The health of our families is of utmost importance and we cannot take chances with it. Apart from the best food, we must also select supplements that offer the best nutritive values. Omega-3 supplements offer optimal and pure nutrition for the entire family. Selecting an omega-3 supplement becomes critical for there are several brands available at supermarkets and via online sources too.
Selecting an Omega-3 Supplement
Omega 3 supplements come in various types (based on source) and brands. Here are simple tips and precautions to help you select a good omega 3 supplement.
Selection Fish Oil Omega 3 Supplements
Fish oil has been proven to contain the best source of omega-3 and offers many health benefits to the brain, heart, skin, eyes and most other organs. The purity of fish oils vary between different producers. Some manufacturers in fact use short-cut methods in their production to save cost. These products will be low grade and not give the necessary health benefits.
Another problem with fish oils is that because of the high levels of pollution in sea water, most fish contain toxins like mercury, PCBs and traces of metal etc in their flesh. Since the tissues are used to extract the oil, some fish oil supplements contain these contaminants in them. When selecting an omega-3 supplement, make sure it has gone through a molecular distillation process that removes toxins from the fish oil and ensures its safety for consumption.
Fish oil supplements you select must have the right balance of EPA and DHA. Do not buy a supplement that has too many mixed fish species. This could mean that the oil has been extracted from sources other than cold water fish. Hoki, krill are two fish oil supplements that are good. Fish oils get rancid and oxidized easily, so producers add preservatives. This detracts from its goodness. The supplement must not have preservatives and the only addition must be vitamin E for it is anti-oxidant.
Fish oil can leave a bad after taste and to limit this, you can:
- Place them in the refrigerator and take them at bedtime
- Take immediately after a meal for maximum benefits
- Buy odorless capsules
- Avoid carbonated drinks
Selecting Vegetarian Omega 3 Supplements
Pure vegetarians can take supplements made from marine algae and more of the ALA-based supplements, although this will still not give enough DHA and EPA. The DHA in these supplements can convert to EPA in the body. Check the gelatin content if you are a vegan.
Omega 3 supplements for Fish oil haters and Kids
These people can take flavored fish oil liquids. Kid-friendly options like puddings, small, chewable capsules and powders are available.
Here are some key points to consider when selecting an omega-3 supplement:
- Read the labels very carefully
- Check the EPA+DHA quantities per serving
- The concentration in the supplement can be check by dividing the amount of EPA and DHA (mg) by the total fat quantity.
- The number of capsules you consume will depend on the concentration of omega-3. So, do not reject a supplement because it is too expensive. It may contain higher concentrates and therefore you will need to take fewer capsules in a day.
- Check the expiry date
- Be careful when taking cod liver oil for it contains Vitamins A and D and excess of these can be dangerous.
Choose an omega-3 supplement that does not contain omega-6 and omega-9. International guidelines suggest 650mg of EPA+DHA (a minimum of 220mg of each). All omega-3 supplements must be suspended before surgeries and are not recommended for those with blood clotting problems.
Selecting an omega-3 supplement needs careful thought so that you do not buy the wrong medication. As far as possible do not rely only on supplements, always ensure your diet also contains enough omega-3. There are many fortified food options that offer greater variety to your daily intake of omega-3.