Omega-3s can be found in whole foods like fatty fish, which contain high levels of omega-3s.
Taking a supplement may be a good idea if you don’t eat much fatty fish.
Omega-3 supplements are available in hundreds of different forms. They are not all equally beneficial to one’s health.
Omega-3 supplements are explained in this detailed guide.
|What Are The Best Omega-3 Supplements 2022|
Omega-3s come in several forms
Natural and processed fish oil are both available.
The form of the fatty acids can be affected by processing. This is significant since some types are better absorbed than others.
- Fish: Whole fish include omega-3 fatty acids in the form of free fatty acids, phospholipids, and triglycerides.
- Fish oil: In most fish oils, omega-3 fatty acids are present as triglycerides.
- Processed fish oil: Omega-3 fatty acids are typically found as triglycerides in standard fish oils.
- Reformed triglycerides: In processed fish oils, ethyl esters can be turned back into triglycerides, which are then referred to as “reformed” triglycerides.
All of these forms have health benefits, but studies show that the absorption of omega-3 from ethyl esters is less than that of the other forms — while some researchers say that they are as effectively absorbed.
Omega-3 fatty acids are frequently found in capsules or soft gels.
These are popular among customers since they have no flavor and are easy to swallow.
The capsules are typically made of a soft layer of gelatin, with an enteric coating used by many manufacturers.
The enteric coating prevents the capsule from disintegrating before it reaches the small intestine. This is commonly added in fish oil capsules to prevent fish burps.
It can, however, hide the terrible odor of rancid fish oil.
If you take omega-3 capsules, open one and sniff it every now and then to be sure it hasn’t gone rancid.
What to look for when buying supplements
Always read the label before purchasing an omega-3 supplement.
Check out the following as well:
Type of omega-3: Many omega-3 supplements have little to no EPA and DHA, the two most significant kinds of omega-3s. Make certain that your supplement has these.
Sustainability: Purchase fish oil that has been certified by the MSC, the Environmental Defense Fund, or a comparable organization. Small, short-lived fish are more likely to be sustainable.
Which omega-3 supplements are the best?
For most people trying to improve their health, a regular fish oil supplement is probably the best option.
However, keep in mind that genuine fish oil typically contains no more than 30% EPA and DHA, leaving 70% for other fats.
There are also supplements with a higher concentration of omega-3s. EPA and DHA levels can reach 90%. Look for companies that contain omega-3s as free fatty acids for the best outcomes. Triglycerides and phospholipids are also beneficial.
Nordic Naturals, Green Pasture, Bio-Marine Plus, Omegavia, and Ovega-3 are some reputable omega-3 supplement products.
The bottom line
A regular fish oil supplement is likely sufficient for the majority of people.
However, ensure that the supplement includes what it claims to offer, paying careful attention to the EPA and DHA content.
EPA and DHA are most commonly found in omega-3 products derived from animals. There are vegetarian choices, although they usually just include ALA. One exception is algal oil, which is a high-quality omega-3 source that is suitable for everyone, even vegans.
It’s ideal to take these supplements with a fat-containing meal, as fat improves omega-3 absorption.
Finally, keep in mind that omega-3s, like fish, are perishable, so buying in bulk is a bad idea.
Finally, Omega-3 fatty acids may be one of the most effective supplements available. Just remember to choose wisely.