Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that play crucial roles in many bodily processes, such as inflammation, immunity, heart health, and brain function.
Omega-3 fish oil concentrates are categorized into three types:
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
The biologically active forms of omega-3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA, which are mainly found in fish. Plant foods contain ALA, which your body must convert to EPA and DHA before they can be used.
In this post, we’d like to provide you with a brief 5 step guide to purchasing the ideal omega-3 supplements that will assist your decision-making process and assist you in deciding the best option for you.
Why should you take Omega-3?
Omega-3 fats are necessary for our survival, however, they cannot be manufactured in our bodies. Therefore, we must consume them in the form of food items such as fatty fish or taking supplements like fish oil.
What is an Omega-3 Supplement?
Fish oil is derived from the tissues of fatty fish that reside in cold water, such as mackerel or salmon. They extract it from the tissues by a variety of distillation and purification techniques and are generally consumed in small gelatine capsules, which have their distinctive gold-yellow color.
Fish oil is high in the essential fatty acids EPA and DHA, and taking one capsule per day may be adequate to confirm that you have sufficient reserves and that your body is functioning at its best.
5 Things To Consider While Buying Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements
1. Verify which fat-rich acids the supplements contain
There are many different kinds of fats that are identical and fish oil is not necessarily equal to fish oil. The ingredients of the oil, whether it comes from fish, significantly affect how much health benefit it provides. The fatty acids you need to search for are EPA as well as DHA. Those are the most beneficial to you and aid your body’s various essential functions.
2. Which form are the essential fatty acids?
Fatty acids are found in myriad different molecular structures that can affect the way they function and get absorbed into the body. The structure of fatty acids is determined by the processing process and could influence the effects they exert on us.
The type that fatty acids take in the majority of animals and plants is known as triglycerides (TG) and is the type you’ll need to be looking for. A different form is known as phospholipids. It is a form that typically occurs in the oil.
There are other options, such as ethyl esters (EE) where the fatty acids have been linked to ethanol molecules, which makes them more distillable at lower temperatures, and can lower the costs of production of the”fish oil concentrates. In this case, the fats aren’t technically fats, and their effect on our bodies can be affected through this.
Since every fish oil undergoes an underlying process, it is essential to know the structure of the molecules to ensure you’re purchasing a top-quality product that can have a maximally positive effect on your metabolism. The process is essential to remove the oil from contaminants such as mercury. It can also boost the amount in EPA and DHA as high as 50–90 percent, which increases its effectiveness.
3. Check the concentration of EPA and DHA
Another factor that affects the quality of fish oil products is the number of fatty acids it has. The amount of the capsule doesn’t need to be considered if the content of the fatty acids is too low. Therefore, you must determine the percentage of EPA or DHA in the supplement to ensure that you receive the value you are paying for.
Omega-3 fish oil concentrate with EPA or DHA are the purest and most beneficial ones. The human body is incapable of producing important fatty acids. It can, however, convert ALA to EPA and DHA in small amounts.
4. Verify the production date to ensure the product is fresh
Fish oil, as with seafood, shouldn’t smell like fish when fresh. However, the fatty acids that they contain are biologically active, and they can react with the molecules around them, for instance. This process, known as oxidation, can harm the oils and create free radicals that can cause harm to cells and tissues when they enter our bodies.
Verify the production and expiry date of the product, and If you can, sniff it to determine whether it smells fishy or rancid. This could be a sign that it isn’t as fresh as it used to be.
To stop oxidation and prevent the oil from becoming rancid, the product must have some type of stabilizer and antioxidant, like Vitamin E or an antioxidant that is natural like astaxanthin, a natural antioxidant that is found in fish oil. It gives it a distinctive red hue.
5. Confirm the sustainability of the product
Fish oil is produced from the limited resources in our oceans, which is why it is important to ensure that the supplier you purchase from has sustainable practices for fishing and follows strict rules concerning their manufacturing process.
There are independent organizations that examine and verify the suppliers of such food supplements. Always look for the labels of organizations such as those of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or other international fish oil standards working in the field.
At Icelandirect, we are proud of being extremely strict in our production process and employing an eco-harvesting method that has been developed and patent-pending to get the fish out of the oceans. We only use sustainable wild fish and environmentally friendly containers that can be reused, and control the production process at every step of the process. This has earned us a certification of traceability issued by MSC.
Now you understand the reasons to invest in a top-quality omega-3 supplement, and how to pick the ideal for you. There are numerous types of omega-3 supplements, each from a different source and with unique ingredient combinations.
They also come in a variety of forms, such as capsules, liquids, and gummies. To get the best results, find a fish oil supplement that performs for you and combine it with a healthy diet.