Review: Carlson

By Adrian Oaks / January 16, 2016

Carlson laboratories has been in the business of supplements for over 50 years. It was created in 1965 by John and Sue Carlson. They have since be succeeded by their 2 daughters, Carilyn and Kristen, who took over the company in 2010.

Carlsons first supplement line was a simple Vitamin E formula. Now they have expanded their line to include almost all types of vitamins, amino acids, and fish oils.

As a family owned and operated business, Carlson places an emphasis on quality and accepted scientific research during supplement manufacturing.

Taste & Consistency

Carlsons fish oil products come in capsule, oil, or chewable form and lemon/plan flavor. This review is about the standard fish oil which uses anchovies/sardines. As with any processed fish oil there is isn’t much of a taste to the capsule or oil variety. The consistency of this product is highly variable, it kind of reminds me of green pastures fish oils. The first batch I tried was a dark brown. The second was yellow. The third was in between. Not necessarily a bad thing, it may just be due to there manufacturing process. None of the product I received was spoiled. There was no taste difference and I did not experience any burping during my trials.

One thing I like about Carlsons are the chewables since I hate swallowing large capsules. These make for a nice change of pace from the normal fish oil routine. If you have trouble with big capsules (fish oils are often the largest type) than you may want to look into their chewable capsules.


Carlsons fish oils are triglyceride oil based. This is always a good sign since TG oils are the most easily absorbable of the processed oils. In my trials I would have to say that potency is on par with a high end fish oil (Nordic Naturals, Green Pastures). You should see some sort of definite results after taking this product. I took the labeled dose however you may need more of less depending on your weight and tolerance levels.

On a side note, this is one of the easiest fish oils I have ever tried in terms of digestion. This may be due to less additives or a coating on the capsules.


Carlson products are priced at around the 30$ - 20$ for either the standard oil or capsule type. This is pretty good price for a higher end fish oil. I found that the chewables offer the most bang for your buck. Also, their cod liver oil is fairly cheap at 36$ per bottle. For a high end fish oil it is worth a look.


Carlson products are free from mercury and furans. However in the past there have been test results that show minimal amounts of PCBs. While alarming, the counts were still below the .56 PPT set by the prop 65 standards committee. This may or may not have something to do with their fish sources. All of their products use wild caught fish so there could be some discrepancy there.


This product has an attractive price tag (according to our guide, it has the best value per dollar.). for so potent an oil. Especially there cod liver oil. There is some variation in consistency however I don’t consider this a detriment. As for contaminants, this product is still well below safe levels. All fish oils have some form of pollution in them and this should not stop you from using them. The ultra-paranoid may want to avoid this product. For everyone ealse, I would say it’s a worthwhile purchase.