The majority of us know by now we should be eating healthy oily fish two to three times a week to give our body the essential omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA it needs to function at its optimum.
However that is often easier said than done, so many of us choose the simpler method of taking fish oil supplements every day to get these essential acids.
But there are traps for the unwary when it comes to different brands of fish oil supplements. There are very cheap brands that temp us based on price alone, yet this can be false economy because there’s usually a reason for it being so cheap, which is usually because it’s inferior with very little benefit for us.
On the other hand some very expensive popular brand name fish oil supplements often under deliver on quality and effectiveness also.
An important point to keep in mind is there is a huge worldwide market for fish oils, which is where most manufacturers of omega 3 supplements obviously source their oils. Because it’s a common pool of oil, the quality, pureness and safety of the end product comes down to how well and carefully the manufacturer processes this oil to finally end up with a quality finished product.
Another big issue that greatly influences the fish oil end product is whether healthy oily fish have been sourced in the first instance to extract the oil from. Certain fish species caught in polluted seas can contain dangerous levels of heavy metals particularly mercury as well as PCBs and other toxins.
Some of the more common fish caught for their fish oil are mackerel, sardines and herring (Atlantic and Baltic) that have a very high levels of n-3 fatty acids, slightly further down the list is salmon, followed by tuna (Atlantic and Pacific) and hoki (blue grenadier).
However it’s not really the amount of n-3 fatty acids that is the most important issues as to whether the oil is healthy for you to consume. Where the fish are caught as well as their age and size is of more concern. We all know how the great oceans have become polluted; the unfortunate reality is so have most of the fish that live in these seas, especially the older bigger ones.
Therefore any fish oil capsules you intend to take should have undergone the molecular distillation process as a minimum precaution against any potentially harmful pollutants, unless the manufacturer has proven positive evidence to the contrary regarding the purity of the oil they use. The manufacturer should also be able to produce a certificate of analysis on their website showing which pollutants they have tested for, and how their product rates for purity and safety.
However one of the best fish species to choose because of it’s purity and high omega 3 DHA and EPA fatty acids levels is Hoki, especially when the oil comes from one of the last pristine sea locations in the world off the New Zealand coast in the Southern Ocean.
The bottom line is by all means eat fresh healthy oily fish two to three times a week as a first option if you can providing you’re assured its pure and toxin free. But the easiest option of all is to take pure, fresh top quality omega 3 fish oil capsules every day.