We find that when supplements like fish oil are used to enhance the effects of positive lifestyle and diet changes, which make the biggest impact, they can provide that extra boost that allows someone to reduce their dependence on any prescription. This is particularly true when one is deficient in their omega 3s. Also, the quality of product does make a large difference in the benefits one sees. For our patients, we help them choose high-quality brands that we have seen provide reliable benefits. One marker of a poor product is belch-back, or fish burps. Another is being able to smell fish through the capsule. The odor is caused by oxidation, which renders the oils damaging, not beneficial.
Finally, to avoid the supplement issue altogether, get your EPA, DHA, and a multitude of other nutrients from fatty low-mercury fish like salmon and sardines, and nuts/seeds like walnuts and flaxseeds. Here’s a useful fish guide from Enviromental Working Group to get you started. Eating omega threes as part of your diet will reduce the need to supplement with capsules.