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What is Fish Oil: How to Choose the Best Fish Oil Supplement

 what is fish oil

What is fish oil? Fish oil is oil which is received from the fatty cold-water fish tissue. The best fish oil sources are salmon, mackerel and tuna. Fish oil can be achieved from lake trout, sardines and herring as well. Fish oil is sometimes called omega 3 fish oil because it contains omega-3 fatty acids, the most important of them, according to Wikipedia, are docosahexaenoic acid DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid EPA.

Most people are interested in fish oil because fish oil possesses a lot of health benefits; therefore, doctors recommend it as part of a healthy diet. Fish oil stands out among different supplements to our nutrition as the most widely-used and most popular one.

How to choose the best fish oil?

Although it seems that fish oil capsules are all the same, in fact there are a lot of fish oil brands with vast differences in fish oil quality. It’s really important to choose the best fish oil supplements because they provide more health benefits and help avoid side effects. According to U.S.News Health, there are three major factors that matter for choosing the best fish oil pills:

  • Purity
  • EPA/DHA content
  • Freshness

These features determine the benefits of fish oil and the effectiveness of fish oil capsules. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to quality rather than price or availability.

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You should make sure that fish oil has been purified. The best fish oil pills have an indication about the purification process on the label. Purification is so necessary because nowadays the oceans are polluted and fish absorbs many toxins which are present in the fish flesh. 

EPA/ DHA content

Omega 3 fish oil supplements contain a certain concentration of EPA and DHA. The majority of 1000 mg fish oil capsules possess 180 mg EPA and 120 mg DHA in average. The best fish oil supplements have 60 or even 70% concentration of EPA and DHA. It means that 1000 mg fish oil capsules include 400 mg EPA and 200 mg DHA or even more.  If you need the best fish oil for general use this concentration will be enough for you. In case of diseases the doctor will prescribe you the appropriate amount with higher content of EPA and DHA.

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Fish oil freshness is one of the most important factors to consider. Oils become rancid fast because they are susceptive to the process of oxidation. Some fish oils are spoiled at the time they hit store shelves.  Rancid fish oils induce inflammation and may cause cancer, neurological problems, autoimmune disorders, high LDL cholesterol and damage to the liver. Read also if sesame oil goes bad.

Always pay attention to the date of expiry on the packaging. Besides, you may test freshness of fish oil with the following methods:

  1. Smell fish oil. The best fish oil will smell of fresh fish slightly or won’t smell at all.
  2. Look at fish oil. Spoiled oil is often brownish or of water consistency. The best fish oil supplements should be pale yellow.
  3. Touch fish oil capsules. They should be firm.

Taking into account these three factors will always help you buy the best fish oil vitamins and supplements.