A Closer Look at Liquid Fish Oil vs Capsules

pouring bottle of liquid fish oil into a spoon

Fish oils are a popular nutritional supplement due to the reported health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Numerous clinical studies suggest that consumption of fish oils can have positive effects in heart disease, arthritis, cancer, depression, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

If you’re thinking about supplementing your diet with fish oils, you will have a wide variety of different product choices, including bottled liquid oils, soft gel capsules, omega 3 gummy bears and more.

Consumers may have difficulty choosing between liquid fish oil vs capsules. This information details the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

Fish Oil Capsules Advantages:

  • Opaque soft gels protect the ingredients from light and UV radiation.

  • Capsules or soft gels can help keep the ingredients stable and minimize free radical formation.

  • May protect the oils from going rancid.

  • Most capsules are tamper-proof – the oil will leak or become discolored if the soft gel has been punctured or tampered with.

  • Capsules are a more convenient form to package and offer uniform dosages

  • May be easier to swallow (depending on size and coatings) and usually have no taste and/or unpleasant odors

  • Enteric-coated fish oils are also available which may enhance absorption of the omega 3 fatty acids

Fish Oil Capsules Disadvantages:

1. Some fish oil capsule or soft gels may only available in lower dosages

– The average 1000 mg. soft gel contains about 30% EPA and DHA combined (about 300 mg. of EPA and DHA).

2. Some Fish Oil Capsules may Cost More per Daily Dose

– Depending on the brand, you may need to take more fish oil capsules to match the amount of EPA and DHA you’d get from a single teaspoon of liquid fish oil.

3. Possible Allergic Reaction to Capsules Ingredients

– Some people may be allergic to the gel capsules or soft gels which are made of gelatin. The gelatin used to make soft gels are commonly made from the connective tissue, skin and bones of cows and pigs.

– You can avoid animal-based collagen by using vegetarian or plant-based capsules. Capsuledepot.com claims there many differences between gelatin and vegetarian capsules which may affect your buying decision.

Liquid Fish Oil Advantages:

– may be easier to swallow than some capsules or soft gels.

– many liquid fish oils are flavored or sweetened to make them more flavorsome.

– some products may provide higher amounts of EPA and DHA per spoonful compared to a single fish oil capsule.

Liquid Fish Oil Disadvantages:

– liquid fish oil bottles must be stored away from light and heat exposure to prevent oxidation of the fatty acids.

– the oils can easily go rancid and must be placed in fridge after opening.

– usually packaged in heavy glass bottles which may not be very portable.

white bottle of yellow fish oil capsules spilling out of bottle


Choosing between fish oil capsules or liquid fish oils will depend on many different variables.

However, due to the wide range of competition and different product lines available, consumers will have many product options to meet their needs.

Which ever delivery method you choose, the most important factor is to ensure your product contains only highly-purified ingredients.

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