Choosing The Best Fish Oil Supplement For Your Needs
Author: ANCP Date Posted:19 April 2016
What is fish oil?
Fish oil is derived from the flesh of cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herrings, sardines, and anchovies, that are good sources of essential omega 3 fats. Omega 3 fats are more liquid at cold temperatures than other types of fats and can act as a sort of 'anti-freeze' to help these fish live and function successfully in very cold ocean waters.
Why do we need Fish Oil?
Fish oil is an excellent source of the important omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that are difficult for humans to make. By taking fish oil, we are getting a ready-made source of these vital fats, essential for maintaining general health and particularly important for the cardiovascular system, brain and nerves.
What are the Benefits of Fish Oil?
Cardiovascular System: Omega 3 fats help thin the blood and relax blood vessels, maintaining healthy blood flow.They also help to regulate blood fat levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Brain and Nervous System: Fish oil supplements may improve behavioural problems in children, such as short attention span, restlessness, poor memory and learning and poor school performance. DHA in particular is a major component of brain tissue and helps regulate cognitive function and mood. DHA is important in pregnancy for the developing baby and, after birth, DHA in breast milk is vital for the baby's brain, nervous system, and vision.
Hair, Skin & Nails: Fish oil supplements can provide relief from itching, inflamed skin rashes and maintain the texture and quality of the skin, hair and nails.
Joint Pain: Fish oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can relieve painful, stiff joints and reduce the need for pain-relieving medication.
What about the problem of mercury in fish?
The fish oil in Australian NaturalCare products is carefully selected and tested to ensure a high quality product. A process of molecular distillation is used to purify the oil before it is packaged into capsules. This process can remove pollutants without damaging the sensitive omega 3 fats. The oil comes from a variety of small fish caught in the wild that are lower in the food chain and are therefore naturally lower in pollutants. The oil is tested for freshness and for mercury and other pollutants before being released for sale.
What type of Fish Oil should I be using?
A good fish oil will have been mercury-tested and contain at least 1000mg of fish oil and at least 300mg of marine triglycerides (fats) per capsule. Some people believe that pure salmon oil is the best type of fish oil but it is a larger fish from higher up the food chain and may be more polluted. The EPA and DHA content of salmon oil is variable and often too low so it is usually blended with other types of fish oil to boost the levels.
What dose of fish oil should I take?
- For general health, a standard adult dose is 1 capsule three times daily.
- For inflammatory conditions, the dose is 2-3 capsules three times daily
- For pregnant and breastfeeding women, 1 capsule three times daily is recommended.
- For children, use an odourless fish oil, pierce the capsule and squeeze the contents into juice for a pleasant-tasting drink; 1-2 capsules daily should be sufficient for general health.
Is it OK to take fish oil long term?
Yes, fish oil is recommended as a regular supplement because many people don't get enough omega 3 fats in their diet without it. As these fats are needed every day for healthy body function, fish oil supplements can be used daily on a continuous basis. Large doses of fish oil taken all at once (more than 6 capsules) may have a slight laxative action, so spread the doses out over the day to improve absorption.