learn
Tips for Choosing a Fish Oil Supplement
Ashley Martens
By Ashley Martens
Share:

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email

Omega-3 fatty acids are nutrients that essential to optimal cell function, but that the human body cannot produce on its own. For this we need foods like fish, flax seeds, leafy vegetables and walnuts, which all contain omega-3 fatty acids. If loading up on these foods each week proves to be a challenge, that’s where supplementing with an omega-3 fish oil can be beneficial.

But how do you choose one that’s high in quality? Here are tips to consider when shopping for an omega-3 fish oil supplement.

EPA and DHA Amounts

EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) are types of omega-3 fatty acids that are most commonly found in fish oils. When selecting an omega-3 fish oil supplement, it’s important to look for the exact amount of both EPA and DHA. Some manufacturers claim higher numbers of milligrams on their bottles, which doesn’t accurately reflect the omega-3 content itself, but rather the overall fish oil, so be sure the supplement you are considering clearly lists the amount of both EPA and DHA.

Brandless’ high-potency Omega-3 Fish Oil supplement contains 650 mg of EPA and 450 mg of DHA with a total of 1,200mg of omega-3s per serving.

Fish Source

Choosing an Omega-3 fish oil source that is smaller in size (mackerel, sardines, anchovies) reduces the amount of time that contaminants build up in a fish that maintains a longer life span, such as salmon. While the debate over farm-raised vs. wild caught fish sources goes on, benefits to wild-caught fish include: lower in saturated fats as a result of eating a natural diet, more consistent EPA and DHA levels (wider variances occur in farm-raised fish due to differences in farming diets), no antibiotics or genetically modified organisms.

 

Brandless’ Omega-3 fish oil supplement is derived from wild caught fish including anchovies, mackerel and sardines.

Smell & Taste

Fish oil supplements often have a slightly fishy smell and can result in a fishy aftertaste that many find unpleasant. Lemon oil helps preserve the fish oil and minimize a fishy aftertaste. Although, if an omega-3 supplement has a stronger fishy taste, it could be the result of oxidation, and a sign that the freshness has been compromised.

 

Brandless uses a lemon-rosemary extract to maintain the integrity of their non-GMO fish oil and help reduce any fishy aftertaste.

Packaging

Many fish oil supplements are generally sold in a liquid or capsule form. Since omega-3 fatty acids are highly susceptible to degradation and rancidness due to exposure to heat, light and oxygen, it’s important to look for supplements that are sold in dark or opaque bottles.

Tip: Always store omega-3 fish oil supplements in a cool, dry place where they will not be exposed to excess heat and/or light.

Remember, the best way to obtain omega-3 fatty acids is through a real, whole foods diet like Keto or Paleo. However, if foods like fish and nuts are not a part of your regular daily diet, you may want to consider supplementing with an omega-3 fish oil. In order to ensure you are selecting a high quality omega-3 fish oil supplement, consider these five tips and remember to always consult your general practitioner before starting a new supplement, including an omega-3 fish oil supplement.