Fish Oil Supplements: Which Ones to Buy
By now, everyone has heard of the health-boosting powers of fish oil, and many people have a bottle or two of supplements at home. Before you buy the next bottle, read this to ensure that you are not wasting your money.
Is it all fish oil?
Make sure that all of the oil is really from fish, containing eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and not the other omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) contained in flaxseed and vegetable oil, which does not seem to provide the same benefits as EPA and DHA. Many experts believe that a supplement should contain more EPA than DHA.
How much should I take?
If you already have heart disease, make sure that your supplements provides at least 1 gram (g) of fish oil/day. Healthy people who want to reduce their risk of developing heart disease should take 500 milligrams (mg)/day.
Are larger doses better?
Taking doses larger than 3 g/day can lead to spontaneous bleeding, which sometimes is deadly. Talk to your doctor before beginning a high-dose regimen or if you are taking blood thinners.
Concerned about overfishing?
If you are concerned about overfishing, you may want to choose a supplement that gets its omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, from algae.
Have you checked out the product online?
Before choosing a supplement, go to the company’s Web site and look for a copy of the certificate of analysis (COA), which shows whether or not the supplement was tested and proven free of mercury, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs), dioxins, lead, arsenic, and other toxins. The COA also will state the total oxidation level of the supplement—you want one that does not have a level higher than 17 milliequivalents (mEq)/kilogram (kg). Also look for a product that was molecularly distilled, further proving that all potentially harmful contaminants are removed.
What else should I look for?
Choose a brand that is pharmaceutical grade. Also look for a supplement that is produced at a pharmaceutical good manufacturing practices (GMP) facility.
Douglas Laboratories is one such company and I love their products. Create an account at www.douglaslabs.com and please feel free to use fulfillment # 227428.