It’s like clockwork. Every few days some new kind of fish oil tablets are sure to hit the market. Now you can get chewy tablets, tablets with flavoring, tablets for kids, tablets for women – but is all that even necessary? Here are seven easy ways you can find out yourself how effective a fish oil supplement is really going to be.
1) Source of the oil
Specifically, which species of fish has the oil been derived from plays an important role in determining the quality of Omega 3 fatty acids you would get. It’s these fats like DHA and EPA which really make fish oil tablets so good for your health.
You need to avoid oils derived from fish like salmon and mackerel as these fish are usually bred in fisheries and fed pellets, which doesn’t make for high quality omega 3. Instead, look for a supplement that has oil source from wild fish like the Hoki. These fish feed on planktons and algae which makes their oil naturally rich in high quality omega 3 fats.
2) Quantity of Omega 3
You need to take at least 1000mg (1 gram) of omega 3 fats daily to really be able to derive all their health benefits. Look for a supplement that can give you around 500mg DHA and 250mg EPA – the rest can be secondary omega 3 fats like DPA. This is the ideal DHA-EPA ratio that would give best results.
3) Purification method used
Contamination is a major risk when you eat fish or take a sub-standard supplement. Mercury and PCB levels can rise to dangerous levels in your body if the fish oil tablets you take don’t contain highly purified oil. The purification technique used by the best brands is Molecular Distillation. Thus process can remove 99% impurities from the oil, while keeping its freshness and potency intact.
Do note that any other method of purification may not be as effective. So make sure you take only Molecularly Distilled fish oil.
4) Contaminant levels in the oil
Most companies make do by following purity standards like the IFOS. Fact is, you can find quality omega 3 oils that have been purified to such a high degree that their level of contaminants are even less than that allowed by IFOS. Do check the manufacturer’s website and find out how pure their oil is when compared to IFOS levels.
5) Freshness of the oil
The single biggest reason many people complain of burps and a fishy aftertaste after taking fish oil tablets is – the oil inside them has become rancid. This usually happens because of a delay in processing the oil after harvesting the fish.
The best situation is when the company’s manufacturing facility is nearby the source of the fish. This way the fish tissue doesn’t get time to decay and so the oil doesn’t get rancid too. The merchant’s website should contain this information; if you’re still not able to find it, you can always contact their customer support department.
6) Is a COA available?
While every company will say their oil is pure, only tests done by an independent third party laboratory can actually prove it. The COA is a Certificate of Analysis provided by a laboratory about the results of their testing done on the oil. You should insist on checking the COA before buying any fish oil supplement.
7) Delivery Mechanism
Finally, the way the oil is delivered also makes a difference in its effectiveness. An enteric coated fish oil, for example, wouldn’t be able to show much results. The enteric coating will only allow the oil to be released in your intestine where most of it wouldn’t be absorbed by your body.
The best mechanism is a soft gel format that can get dissolved in your stomach itself. This ensures maximum absorption and hence maximum results too.
So that’s it. These simple checks can ensure you take nothing but the absolute best fish oil tablets. Go make use of this information now!