Fish oil supplements are the most effective way to complement your diet with omega-3 fatty acids. These important nutrients, in addition to omega-6 fatty acids, are required by the body for optimal health. Like vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids are critical for health, yet most individuals do not get the proper balance of EFAs from just their diet. We provide this important fish oil information so that you can make the best choice for your health and well-being.
At All Star Health, you'll find a wide selection of fish oil products from top brands like Source Naturals fish oil and Wiley's Finest, each one at the best price. Omega-3 fish oil, DHA, krill oil and cod liver oil are some of the supplements we offer. Our All Star Health fish oil supplements are purified by molecular distillation and other processes. This insures that they meet or exceed California's strict potency and purity requirements. Our fish oil supplements contain lower levels of contaminants than either wild or farmed fish.
What Fish Oil Supplements Do You Need?
While omega-6 fatty acids are typically in abundance in the average diet (meat and dairy fats plus most vegetable oils), omega-3 fatty acids are more scarce (oily fish, walnuts, flat and canola oil). Therefore, most people need to supplement their diet with omega-3s only. People on low fat diets may require both. There are 3-6-9 formulas, which contain omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 EFAs. The omega 9s, while non-essential, are beneficial and they naturally occur with the other two EFAs.
The most popular varieties of omega-3 supplements are derived from flax oil and fish oil. Fish oil tends to be more popular, since omega-3 EFAs from fish oil occur in the two forms that are used by the body, EPA and DHA. If the omega-3 supplement comes from a plant source such as flax, the body must convert it into DHA and EPA before it can use them. This conversion is only about 10-40 percent efficient, so fish oil supplementation is more efficient, unless of course you're a vegetarian opposed to using fish oil.
Omega-3 Health Benefits
The body uses omega-3 fatty acids in many ways, so there are diverse omega-3 benefits. Much attention has been paid to the cardiovascular benefits of omega-3s. Fish oil supports heart health in various ways, such as to reduce hypertension, inflammation and platelet aggregation. Even the FDA states that "scientific evidence indicates that these fatty acids (EHA and EPA from fish oil) may be beneficial in reducing coronary heart disease."
Other benefits of omega-3 supplements include:
- Fish oil helps in the formation of the body's important anti-inflammatory compounds. It is theorized that omega-3 deficiency is central in diseases that produce unregulated or chronic inflammation, such as those illnesses that affect joint and vascular tissues. Doctors and nutritionists regularly recommend fish oil for these conditions.
- The brain requires omega-3 fatty acids for proper function. Studies have shown that fish oil supplements may improve mood and help with depression and other important aspects of brain health. People have reported significant improvements in their mood after supplementing their diet with fish oil.
How to Use Omega-3 Fish Oil
Following are recommendations for using omega-3 fish oil supplements:
- Omega-3 supplements are better tolerated when taken with solid food, but they can also be taken without food.
- Certain fish oil supplements have an enteric coating to delay the softgel's breakdown until it enters the small intestine, which is responsible for fat absorption. This may help those who complain of a fishy aftertaste or burping.
- Do not confuse fish oil with fish liver oil such as cod liver oil, which only has a small amount of omega-3 plus vitamins A and D. You can, however, use both.
- Experts recommend at least 1000 mgs (1 gram) of DHA and EPA daily for adults. Under supervision from your doctor, you may take more if needed. If you're not sure, follow the label's instructions.
- Look at the amount of DHA and EPA per softgel or per serving to compare these omega-3 fish oil supplements. Among the concentrations, 30 percent, 50 percent and 70 percent are the most popular. This is the percentage of DHA and EPA (combined) in the oil. Higher percentages deliver greater amounts of these elements in each softgel, but they cost more.
Fish Oil Side Effect and Cautions
Consult your doctor or a pharmacist before you combine fish oil with prescription medicine, especially blood thinners.