Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely beneficial to your health. The best approach to obtain enough omega-3s is to eat entire foods high in omega-3s, such as fatty fish. If you don’t eat a lot of fatty fish, you should think about taking an Omega-3 supplement. There are, however, hundreds of various omega-3 pills on the market. They do not all have the same health benefits.
Forms of Omega-3 Supplement
Omega-3 fatty acids come in a variety of forms. Fish oil is available in both natural and processed forms. The form of the fatty acids can be affected by processing. This is significant because some types are better absorbed than others.
|Fish||In whole fish, omega-3 fatty acids are present as free fatty acids, phospholipids, and triglycerides.|
|Fish Oil||In conventional fish oils, omega-3 fatty acids are mostly present as triglycerides.|
|Processed Fish Oil||When fish oils are refined, food chemists often convert the triglycerides into ethyl esters, allowing them to adjust the concentration of DHA and EPA in the oil.|
|Reformed Triglycerides||The ethyl esters in processed fish oils can be converted back into triglycerides, which are then termed “reformed” triglycerides.|
All of these forms of Omega-3 supplement offer health benefits, but studies show that ethyl esters do not absorb omega-3 as well as the other forms although some studies suggest they are equally well absorbed.
1. Natural Fish Oil
This is oil derived from the tissue of oily fish, primarily in the form of triglycerides. It’s the closest thing to genuine fish you can get. Natural fish oil contains a variety of essential elements. Natural fish oil also contains vitamins A and D.
Natural fish oil is commonly found in salmon, sardines, herring, menhaden, and cod liver. These oils are available as capsules or as a liquid form.
2. Processed Fish Oil
Purified and/or concentrated fish oil is used in processing. It is made up of ethyl esters or triglycerides. Purification removes pollutants such as mercury and PCBs from the oil. Processed fish oils account for the vast majority of the fish oil market since they are inexpensive and typically come in capsule form, which is popular with customers.
When processed fish oil is in the ethyl ester form, your body does not absorb it as well as natural fish oil. Ethyl esters are likewise more susceptible to oxidation and rancidity than triglycerides.
However, some producers refine the oil even further to transform it back into a well-absorbed synthetic triglyceride form. These are known as reformed (or re-esterified) triglycerides. They are the most expensive fish oil supplements and account for only a small portion of the market.
3. Omega-3 Capsules
Omega-3 fatty acids are frequently found as capsules or soft gels.
These are popular among customers since they have no flavour and are easy to swallow.
The capsules are typically made of a soft layer of gelatin, with enteric coating used by many manufacturers. The enteric coating prevents the capsule from dissolving until it reaches the small intestine.
If you take omega-3 capsules, it may be a good idea to open one from time to time and smell it in order to make sure it hasn’t gone rancid.
4. ALA Oil
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is the plant version of omega-3 fatty acids. It is notably abundant in flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds. It can be converted by your body into EPA or DHA, but the process is inefficient.
Most plant oils are also higher in omega-6 fatty acids than in omega-3 fatty acids.
What to Look Out For
When shopping for an omega-3 supplement, always read the label carefully.
Also check the following:
|Types||Many Omega-3 supplements often contain little EPA and DHA|
|Amount||On the cover of Omega-3 supplement, it may state that it includes 1,000 mg of fish oil per capsule. However, the EPA and DHA content is only 320 mg, as stated on the back.|
|Form||Instead of EE (ethyl esters), seek for FFA (free fatty acids), TG, rTG (triglycerides and reformed triglycerides), and PLs (phospholipids) for greater absorption.|
|Purity||The label GOED standard for purity or a third-party seal show that they’re safe and contain what they say they do.|
|Freshness||Omega-3 supplement are prone to going rancid. Once they go bad, they’ll have a foul smell and become less potent or even harmful.|
Always check the date, smell the Omega-3 supplement, and see if it contains an antioxidant like vitamin E.