How to pick Fish Oil


Why fish oil and why is it important for our health?

Fish oil is high in Essential Fatty acids, specifically Omega 3s and its derivatives EPA & DHA. Omega 3 fatty acids have been used therapeutically for cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, cancer, diabetes and several lipid disorder/deficiency syndromes.

Clinical evidence has shown fish oil supplementation reduces the relative risk of sudden death cardiac arrest by 91%, & reduction of triglycerides by 25%.

Recommended dosage

2-4g per day depending on condition.

American Heart Association recommends 1g per day to maintain omega 6:3 ratio. Research has shown 2g per day for reducing the relative risk of Myocardial Infarction, and 4g for reducing triglycerides or for general anti-inflammatory. 

“Bad” and “Good” production practices

Lower level manufacturers takes fewer steps in fish oil production process (produces fish oil in the form of ethyl ester to reduce the cost but also reduce absorption). They also typically ship their crude fish oil to Europe for molecular distillation. This is a long process which takes an average of 2-3 years, prones the fish oil to be oxidized and produces rancid smell. They may choose 2, 3, 4 or more fish instead of using a single source to prevent heavy metals and toxic burden.

The top of the line manufacturers take more steps to produce fish oil in the form of triglycerides (fish oil natural form) for better absorption. They also take a shorter production process and add antioxidant for stability to prevent oxidation. (Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals, thereby leading to chain reactions that may damage the cells of organisms.)

How to pick the right products

Always try to use professional grade. Companies that supply products to practitioners typically abide by a higher level of standards. Companies that stability test their product are able to guarantee ingredients, dosage, and efficacy at the expiration date.

EU Eurofins testing is one of the most rigorous tests done for over 400 contaminants, toxins, pesticides, metals. And lastly, it passes the bite test. Purified and non oxidized/fish oil is not disgusting to taste or smell. A good product can be bitten into and tasted without hesitation.

How to read a product label?

  1. EPA/DHA ratios
    DHA is important and often far too low in combination formulas           
  2. Does it mention rTG (reesterified triglyceride, or triglyceride) version?
    If not, it is most likely an ethyl ester (lower absorption)
  3. How many fish? 
    A lower number is better (ideally 1-2)

You may also check:

  • Smell - A good quality product shouldn’t smell rancid
  • Expiration date - Should have one

Overall recommendations

With fish oil purity matters, because omega 3s do not have a long shelf life. You cannot trust in retail brands due to their lack of transparency. Choose professional grade manufacturers who continue to exclusively work with practitioners to improve patient outcomes.

Efficacy is the most important, does the product do what it is intended to do?

The most efficacious fish oil will be single sourced, pure, fresh, triglyceride version, with combination of EPA/DHA (ratio depends on condition).  

 

 Reputable brands