It pays to be informed when you’re choosing health supplements. Not all ingredients are alike and enhance wellness and vibrancy. Just as there are different brands of toothpaste on the market promising whiter teeth, fresher breath and healthier gums than their competitors, there are manufacturers of fish oil boasting that they are better than their business rivals but not delivering on their promises.
- Research before you buy fish oil supplements
- Look for capsules that are enteric coated
- Reputable companies use molecular distillation
- Do you know where your fish oil supplements are sourced?
Do you know what you’re looking for in a quality fish oil supplement? With the amount of products on the market, the process may be overwhelming. It pays to shop around. Just because a supplement may be cheap doesn’t mean it’s made with superior ingredients. The capsules may be rancid or derived from questionable fish sources. As the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.”
Here are several tips to help you choose an exceptional fish oil supplement from a reputable manufacturer:
- What is the blend of DHA and EPA? Quality fish oil supplements should contain high amounts of the most beneficial omega-3 fatty acids: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Fish oil supplements vary in ratios of DHA and EPA they contain. Researchers recommend that healthy people consume 500 milligrams daily of EPA plus DHA. If fish oil capsules contain much less than that amount, you should consider another brand. 1 Read the label to determine what other ingredients are contained in the fish oil to prevent rancidity and if you need to refrigerate the product to keep it from spoiling.
- Where was the fish oil product manufactured? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for protecting and promoting the public health of its citizens by regulating and supervising food safety, dietary supplements and prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs. The FDA considers fish oil supplements Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) when doses don’t exceed more than three grams per day. High quality fish oil should be manufactured in an FDA-registered and inspected facility, in compliance with the most up-to-date FDA guidelines. If the company is unable to provide information about where their products were made, move on.
- Do you know if the fish oil capsule provides maximum potency? No matter how high quality a fish oil supplement claims to be, it won’t do you any good if the product dissolves in your stomach instead of in the small intestine, where the nutrients are more readily absorbed. Don’t throw your money away. Look for fish oil capsules that are made with enteric coating. This means they were created with a natural barrier, usually fatty acids or plant fibers, that allows them to withstand the acidic environment of the stomach, and instead release their contents in the small intestine. This provides maximum absorption of vital EPA and DHA. Capsules with enteric coating ensure that there is no sour aftertaste, which some people complain is a turn off from taking this product. OmegaMx, a highly concentrated fish oil softgel, features enteric coating to prevent “fish burps” and an unpleasant aftertaste.
- What is the source of the fish oil product? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that to enjoy the most benefits from fish, you must decrease your exposure to mercury and other toxins.2 Do you know what waters the fish in your supplements came from? Does the manufacturer source from deep ocean water fish? Does the fish oil company plainly state on the label that its products are certified below detectable levels of mercury, dioxins, toxins, PCBs and other environmental contaminants? If these things aren’t clearly stated on the bottle, or the manufacturer can’t provide this information, don’t risk it. Your health is more important.
Choosing a quality fish oil supplement is an investment in your health, which is why you shouldn’t just pick up the first bottle you put your hand on. This doesn’t have to be a time consuming process either. You should factor in cost, amount of EPA and DHA contained in the capsules, if the product was made with molecular distillation to guarantee purity and concentration and if the fish oil supplement is safe and effective. A good company that values the business of its customers should offer a money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied. This allows you to test the potency of the product and return it if it’s not up to your standards. Don’t trust fly-by-night businesses making outlandish health claims. Put your money where your mouth is.