Good dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids are cod liver oil, salmon, shrimp, cod, walnuts, flax seeds, and kelp. Adding these foods to your diet will improve your overall health and boost the levels of omega-3 fats. However, additional supplementation is often needed to treat certain symptoms and illnesses. Fish oil supplements have flooded the market and have become quite popular for all the reasons listed in part one of this series. Before purchasing a bottle of fish oil, there are a few things a savvy consumer should know.
Are all fish oil supplements created equal? The answer is NO! The buyer must beware when purchasing the omega-3 fatty acids due to the potential toxin content and rancidity of the oils. Since these fats are unsaturated, they are very delicate and can become oxidized or rancid quite easily. Oxidized oils promote ageing and inflammation and they should be avoided. To ensure your fish oil is fresh and pure, follow the guidelines below:
- Look for “molecular distillation” and “good manufacturing certification” on the label. These practices ensure freshness of the product.
- Oil should not smell or taste “fishy.” This smell indicates the oil has gone rancid.
- Buy only pharmecutical grade fish oil: these oils have been purified and are free from heavy metlas, PCB’s and other toxins present in fish.
- Choose products with natural preservatives such as vitamin E or rosemary oil.
To ensure proper dosing of your fish oil, contact your health care provider. There are some precautions when taking an onega-3 fatty acid supplement, especially if you are taking blood-tinning medication or are pregnant.