10th Apr 2013

Choosing Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplements – Top 5 Things To Look For



You may already have heard about the amazing health benefits offered byOmega 3 fish oil supplements. They can lower your blood pressure and decrease your risk of many diseases including heart 
disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer of the breast, colon and prostate. Omega 3 also improves concentration, fertility and reduces depression.

But while the health benefits are enormous it is important to realise that not all Omega 3 supplements are of the same quality. If you want to improve your health, you owe it to yourself to make sure you get a premium quality supplement that actually works. So it is important to consider the following 5 important factors when you are comparing different Omega 3 supplements.

EPA/DHA Amount

EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) are the two Omega 3 fatty acids that are considered to offer the most health benefits. So it is important to consider EPA and DHA quantities, when you are choosing which Omega 3 supplement to buy.

If you are healthy, your daily consumption of Omega 3 supplements should contain at least 500 mg of EPA and DHA.  But if you have heart disease, a supplement of 1000 mg   is recommended.

Total Quantity of Omega 3

According to the Heart Foundation, healthy people should consume 500 mg of Omega 3 per day and heart disease sufferers should aim for 1000 mg. But the Heart Foundation also recommends that supplements contain at least 500 mg of DHA and EPA if you are healthy and 1000mg DHA and EPA if you have heart disease.

So regardless of the total Omega 3 quantity, it is the DHA and EPA content that is vital for your health. For this reason, you should avoid buying Omega 3 supplements that don’t list their EPA/DHA content.

Just like anything else, too much Omega 3 can be dangerous to your health, so it is important that you avoid taking more than 3mg of Omega 3 each day

Coating and Taste

Most people find the taste of fish oil unpleasant, and some Omega 3 fish oil supplements can cause unpleasant side effects like a fishy breathe or heartburn. To avoid these problems, look for supplements that are enteric coated, because the contents are not released until the supplements reach your stomach. Taking capsules with food also helps to reduce common side effects.

Ethyl Esther v Triglycerides

Some Omega 3’s come in Ethyl Esther form and others come in Triglyceride form. Many manufacturers claim that Triglycerides are better than Ethyl Esther, because they are easier to absorb and more stable.

But no scientific research has been conducted to prove that one form is better than the other. In fact in various studied conducted on Omega 3, the health of subjects improved when Omega 3 was taken in either form. So it is probably better to focus on other important factors when considering which Omega 3 supplement to buy, rather than choosing one form over the other.

Size and Pricing

When you compare the prices of different Omega 3 supplements, it is important to consider the size of each supplement and the quantity of EPH/DHA in each capsule.

Some brands may seem cheaper at a glance, but if you are only getting a third of the quantity of your daily EPA/DHA in each capsule this is not good value for money. Plus it means that you will have to take three capsules each day instead of one.

If all this seems like a lot to remember when you are comparison shopping for Omega 3, just remember to focus on EPA/DHA content in each capsule and choose a supplement with enteric coating. Finally, avoid buying Omega 3 supplements that do not state their EPA/DHA content.