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24- Mar-2017

Five Things to consider before taking an Omega 3 Supplement*

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Dt.Chhavi_Goel_Manglik
Dt. Pooja Maheshwari
Research Dietician, CDE, N.D.D.Y.

Omega 3 fish oil supplement is the easiest and best way to maintain good health, offering myriad benefits. However, one should consider some measures before using this supplement.

You might be already aware of the excellent health benefits of Omega 3 fish oil supplements. Omega 3 fish oil contains two essential fatty acids- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) & DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Various health benefits of consuming omega 3 fish oil include:

  • Maintains healthy triglycerides level
  • Lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), increases good cholesterol (HDL)
  • Protects heart from coronary heart disease
  • Reduces inflammation in joints
  • Decreases arthritis pain
  • Improves brain health
  • Controls blood pressure

These health benefits are huge, but it is important to recognize that not all Omega 3 supplements are of a consistently good quality. To improve health, you need to make sure that you get the best quality supplement that works. Therefore, consider the following important aspects when selecting the best Omega 3 fish oil dietary supplements -

    1. Type of Fish- Omega3 fish oil supplement is derived from oily tissues of fish. For the best supplement, it should be understood that not all fish oil has good EPA DHA concentration. A review study proved that high level of omega3 with a concentrated amount of EPA & DHA is found in deep sea fish such as sardine, herrings etc. As a dietician, I always suggest that only Omega3 supplements derived from sardine fish be used. Always select any Omega 3 product after checking the fish oil source that is typically mentioned on the carton.
    2. Source of EPA/DHA- Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) both are essential fatty acids and offer numerous health benefits to the body. So while choosing Omega3 supplements, it very important to study EPA and DHA sources. It is always best to choose natural triglycerides sources to aid better absorption.
    3. Ethyl esters & triglycerides- Some manufacturers use this practice for increasing Omega3 concentration by ethylation method in the Omega 3 supplement. In this procedure, glycerol of triglycerides and short chain fatty acids are removed from EPA & DHA. Then, EPA & DHA are esterified (chemical reaction with alcohol and acid) to form ethyl esters. According to the study, “Bioavailability of marine n-3 fatty acid formulation” bioavailability and absorption are high in triglyceride form as compare to ethyl ester. Triglycerides get easily absorbed in the small intestine by bile salts’ action whereas ethyl esters do their action by pancreatic lipase, which process takes 30-50 times longer times as compare to triglycerides absorption. Most research studies support that increased absorption and bioavailability of EPA & DHA is higher in natural triglycerides. Therefore, I always recommend BestSource Nutrition’s Omega 3 supplement because it is the only available supplement that provides natural triglycerides.
    4. Free from PCBs, Dioxins, and mercury- This is the most important quality issue in the fish oil supplements. Fishes accumulate organic chemicals such as PCB's (polychlorinated biphenyls), dioxins, and mercury, which are considered impurities. PCBs and dioxins show carcinogenic effects whereas mercury causes defects in the nervous system. A portion of fish has higher PCBs and mercury as compared to fish oil supplement. Nevertheless, in omega3 fish oil supplements,a distillation process can remove these impurities. However, as this process is not cost effective, most manufacturers skip this process. For this reason, I always recommend BestSource Nutrition’s Omega3 supplement because it is the only product I have seen which is free from PCBs, dioxins, and mercury.
    5. Fishy smell &burps- It is a very important point as I usually hear from my patients that they feel an unpleasant taste and fishy breath after having Omega3 fish oil supplement. After many research, I found one product, BestSource Nutrition’s Omega3 fish oil supplement, with which I personally found no burping and no fishy breath. It is because of the mechanical purification of this supplement

All the above points are very important for choosing the best quality omega 3 supplements because of that will offer all the health benefits of fish oil. Being a health practitioner, it is vital for me to guide the users right. Therefore, after the above considerations, I recommend the best Omega 3 fish oil supplement like the one from BestSource Nutrition. This product contains natural triglycerides, which facilitate easy absorption of the Omega 3 fish oil in the intestine. As it is free from PCBs, mercury and has no fishy smell burping. Along with this, on the product label, its level of EPA and DHA values are also written.

Disclaimer: All content provided on this section is for informational purposes only. Any views or opinions or claims represented in this content are personal, belong solely to the writer and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the writer may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated. Bestsourcenutrition.com makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this article.
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Dt. Maithili Pashtekar, Registered Dietician ,P.G.Dip Clinical Nutrition
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