What is the best fish oil supplement?
It isn’t much of a secret that many doctors and nutritionists recommend eating fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel regularly. This is because they contain healthy omega-3s that are good for the brain, cardiovascular system, and other body parts.
Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough of these types of fish in their diet. This is where a fish oil supplement like New Chapter Wholemega can help. It’s made from sustainably sourced fish and contains several types of omegas and is designed to be easily absorbed into the body, making it a great choice.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of taking fish oil and what to consider when choosing a supplement, we’re here to help with this guide.
The health benefits of taking fish oil
Omega-3s are essential fatty acids the body needs but cannot produce, which means they must come from our diet, and one of the best sources is a fish oil supplement.
It is almost astounding when you consider how many benefits omega-3s have for the body. They can help fight depression and anxiety, improve eye and brain health and reduce inflammation. They can also reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and triglycerides, increasing HDL cholesterol levels, and preventing plaque from hardening the arteries.
Some studies show high levels of omega-3s during the first year of life can help prevent many types of autoimmune diseases, and when taken as we age, can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and mental decline. It also helps give the skin a more youthful look, improves the quality of sleep and more.
What to know before buying a fish oil supplement
Most fish oil supplements have a 24-month shelf life when stored correctly. If stored improperly, the shelf life is significantly reduced, so make sure to buy fresh fish oil supplements to ensure they don’t turn rancid before you finish the bottle. If you buy a fish oil supplement and it is more than a year old when you purchased it, you should consider returning it.
When it comes to the dosage of a fish oil supplement, you should consider two things. The first is how many omega-3s does it provide per serving. Most manufacturers list the number of milligrams on the front of the package, but that generally refers to the amount of fish oil in each serving and not how many omega-3s it provides.
The second is the number of soft gel capsules in each serving. Experts generally recommend a minimum of 500 mg per day for the average person, but that amount can be much higher for those with certain health conditions. If you don’t like swallowing pills or have difficulty doing so, you want to make sure you can get your recommended amount of omega-3s in the least amount of capsules possible.
Fish oil supplements are not known for having the best flavor, and some cause people to have fishy-tasting burps. If you are worried about this, you should look into burp-less or flavored fish oil supplements.
Features to look for in quality fish oil supplements
Purity and potency
Though fish are healthy to eat, they sometimes contain harmful contaminants like polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxins. Certain species, which happen to be many of the same ones that are high in omega-3s, may also have high levels of mercury. You want to make sure that any fish oil supplement you consider is purified to remove as much of these contaminants as possible.
Unfortunately, we can’t always rely on manufacturers to be honest about the purity and potency of their supplements, so it is often best to choose one that independent labs test. Some organizations that certify fish oil supplements include the United States Pharmacopeia, International Fish Oil Standards and the National Science Foundation. Any time a supplement has undergone testing by one of these organizations, it will almost always be mentioned somewhere on the label.
If there is no indication of independent lab testing, you can look for a certificate of analysis from the company. Oftentimes you may have to go to the manufacturer’s website or request a copy of it directly from them.
When possible, it is best to choose products that focus on sustainability. For the most part, any additional cost will be negligible, but the benefits to future generations unquantifiable. To ensure you choose a supplement made following sustainable practices, look for a certification from the Marine Stewardship Council or a similar organization.
How much can you expect to spend on a fish oil supplement
Any time you choose a supplement, it is essential to pay attention to the cost per serving rather than the overall price of the purchase. You can expect to pay 10-60 cents per serving in the case of fish oil, with those made from wild-caught fish falling towards the higher end of the price spectrum.
Fish oil FAQs
How should I store my fish oil supplement?
A. Fish oil is susceptible to degradation from heat, light and oxygen. To ensure the most extended shelf life, you want to store your supplements in cool and dark places. A refrigerator is an ideal place, though it isn’t 100% necessary for soft gels.
Are there side effects from taking fish oil supplements?
A. The most common side effects of fish oil supplements are gastrointestinal and include belching, nausea, heartburn and loose stool. Some also experience bad breath. Usually, taking them with food can help reduce or eliminate these side effects. You should note that if you consume fish oil supplements in very high doses, they may potentially interfere with blood clotting and increase the chances of bleeding.
The best fish oil supplements
Top fish oil supplement
What you need to know: Offering a high dosage per serving and made from sustainably sourced wild salmon, this supplement is good for your body and the planet.
What you’ll love: In addition to omega-3s from fish oil, it contains omega-5s, 6s, 7s and 9s, and a proprietary blend of healthful herbs.
What you should consider: It’s more expensive than many other options.
Top fish oil for the money
What you need to know: This budget-friendly option comes from a reputable brand and contains 300 mg of omega-3s per serving.
What you’ll love: It contains no shellfish, sugar, GMOs or gluten, so pretty much anyone can take it.
What you should consider: The large pills can be hard to swallow for some.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Thanks to an enteric coating, these rarely cause fishy burping or an unpleasant aftertaste in the mouth.
What you’ll love: It’s highly potent, made from wild-caught fish and manufactured in the United States.
What you should consider: It contains soy and bovine gelatin.
Brett Dvoretz is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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