How Long Does Fish Oil St? [Expert Guide!]

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Most people understand how long their car will last with good oil changes and proper maintenance, but how about their fish oil? What is the best way to ensure that the fish oil in their food is fresh? Can they be sure that the company they purchase fish oil from is not lying to them about the expiry date? Is it better to buy smaller bottles to save them money or should they trust the brand because they are more expensive? These questions and more are what this article is aimed at answering.

How Long Does Fish Oil St?

The answer to this question is extremely complicated because it depends on several variables. One of the most important factors is the type of fish oil you are using. Most people think that it is best to use oils from cold waters, particularly Arctic or Antarctic fish as they believe that these oils are more potent.

The truth is that the type of fish oil you use makes no difference. What matters is how long it will stay fresh and how potent it is. For instance, salmon and sardines are both types of fatty fish which are good for your heart but it is the latter which has more omega-3 fats than the former. The point is that the type of fish oil you use is not that important as long as you are getting good quality fats.

Another thing you need to bear in mind about fish oil is the best way to store it. Like most other types of oil, it is best to keep it in a cool, dark place away from the heat. This is especially important if you have a lot of it as you will eventually begin to experience the ‘breaking point’ when the fish oil becomes less potent. When this happens, it starts to turn cloudy which makes it easier to identify as it starts to smell a little musty.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Another factor that affects the shelf life of fish oil is the amount of omega-3 fats it contains. Generally, the more omega-3 fats there are, the more potent it will be. This does not mean that you need to eat more fish to get more omega-3s though as you can get them from the oils of algae and plant seeds. Fish oil is a versatile nutrient which can be used in a variety of ways.

The best omega-3s for your heart are the ones from algae as they are known as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acids) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Studies have shown that consuming these fats can reduce your risks of cardiovascular disease. Algal oils are more stable than fish oils made from smaller fish and thus last longer. This is important because if you are buying bulk quantities of fish oil, you will spend a lot of money on something which soon goes bad and needs to be thrown away.


The last but not least significant factor which affects the freshness of fish oil is the age of the fish. The older the fish, the less fresh it will be. You can tell how fresh the oil is by smelling it, as fresh oils have a much more pleasant aroma than stale oils. In some instances, you may also notice that the oil looks ‘fresher’ as well although this is not always the case.

To avoid getting stale oils, you should purchase them as close to the date as possible. Sometimes it is better to buy a little bit more expensive oil as it will be fresher than buying the cheaper variety.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, fish oil has a very short shelf life and it is best to use it as soon as possible. Ideally, you should consume it within one month of buying it as this is the maximum amount of time it will stay fresh. Of course, you can keep some in your fridge as this will extend its life for up to three months. The point is that you should use it or toss it as soon as possible because when it starts to go bad, it becomes very difficult to determine the quality.

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