Why You Should Be Careful When Buying Fish Oil
Probably every single one of you reading this has either been told to take it, or you've taken it before.
A lot of my patients dislike fish oil pills because they get a nasty, "fishy taste" after they swallow them. I'm surprised more people don't like the taste of dead sardines at random times throughout the day, honestly...
Truth is, unless you're eating enough fish or other, natural, animal-based sources of omega-3s, it can be really, really hard to get the optimal amount of omega-3s in your diet.
This is especially the case if you're squeezing in a few cheat meals during the day...I see you eating that Ben & Jerry's right now, don't think I don't know about that...
All kidding aside, supplementing with fish oil is like anything else - not all fish oils out there are created equal. That's why if you're really serious about getting the maximum health benefits related to omega-3 consumption, I suggest you read this before you buy your next bottle of fish oil.
5 Things That Should Affect Your Next Fish Oil Purchase
Not to beat a dead fish, but I think the health benefits of omega-3s need to be repeated.
I'll take it easy on you and just give you a small list of known, evidence-based reasons to include more omega-3s in your diet:
- They can improve heart health
- They can help control cholesterol triglyceride levels
- They can help prevent retinal and brain development
- They help enhance brain function and can help protect against neural degeneration
- They can aid in concentration
- They can stabilize the immune system
- They can help soothe the gut
- They are helpful in controlling inflammation
And much more.
However, when it comes to buying fish oil, my recommendation is to ensure your supplement meets the criteria below.
Of course, you don't have to follow these guidelines; but keep in mind, by neglecting to select a fish oil that meets these criteria, you're basically sabotaging your goals to boost your health with omega-3s.
1 - They should be toxin-free:
You've likely heard me (and others) rant about the dangers of farm-raised fish due to their high concentration of toxins. Well, just because fish is wild-caught doesn't mean it's toxin-free either.
Low grade fish oils coming either from farm-raised sources or wild-caught sources have a higher propensity to be loaded with awful toxins, which pose substantial risks to your health. Many companies distill the fish oils without paying attention to eliminating the toxins from the fish oil they sell.
You can imagine why that'd be problematic...
This is just a way for them to get products out quickly and cheaply while still maintaining their sales.
2- They shouldn't be rancid:You wouldn't believe how many fish oils sold on the market are spoiled - not just spoiled, but rancid, rotten, and really disgusting.
I'm not going to point fingers and say this is the manufacturer's fault, but quality control could help prevent this.
The reason fish oil goes rancid in the first place is because the molecular structure of the oil is quite delicate. Improper storage, inefficient manufacturing processes, and the sources the fish come from all contribute to rancid fish oil.
The easiest way to ensure fish oils aren't rancid is to find out what the manufacturer's distillation processes are AND find out where they get their fish (this is important).
3 - They should be high in EPA/DHA:
A lot of fish oils promoted on the market are very, very low in the actual fats needed to promote good health. You'll typically see fish oils offering only 200-300 mg of EPA and DHA (per serving).
In order to get the total amount you would need for a day, you'd have to take a lot (8-12) pills. That's way too much for most people, especially those who have trouble remembering to take pills in the first place.
To get the maximum benefits from your fish oil, remember the higher the dose in the pill, the more effective it is per dose.
4 - They should come from sustainable fishing sources:
This is something most people don't think about when they get their fish oil.
Sustainable sources of fish are sources that are generally pure and are able to be fished again.
This matters to your health because the more we (as a species) do to protect our valuable food sources, the longer they'll be there for us to rely on.
5 - They should have additives to promote greater efficacy:
This is more or less the cutting edge of fish oil supplementation.
It's been discovered if you include other, natural additives to your fish oil, it can increase your body's uptake of the nutrients and help you get more out of each pill.
Two of the most powerful additives are olive fruit extract and sesame lignans.
Here's what Life Extension (who helped pioneer the inclusion of these ingredients) knows about putting both of these additives into a fish oil capsule:
- Research findings indicate that a combination of fish oil and olive oil can support a healthy inflammatory response better than fish oil alone. Super omega-3 incorporates the benefits of both fish oil and olive fruit extract into a single formula. Four softgels supply the equivalent polyphenol content of 8 to 12 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
- Studies show that when sesame lignans are added to fish oil, there is a greater safeguard against oxidation along with the EPA/DHA fatty acids being directed toward pathways that help with inflammatory reactions.
When these extracts are present, it means the omega-3s are delivered to your body quicker, faster, and more effectively.
Here's Where To Find A Fish Oil That Meets These Needs
The truth is there is only one brand of fish oil that's going to hit all of those marks, and that's Life Extension.
In our practice, we love Life Extension fish oil because we know it's pure, sustainable, high in essential EPA/DHA, is not rancid, and is rich in olive fruit extract and sesame seed lignans.
Plus, it's quite affordable when compared to other similar fish oils.
We promise, if you get this bottle, you might not feel like you can flip a car or change the world - but your body will love the benefits these omega-3s provide.
Click here to get your Life Extension Super Omega-3 EPA/DHA with Sesame Lignans & Olive Extract, or click on the picture below.