention over the past several years because of its powerful benefits for human well-being, including promoting heart, circulatory, brain, and eye health.

The evidence is clear: we should be eating more foods that naturally contain omega-3s. International guidelines recommend that we eat at least two servings of fatty fish (like salmon, mackerel, and sardines) a week to get the amount of omega-3 we need.  That is about 250 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids daily.  But, the reality is, we don’t.

Instead, we eat too much of another type of fatty acid, called omega-6.  It’s also important for our health. But it’s a lot easier to come by since its found in cooking oil and processed foods.

This imbalance — too few foods rich in omega-3s and too many foods rich in omega-6s — means that instead of getting the healthy 1:1 ratio of these fats we should, most of us are getting between 15 and 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids! 

Rather than protecting your heart, brain, and eye health, this diet can increase your risk of:

  • heart attack
  • mental health disorders
  • cancer
  • inflammatory diseases
  • autoimmune diseases

One of the ways you can help reverse this imbalance in your fatty acid consumption is by consuming omega-3 fatty acids in supplement form.  (This should be combined, of course, with improving your overall diet to include more healthy omega-3-rich foods and fewer processed omega-6-rich oils).  

But with so many dietary supplement choices out there, finding the right one is no easy task.

So, I’ve done the hard work for you and we have identified and ranked the top five best omega-3 supplements on the market.

But first, what exactly is omega-3 and why is it important?  Here is some useful information for you so you can take charge of your health.

What is Omega-3?

Omega-3 is a type of unsaturated fatty acid (oil) that improves your health in many different ways.  Its distinctive molecular shape (highly curved with lots of double bonds) is the key to its name, its therapeutic benefits, and its unique properties.  I’ll get into the details of exactly how and why below!  

There are three main types of omega-3 oils, or fatty acids, that are especially beneficial:

  • alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
  • eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

(Note: The last two (EPA and DHA) are much more potent for your health.)

ALA is naturally found in oily plants like flaxseed, chia, walnuts, and pecans. EPA and DHA are only found in fatty fish and algae oils.

How Your Body Uses Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly important for your health because of their role in building your cell membranes.

Cell membranes are waterproof barriers around the surface of each of your cells.   

The cell membrane is a very important part of your body.  It controls what goes into your cell and what stays out. This, in turn, directs how your cells behave and, ultimately, whether you live in a state of health or disease.

It’s important that the membrane is made of a specific mixture of saturated fats and unsaturated fats.  

Saturated fats give the membrane stability and strength.  This keeps it firm and resistant to invasion or infection.  

Unsaturated fats give membranes flexibility and receptivity.  This means they can send and receive messages and allow nutrients to pass through them into the center of the cell.  

But what messages membranes receive, exactly, depends on the specific types of unsaturated fatty acids that they include.  

For example, lots of omega-3 fatty acids in your cell membranes let your cells respond to anti-inflammatory signals. Lots of omega-6 fatty acids, on the other hand, let your cells respond to pro-inflammatory signals.

Learn More: Healthy Fats and the Omega 6:3 Ratio

Fascinatingly, the exact makeup of your cell membranes is dependent on the types of fat you eat in your diet!

Really!  Whatever fats you regularly eat are found making up your membranes, just the way they make up the proportions of fat in your diet!

This is a bit of a problem with the modern western diet.  As I covered in the introduction, most of us eat far too many omega-6 fatty acids and not nearly enough omega-3s.  This sets our membranes on a crash-course for being far too sensitive to proinflammatory signals that drive inflammatory diseases!

To make things worse, the modern diet also tends to include too many saturated fats, making cell membranes overly rigid and less able to respond to their environment normally, in general.

Why Use Omega-3 For Leaky Gut Repair?

In your gut wall, tight junctions between cells make a barrier that keeps your digestive contents inside your intestines.  This barrier precisely controls the nutrients, chemicals, and organic particles that pass through into your bloodstream.

When your gut wall experiences inflammation, the tight junctions between cells break down — this is when leaky gut syndrome develops. 

When you have leaky gut, your gut barrier breaks down and unwanted particles enter your bloodstream.  

Omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation by making the gut wall receptive to messages from your brain and immune system.

Gut cells that have enough omega-3 oils don’t trigger excessive inflammation.  This prevents the whole process that leads to leaky gut and the gut wall can heal.  

Once the gut wall has healed and the barrier function is functioning again, no more random particles can enter your bloodstream.  The gut wall goes back to controlling which nutrients pass through into your blood, and your symptoms start to diminish.

How Much Omega-3 Should You Take for Leaky Gut?

Your goal for taking omega-3s to help treat a leaky gut is to get enough to reduce inflammation in your body.  

Evidence suggests that the bare minimum for this is a daily intake of 250 mg.  If you accompany this extra 250 mg of omega-3s with a decrease in your omega-6 intake and get your ratio down near 1:1, this dosage may very well be effective for you.

You can, however, take larger doses.  Up to 2 g per day of omega-3s from supplements is considered safe by the FDA (and a total dosage, from supplements and food, of up to 5 g per day should be safe for most people).  

Larger doses may make it easier to get your ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s lower, faster.

Keep in mind, though, that taking your supplement every day for a period of 3-6 months is going to give you the best results regardless of whether you’re taking 250 mg daily, 500 mg daily, or 750 mg daily.  

Your body needs time to process the omega-3 and gradually restore healthy levels in your cell membranes.

What are the Best Sources of Omega-3s?

Three Pieces of Salmon on a Ceramic Plate with Lettuce

Whether in supplements or in food form, the sources of omega-3s are the same.  Supplements extract omega-3 fatty acids from their food sources and often purify them to make sure there are no unwanted substances tagging along.

The best sources of animal-based omega-3 include:

  • salmon
  • menhaden
  • herring
  • sardine
  • whale
  • seal
  • caviar
  • mackerel
  • roe
  • smelt
  • sablefish
  • anchovy

The best sources of plant-based omega-3s include:

  • flaxseed
  • chia seeds
  • walnuts
  • canola (rapeseed oil)
  • soy
  • tofu

Next: Creating Your Leaky Gut Supplement Regimen: An Expert’s Guide

Do Omega-3 Supplements Have Side Effects?

The side effects of consuming omega-3 appear to be fairly mild in healthy people, even in high doses.  They include:

  • an unpleasant taste
  • bad breath
  • heartburn
  • nausea
  • stomachaches
  • diarrhea
  • headaches
  • smelly sweat

Keep in mind, however, that omega-3 could interact with certain medications.  Since omega-3 can help to prevent blood clotting, if you are taking an anticoagulant like warfarin, it could compound the effect.  This could cause bleeding.

Always seek medical advice from a doctor before taking on a new supplement regimen.  

Omega-3s are safe to take if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.  In fact, the recommendation of omega-3s for pregnant and lactating women is slightly higher than for non-pregnant women.  This is because omega-3s are beneficial for babies’ brain and eye development.

Choosing the Best Omega-3 Supplement

Choosing the Best Omega-3 Supplements

I selected the top five omega-3 supplements for leaky gut syndrome based on several criteria.  Let’s check them out.

1. The supplement contains 250+ mg of DHA and EPA, but the total omega-3 content does not top 2 g. 

As mentioned above, you should be consuming at least 250mg of DHA and EPA.  Up to 2 g per day of omega-3s from supplements is considered safe by the FDA.

2. The supplement is sourced from algae.

Omega-3 oils are found in high amounts in fish, krill, algae, flax seed, hemp seed, walnuts, and chia seeds.  Eating these foods is certainly helpful in getting omega-3 oils in a natural, easily-absorbed form.  

Unfortunately, if you are eating a lot of fatty fish, fish oil products, or other seafood, you may be increasing your heavy metal intake.  Fish commonly contain heavy metals, which are toxic to the human body. 

The diseases that can result from this are serious and include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • cancer
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • thyroid disease
  • chronic fatigue syndrome 

Purified omega-3 oils ensure that heavy metals are eliminated.

The usual form of omega-3 supplementation is fish oil, since this is where EPA and DHA are most concentrated.  Many fish oil capsules are the same as fish in the way they’re contaminated with ocean pollutants including plastics, heavy metals, and even radioactivity.

 If you’re going to use fish oil capsules for omega-3 supplementation, make sure it’s sustainably sourced and tested for purity. 

Algae-based omega-3 sources are sustainably produced and don’t come with the same contamination risks that fish oil products do.  That’s why my list of best omega-3 supplements is all algae-based.

3. The supplement is high quality, verified by third party testing.

Finally, the best omega-3 supplements should be tested by an independent lab, like Labdoor.  These results are not influenced by the company that manufactures the supplement. So, they are able to deliver more objective results that you can compare to label claims and company ads.  I’ve included the results of these reviews, where available.  Unfortunately, most omega-3 supplements tested by Labdoor were fish oil capsules, rather than algae oil capsules, leaving me with a few untested supplements on my list.

Top 5 Best Omega-3 Supplements for Leaky Gut Repair

Disclosure – This post contains affiliate links.  Click here for details.

So, without further ado, the following list is my top five omega-3 supplements to treat a leaky gut!

5. Omnibiotics Vegan Omega DHAx

 

Omnibiotics Vegan Omega DHAx

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This formula contains a mix of different therapeutic oils.  It has algal DHA in a decent quantity of 350 mg per capsule.  For extra support, it also has 350 mg omega-3 oil, 110 mg phospholipids (another important component of healthy cell membranes) from sunflower oil, and 2.5 mg astaxanthin (an antioxidant to preserve freshness).  

One capsule daily provides enough omega-3 and supporting nutrients to raise your omega-3 levels from deficiency to the normal range.  Taking two capsules daily is also an option if you want to restore normal levels of omega-3 faster.  The ingredients are perfectly safe at this higher dose and may allow you to see improvements in inflammation and, therefore, leaky gut symptoms sooner.  

The formula is vegan certified and contains absolutely no fish or other animal products.

Unfortunately, open third-party testing results of Omnibiotics are not available.  This, and the fact that it does not provide EPA, puts Omnibiotics at the bottom of my top five best omega-3 supplements list.

Omnibiotics Vegan Omega DHAx is a well-designed formula with its mix of anti-inflammatories, antioxidants and health-promoting oils.  Like other algal omega-3 oils, it doesn’t have any of the contamination risks associated with fish oil.  It is also grown and harvested sustainably.

From 30 customer reviews on Amazon, Omnibiotics has an overall rating of 4.3 stars out of 5.  People like that it contains astaxanthin and there’s a lot of appreciation from vegetarian customers who have been looking for plant-source omega supplements.  The negative reviews come from vegan customers who have pointed out that the product isn’t genuinely vegan because it contains beeswax.

The capsule itself also contains carrageenan, which is a controversial seaweed extract that may cause digestive upset in sensitive individuals.  

Supplement

Form, Dose

Fatty Acid Sources

Independent Lab Verification

Omnibiotics Vegan Omega DHA-X

2 Capsules

350 mg DHA, 350 mg other omega-3s, no EPA

Total: 700 mg

Schizochytrium algae, sunflower phospholipids, extra virgin olive oil

None Available

4. Testa Omega-3 Algae Oil DHA + EPA

 

Testa Omega-3 Algae Oil DHA + EPA

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Testa Omega-3 is vegan certified and contains absolutely no fish or animal products of any kind.  It’s sustainably grown and packed in blister packs so that each capsule stays fresh without exposure to oxygen.

Testa is passionate about conserving ocean life and fish stocks, so choosing their vegan omega-3 oil is a vote for sustainability and cruelty-free living.  On Amazon, Testa Omega-3 has been rated 4.4 out of 5 stars from 146 reviews.  

Those who have purchased Testa Omega-3 say it’s well priced and a good alternative to fish oil.  Many comment that they like the individual blister packs that keep the oil fresh.  One customer stated that she thought it had helped clear her skin and another said the improved concentration and memory were noticeable.

On the negative side, some people have reported stomach upset from these capsules and one even reported “fish burps”, which are unexpected from a non-fish-oil-based product.  

The capsule itself contains carrageenan which is suspected of causing digestive issues in people with sensitivities, and many people have commented that they’re unhappy with the carrageenan content of this product.  

Overall, Testa is on my top five best omega-3 supplements list because, even though I don’t have access to third-party testing results, it has good user satisfaction ratings, is easy to take, and delivers enough omega-3s to contribute to healing a leaky gut.  As a plus, the company is passionate about ocean conservation.

Supplement

Form, Dose

Fatty Acid Sources

Independent Lab Verification

Testa Omega-3 Algae Oil DHA + EPA

1 Capsule

250 mg DHA, 125 mg EPA

Total: 375 mg

Schizochytrium algae

None Available

3. Amala Vegan Omega-3 DHA + EPA

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Amala Omega-3 is a simple mix of algal omega-3 and vitamin E.  Vitamin E is an antioxidant that’s great for preventing the supplement from going bad, and for healing in your body, especially when you’ve experienced trauma.  

The total omega-3 content of each Amala capsule is 375 mg, so taking two capsules per day will give you 240 mg DHA and 144 mg EPA.  This dose will also give you 58% of your daily requirement for vitamin E.

The omega-3 in Amala Vegan Omega-3 DHA + EPA is extracted from algae.  So, it offers the benefits of sustainability and purity that come from fish-free, plant-extract omega-3 oils.  The smaller dose in each capsule is great for people who have trouble swallowing large capsules.  Amala makes their formula slow release so that your body can get maximum absorption from each capsule.

Labdoor scored Amala with a 75.9%, being hit hardest by product efficacy at 38%.  The product scored high on all other counts, however, and ranked #9 in quality and #4 in value overall.

Amala Vegan Omega-3 has a huge 466 customer reviews on Amazon.  People report positive effects on skin and mood and they like that the product is vegan and sustainably sourced.  

There are comments both good and bad about the smell and taste associated with these capsules.  Some describe the taste as fishy while others say it’s closer to seaweed.  One person even said they like that it has this flavor because it indicates that the oil in the capsules is relatively unprocessed.

The most commonly mentioned negative points in reviews for this product are the taste and smell.  Someone also pointed out that the formula of these capsules is slightly restrictive because if you take larger doses, you’ll end up consuming too much vitamin E.

Supplement

Form, Dose

Fatty Acid Sources

Independent Lab Verification

Amala Vegan Omega-3 EPA+DHA

2 Capsules

120 mg DHA, 72 mg EPA, 13 mg DPA

Total: 375 mg

 

Schizochytrium algae, sunflower phospholipids, algal astaxthanin, extra virgin olive oil.

Given a 90.3% by Labdoor.

Label claims accuracy: 26%

Product purity: 100%

Nutritional value: 100%

Ingredient safety: 82%

Projected efficacy: 100%

2. Ovega-3

Ovega-3

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Each Ovega-3 capsule contains 320 mg DHA and 130 mg EPA from a vegan algal source.  So, you can take one capsule daily and you’ll receive more than enough omega-3 to meet your daily requirements and reduce your risk of inflammation.  You could also take two capsules daily and the dose would still be safe and effective.

The capsules used for Ovega-3 do contain carrageenan, so if you’re sensitive to this seaweed extract you need to be aware that you won’t be able to swallow the capsule.  

The algae for Ovega-3 grows in an FDA-inspected facility, ensuring that manufacturing standards are of high quality.  The company grows its own patented strain of omega-3 producing algae.  Their hypoallergenic formula doesn’t contain any traces of fish, crustacean, soy, milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, or wheat.

Labdoor scores Ovega-3 at 94.2%, #5 overall in quality, and #5 overall for value.  It received a 100% for efficacy and purity, a 99% for nutritional value, and an 84% for ingredient safety.  Its lowest score was for label accuracy (78%).

There are 68 customer reviews on iHerb for Ovega-3.  The product has 4.4 stars out of 5 and the main positives are that it has no odor and it’s tolerable for people who have sensitive digestion.  People also note that it’s a good value for money because of the high concentration of DHA and EPA in each capsule.  Consumers also commented positively on the relatively high proportion of EPA per capsule.

Some people received jars that had less than the listed 60 capsules, leading to negative product reviews.  It’s likely this was a temporary issue with the manufacturing plant since these reviews all occurred within 6 months of each other, around the start of 2014.  A couple of customers complained that the price of this supplement was too high. 

Supplement

Form, Dose

Fatty Acid Sources

Independent Lab Verification

Ovega-3 EPA+DHA

1 Capsule

270 mg DHA, 135 mg EPA

Total: 405 mg

 

Algae (strain not named)

Given a 94.2% by Labdoor.

Label claims accuracy: 78%

Product purity: 100%

Nutritional value: 99%

Ingredient safety: 84%

Projected efficacy: 100%

1. Nordic Naturals Algae Omega

Nordic Naturals Algae Omega

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Nordic Naturals Algae Omega is a very pure, high-quality product.

Nordic Naturals Algae Omega needs to be taken at a dose of two capsules each time, making it one of the more expensive options for vegan omega-3.  Two capsules give you 309 mg DHA and 195 mg EPA.  Nordic Naturals extract this omega-3 oil from sustainably harvested wild ocean algae and test each batch for environmental toxins.  If you’re concerned about the sustainability or purity of this product, you can contact the manufacturer directly to find out more about their processes.

Labdoor scored Nordic Naturals with a whopping 97.9%, bringing up to a #2 ranking in quality, and a #2 ranking in value.

This particular product has no reviews on Amazon (at the time of writing).  This could be because it’s a relatively new release from Nordic Naturals, who are better known for their fish oil extraction.  The iHerb website, however, has 50 customer reviews of Algae Omega, with an overall rating of 4.6 stars out of 5.

People say that it helped them with their concentration and brain function.  One customer reported that they are allergic to many other brands, but not this one.  Algae Omega received did receive a single 1-star review because it contains carrageenan, which may cause digestive issues if you are sensitive to it.

Nordic Naturals Algae Omega is at the top of my best omega-3 supplements list because it contains a mid-range dose of both DHA and EPA, has nearly entirely positive customer reviews, and ranked highest in third-party testing for quality and value.

Supplement

Form, Dose

Fatty Acid Sources

Independent Lab Verification

Nordic Naturals Algae Omega

2 Capsules

390 mg DHA, 195 mg EPA, 130 other omega-3s

Total: 715 mg

 

Schizochytrium algae and high-oleic sunflower oil

Given a 97.9% by Labdoor.

Label claims accuracy: 77%

Product purity: 100%

Nutritional value: 99%

Ingredient safety: 98%

Projected efficacy: 100%

Summary of Rankings

Below is the summary of how I ranked the top five best omega-3 supplements on the market.

Name

Rank

Vegan

EPA + DHA

Between 250 mg-2 g EPA+DHA

Third-Party Testing Score

Nordic Naturals

#1

YES

YES

YES

97.9%

Ovega-3

#2

YES

YES

YES

94.2%

Amala Vegan Omega 3

#3

YES

YES

YES

75.9%

Testa Omega-3

#4

YES

YES

YES

None available.

Omnibiotics Vegan Omega DHAx

#5

YES

NO

YES

None available

Take Home Message

By increasing omega-3 oils in your diet, your cells start to function optimally, calming inflammation and bringing you back to health.  What this means for gut health is that gut cells become more responsive to messages from your brain and your microbiota.

They start to receive important instructions clearly and carry out necessary tasks accurately.  In your gut wall, this includes making tight junctions and new digestive cells.  So, choosing a good quality omega-3 supplement is essential to healing your leaky gut.

Read Next: Top 5 Best Butyrate Supplements for Leaky Gut Cure

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