Six months ago, a relative suggested that I try Natures Bounty Fish Oil Rapid Release Liquid Softgels in an effort to lower my borderline cholesterol levels. So I bout a 320 softgel jar, and have taken one with each meal ever since. Here are my impressions of this dietary supplement product.
Benefits, Pros, Features, Advantages
- It’s easy to remember when to take these; you just take one immediately after each meal.
- May lower incidents of cardiovascular diseases and events such as heart disease, heart attacks, peripheral artery disease, and stroke. But this is not definite.
- Any mercury, dioxins, and PCBs that can appear in fish, have been removed from the fish oils here.
- Contains lots of DHA and EPA, which in theory, support cardiovascular health. However, as a mere consumer, I have no way to verify this claim. But widespread conventional wisdom suggests that ample amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids in the diet may help ensure the health of blood vessels.
- This product has no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. It’s gluten-, sugar-, milk-, lactose-, wheat-, shellfish, and sodium-free.
- According to the distributor, strict quality control standards have been followed in the manufacture and testing of this product. Indeed, all the softgels appear to be of uniform color, shape, and size.
Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, and Concerns
- This product is not a medicine, so its effectiveness has not been as rigorously studied as other cholesterol-lowering products such as the statin drugs.
- As with most supplements I’ve examined, the bottle says that the statements made about positive health effects of fish oil have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. So we do not really know, at least, not here in the US, if fish oil really does work.
- In my experience, this product did not lower my blood cholesterol.
- It’s rather expensive, at well over $20 a jar.
- The softgels are not exactly odorless. Put your nose near the top of the open jar, and you’ll definitely smell fish.
- Further, after taking a softgel, I often experience “fish burps,” where I can smell and taste fish as the burp comes forth. It’s not a strong smell, and so, is not strong enough to be objectionable in my view. But still, it is there, and some may not like the product because of it.
- Excessive bleeding from cuts can result if you ingest too much fish oil at one time.
Adults should take one softgell, three times a day, and they should take their dose with meals.
Fish oil, gelatin, vegetable glycerin, mixed natural tocopherols. Contains fish ingredients from anchovy, mackerel, and sardine.
Product of Peru.
- Serving size: 1 softgel. Servings per container: 320.
- Calories per serving: 10. Calories from fat: 10.
- Total fat: 1 gram, 2% DV.
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.5 grams.
- Cholesterol: 10 milligrams, 3% DV.
- Fish oil: 1200 milligrams, or 1.2 grams.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: 360 milligrams, which includes EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid), and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid).
As discussed in my Do Fish Oil Supplements Lower High Blood Cholesterol? piece, this product so far has not lowered my blood cholesterol levels, even though I’ve taken it faithfully for several months. The science behind the claims made appears a bit rickety, since the claims have not been officially verified here in the US. Fish oil may not be a good choice therefore, as a means of lowering cholesterol without medication.
So while I cannot state that this product offers absolutely no effectiveness for anyone, I’ve seen no evidence to date that suggests that it works to any degree for me at the recommended dosage. In fact, my cholesterol went up after I began taking it. Other sources say that the Omega-3 fatty acids can lower inflammation throughout the body. But I cannot measure this to verify its truth. Fish oil may in fact work well to lower heart attack risks. But if it does so, it does so by means other than by lowering blood cholesterol levels, at least in my case.
Thus, I would not recommend this fish oil as a hypercholesterolemia treatment, as it adds three additional grams of fat per day to your diet if you follow the dosing instructions provided, in addition to not working too well. Though it sports a well-known and presumably well-trusted brand name (Nature’s Bounty), I feel that as is the case with most of these supplements, that they don’t work, and the belief that they do comes more from hype than scientific fact.
If you really need to lower your cholesterol in a hurry, I’d instead recommend the statin drugs, which have been exhaustively tested and verified for safety and effectiveness, and have indeed worked very well for me.
I’d rate this fish oil product at 50 out of 100 therefore. While it may not help lower cholesterol in my experience, at least this product appears not to harm, if used as directed. I’ll get my fish oil from whole fish sources, once I use up my existing supply of these liquid softgels.
Where to Buy Natures Bounty Fish Oil Rapid Release Liquid Softgels
Pharmacies and health food stores carry Natures Bounty products, including their various fish oils, and so do larger grocery store chains.
Look for this product in the dark green plastic jar with the dark green cap that sports the Nature’s Bounty logo on top with raised gold letters. The label is green, white, white, and red, with the words “Fish Oil” prominently displayed in the center.
- 2015-01-15: Added whitespace, fixed typos, adjusted ad placement, and reworked category and tag assignments on this post.
- 2012-08-18: Originally published.