Omega-3 fatty acids are ‘essential fatty acids’ because our body cannot manufacture them. While it can be obtained from various sources such as plants and nuts, the best source of omega-3 fatty acid is obtained from fatty fish such as tuna, salmon and herrings. There are two types of from oily fish: DHA and EPA.

There are innumerable benefits of omega-3 fatty acid obtained from fish sources. These include supporting healthy growth of eyes, brain and nerves in children. These fatty acids also improves brain functioning and health. Experts have also found that Omega 3s lessen pain caused by certain types of arthritis in adults as well as supporting cardiovascular health. Thus, it makes sense to include a daily dose of omega-3 supplements for health.

Not all omega 3 supplements are same, however. Searching for the highest quality Omega 3 supplements is important to acquire and maintain the best Omega 3 health benefits. But, how do you find the highest quality fish oil supplements? Here are the important checks that you should make before purchasing omega-3 supplements:

  • Purity, Extraction, and Cleanliness: FDA warns not to consume large amounts of fish because they are generally contaminated. The quality of fish oil is largely determined by its cleanliness. Unfortunately, because of the present state of the oceans, fish can carry high levels of harmful pollutants such as arsenic, dioxins, PCBs, lead and mercury. Consequently, omega-3 supplements can also be contaminated, and this is one of the major reasons that a few of the brands have been withdrawn from the market.

The process of molecular distillation ensures that the fish oil has been purified and all possible toxins have been removed. However, it is important to purchase only those omega-3 supplements that are extracted using supercritical CO2 technology, which is much more advanced  than the molecular distillation process. This is because this technology provides protection against oxidation as it uses less heat and no chemical solvents as compared to the molecular distillation process. This leads to fewer formations of  unwanted isomers, and cleaner oil.


  • The Concentration of EPA and DHA: The next most essential thing to look for is checking the concentration of EPA and DHA In omega-3s supplements. Omega-3s containing high amounts of these ingredients are readily absorbed by the body and provide veritable health benefits. There are many types of fish oil available on the market that are composed of only 30% omega-3 fatty acid, out of which only 18% is EPA and 12% is DHA. The remaining 70% of the content is usually the mixture of other useless constituents such as contaminants, omega-6 fatty acids, cholesterol, oxidation products and saturated fatty acids.


The best omega-3 fatty acid supplement is the one that is composed of at least 75% of the active ingredients EPA and DHA. It is necessary to check the label when purchasing Omega 3 supplements in order to find the right concentration of EPA and DHA.


  • Freshness:  Fish oil can’t stay fresh for very long because it easily oxidizes and goes rancid. That’s why you get that fishy taste or even fishy burps after taking fish supplements that are no longer good. So, you need to choose an omega-3 supplement that is fresh and has lower oxidation labels.

There are many contaminants in fish, and thus, the oil that you purchase should be purified during processing so that you can use the most beneficial products. Most reputable companies that manufacture omega-3 supplements make use of supercritical CO2 advanced technology that uses carbon dioxide, and not oxygen, for the extraction of fatty acids. This also helps to protect microorganisms that cannot survive in the absence of oxygen. Reputable manufactures also avoid using solvents, chemical preservatives or any other undesirable compounds during the extraction process.


  • Ethyl Ester (EE) or Natural Triglycerides (TG) Form: Be aware when choosing  Omega 3 supplements:  most of the capsules are ethyl esters.  If the label does not indicat the natural triglyceride form, then it is probably ethyl ester. Ethyl ester is much cheaper to manufacture and is a kind of synthetic fat, which is not easily identified by the body. However, the supplements that are available in the triglycerides form are more effective as they are highly absorbable by the body and easy to digest. Recent data have also indicated  that omega-3 fatty acids that are delivered in a triglyceride form result in greater plasma levels and a higher omega-3 index as compared to supplements that are delivered in the form of ethyl esters.

Natural omega-3 fatty acids supplements are plentiful on the market. However, finding the best one might seem like a daunting task. Take the time to check out the products available and use the above-mentioned checks to get the best possible solution for your overall health.


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