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How Should I Choose Fish Oil Supplements?

Belching and heartburn can be side effects of fish oil.
Fish oil tablets.
Mackerel is often used as the source for fish oil tablets.
Flax seed oil is high in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
Article Details
  • Written By: K T Solis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 April 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Fish oil supplements can lower triglycerides, prevent the hardening of arteries, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of other serious health problems. It is well known that fish oil can contribute to a person's overall health, but it can be difficult to choose an effective supplement since so many brands are available on store shelves. No matter which brand is ultimately selected, a consumer should strive to choose a fish oil product manufactured by a reputable company.

When choosing a fish oil supplement, select one that contains EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fish oil. The majority of fish oil supplements are tasteless, odorless, and simple to swallow. If a fish oil supplement smells fishy, avoid taking it. Although most supplements come in gel-capsule form, some people may have difficulties swallowing the capsules. If this occurs, a person can consume fish oil supplements in a liquid or pudding-like form.

Choose a fish oil supplement brand that is deodorized or distilled, meaning that all contaminants have been removed from the oil. Make sure that the fish oil supplement is actually derived from fish. In some cases, supplements may profess to be fish oil but are really a supplement manufactured from algae. Other supplements are made from krill oil, a substance made from small crustaceans that contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

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Reading the label on the supplement bottle is also necessary in order to choose a fish oil product that suits a particular consumer's needs. The amount of fish oil in each capsule will determine the dosage a person must take on a daily basis. One brand of fish oil may require that a person takes only one capsule a day, while another brand may require that a person swallows four capsules in order to receive the same health benefits.

Compare prices of fish oil brands in order to determine which supplement is the better buy. Higher quality fish oil supplements that contain a more concentrated form of omega-3s are often more expensive than those found in the local supermarket. Vegetarians can add omega-3s to their diet by consuming flax seed oil or flax seed oil capsules.

Fish oil has been known to cause side effects in some people. These side effects may include heartburn and belching accompanied by a fishy flavor. If these side effects become bothersome, change to another fish oil brand or do not take the dosage all at once. As with any supplement, it's important to speak with a doctor before taking fish oil. Fish oil supplements may not be the right choice for patients who take aspirin or prescription anticoagulants.

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Discuss this Article

fify
Post 3

@fBoyle-- I've heard that the molecularly distilled fish oil supplements don't cause fishy belching afterward. I guess the distilling process gets rid of the fishy taste. The downside to those type of fish oil supplements is that the distilling process removes the beneficial vitamins and the manufacturer has to add synthetic vitamins back in.

I personally use liquid fish oil supplements in different flavors. I don't enjoy the taste but the liquid type is the best because it's more potent and gets absorbed better by the body.

discographer
Post 2

@fBoyle-- More than the dosage, you need to look at the amount of EPA and DHA found in your supplement. A good fish oil supplement should have around 800mg of EPA and DHA in it. Unfortunately, there are many 1000mg fish oil supplements out there that only have 180mg or 200mg of EPA and DHA.

The one I'm taking comes in 1200mg capsules, but it has 800mg of EPA and 600mg of DHA. Some supplements have even more. If you want to get the most benefits out of your fish oil supplements, make sure it's high in these omega 3 fatty acids.

fBoyle
Post 1

I take a 1000mg capsule of fish oil daily. Is this a good dose?

I'm happy with my supplement except for the fishy burp it occasionally causes. Is there a fish oil supplement that does not cause fishy burping?

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