How do you find the best fish oil? There are lots of good brands out there. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, most brands are safe. But if you’re like most people, you are also concerned about effectiveness. Here’s how to compare before you buy.
Take full advantage of the information that is available on the internet. You can order online or just check out the manufacturer’s website. One of the things to look for is a “Certificate of Analysis” or COA.
A COA will help you evaluate the purity and the potency of a product. The analysis should be conducted by an independent laboratory. The copy that you view online should be signed by a lab tech. There should be a date indicating when the certificate expires. The better manufacturers have every batch analyzed to insure that the quality has not changed.
The best fish oil supplements will get a rating of “none detected” on all or most contaminants. The types of contaminants that should be listed are heavy metals and toxic chemicals. DDT and PCBs are some of the cancer-causing chemicals that are sometimes found in fish oils. A few years ago, a number of brands were recalled in the European Union due to high levels of PCBs.
Manufacturers in the US are not required to adhere to stringent guidelines. The better companies abide by the International Fish Oil Standards or those developed by the Council for Responsible Nutrition. If the brand says IFOS compliant or CRN compliant, then it’s a pretty good product. Indeed, the best fish oil supplements are manufactured under even stricter guidelines than those.
When it comes to effectiveness, you will need to look at the total omega3 content, as well as the amount of DHA and EPA that are present in each capsule. Capsules are better than liquids in many ways. Just one is that taking a capsule is more accurate than trying to measure a teaspoonful.
The benefits of fish oil are due primarily to the omega3 content, which is lacking in the average person’s diet. DHA is probably the most important of the omega3s. After you compare a few brands, you will see that most oils contain more EPA than DHA. That’s because most fish contain more EPA.
The brain and the eyes need DHA. It is the most abundant fatty acid in the retina, a portion of the eye that gathers light and transmits signals to the brain.
Low levels of DHA are associated with depression and Attention Deficit Disorder. The best fish oil contains a high percentage of DHA. This information will also be listed on the COA. Some, but not all, manufacturers list it on the label.
Find out what kind of fish are used to make the product. The worst choices are shark, cod and salmon. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, the worst brands are K-mart, Omega Protein, Rite Aid, Solaray and Twinlab, because they do not adhere to even the weakest guidelines.
Hopefully, this information will help you find the best fish oil, because you deserve it.