Rating fish oil products: how to do?

Rating fish oil products: how to do?

Consuming dietary fish oil supplements in any form does not ensure that you are following the right way. Far more information here : Dr Michael ZachariaMost of the Americans don’t consume enough omega-3 fatty acids in their regular diet. Even those who do, not necessarily pick the right product. All types of fish oil supplements are not of same ratings or quality. There is a difference between what you perceive and what you see on the product label.

Let us help you rate fish oil supplement products based on some important parameters.

Look for essential fatty acids – most of the products will have EFA listed on the product label. Sometimes, borage, evening primrose and soybeans are also included in fish oils. These are not EFAs. Look for such compositions that are not listed as EPA (Eicosa Pentaenoic Acid) or DHA (Docosa Hexaenoic Acid). If you see the product contains different from exclusive fish derived EFA, reject it

Usually plant-derived fatty acids don’t have same health benefits as EFA have. So, be particular with what you spend on.

Study the other ingredients: vitamins, preservatives, colorants, fillers these are essential components added to fish oil products. Give high ratings to products that contain mostly EPA and DHA in a ratio of 3:2 or vice versa.

Decide on the types of fish oil – Not all fishes contain good amount of fish oils and not all fish oils contain highest amount of EPA and DHA.  Fatty cold-water fish like tuna, sardines, herring, salmon, anchovy and mackerel contain higher amount of omega-3 FA than warm water fishes.  It is better if you can calculate the percentage of oils and compare them too. Fishes high on EPA and DHA are always the best rated.

Purity is an important indicator – identify the source of fish oil by reading the details on product label. Fishes originated from geographic areas where pollutants are high, may contain toxins. PCBs, mercury, heavy metals, dioxins, and un-purified oils – these are substances that make a product of low rating.

Read the label for the processes used in purification or distillation. Cold distillation and cold filtration are least disruptive to chemical structure.

For further help on product rating system, you may refer to online forums, community websites, Environmental defend fund website, etc.