Not all fish oil manufacturers use the same process to extract fish oil from fish and manufacture fish oil supplements. Also, not all fish oils are the same quality or purity. In order to determine how to choose the best fish oil supplements for your health you must first determine where the fish was caught and how the fish oil is processed.
The basic process is as follows: fish are cut into pieces and cooked by steaming. The fish is then pressed to remove the oil and liquid from the fish meat. The solid meat is processed into a meal that is usually used for animal feed. The processing of the remainder of oil and liquid is, once again processed, and the water is removed and returned into the solid meat to be added into the process of making animal feed. The remaining fish oil is, once again, processed to remove contaminants and impurities. During the last of the process antioxidants are added to the purified fish oil and the fish oil is sealed into containers.
That is the basic process, but what makes one manufacturer’s process different or better than another? If you are going to use a supplement to provide your system with essential Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, shouldn’t you use the best ones available?
Remember, each phase of the refining process makes the final product more expensive. As you would imagine, fresh fish are very perishable and thus, it is imperative that the processor prevent the fish from deteriorating during the other processing operations. Therefore, the distance between where the fish was caught and where it is processed is very important. There are dangerous pollutants that the fish of our oceans live – there are heavy metals, PCBs, dioxins, just to name a few. There are only a few places left on earth where the fish live in pristine waters free of contaminants and they are the coasts of Alaska, Norway and New Zealand.
If the fish are not caught in these areas, then the contaminants and pollutants need to be removed during the processing. This can be a very expensive undertaking.
Before purchasing fish oil or Omega-3 supplements, make sure you determine where the fish in the product was caught, if pollutants have been removed, and be sure the product conforms to international standards. The manufacturer should provide all this information. If the label contains what is called TOTOX value, look for the lowest number; which is the measure of the extent of oxidization of the product you intend to buy.
Now that we understand the manufacturing process, we need to understand what kind of fish would provide the very best quality oil for our Omega-3 supplement. The best fish oil comes from salmon, tuna, sardines, and anchovies. Your best bet is to choose fish oil made from these fish. You should contact several companies to determine just what kind of fish has been used to manufacture their product.
An additional example of the quality would be how many milligrams of the product does this supplement contain. This information should be on the label. You might want to determine the ratio of EPA and DHA contained in each capsule. And remember, that less than 33% of that number is really the essential Omega-3 fatty acid.
Always do your homework and realize for your health you will need Omega-3 fatty acids not just fish oil. The label should clearly list the total EPA and DHA and it should add up to the total amount of oils in the supplement itself.
The product should come from the fish, not the heads or other parts of the fish that you would not want to eat. Where does the fish come from and has it been molecularly distilled. Molecular distillation is a process to remove contaminants from the fish. Therefore, you should avoid this product because molecular distillation means the fish used in the supplement were contaminated in the first place. This is probably not the quality product you want to ingest into your body.
Look for a product that has added or fortified with anti-oxidants such as vitamin E. An anti-oxidant such as vitamin E to prevent the fish oil from becoming rancid is vitally important to insure that you will not be ingesting a rancid product that could cause the very heart problems and chronic ailments that people are trying to avoid with this supplement.
Lastly, do not buy Omega-3 supplements that are the cheapest you can find. You are only asking for trouble and saving a few dollars is not worth the risk of endangering your health. Buy the products that are the best and highest quality. You owe it to your health to use only the best and your body deserves only the best.
As always, consult with your primary health care provider before adding any supplement to your daily regime. Omega-3 fish oil supplements could be the best thing you could ever do for your health.