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How Do I Choose the Best Fish Oil Tablets?

Fish oil tablets.
Mackerel is often used as the source for fish oil tablets.
Salmon fillets are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Sardines are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
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  • Written By: Nychole Price
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 July 2014
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Many people take fish oil supplements because of the health benefits they are associated with. These benefits include better blood circulation, increased weight loss, heart disease prevention, immunities and anti-inflammatory properties. When it comes to fish oil tablets, not all are created equal. Some varieties of fish oil supplements can actually do more harm than good, due to additives such as mercury, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), and dioxins. There are a couple of guidelines one can follow to choose the best fish oil tablets for them.

The first guideline to follow is to make sure the container is labeled with the type of fish the oil is pressed from. Certain varieties of fish, such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon are higher in Omega-3 than other varieties. Some fish, such as marine mammals and large, predators, may also be high in mercury, making the fish oil tablets counter-productive. If the supplement packaging is labeled with "fish oil" or "marine lipids," do not take it, as the company is hiding the source of its fish oil.

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Verify that the fish oil tablets contain the full family of Omega-3 nutrients. The most well known members of the Omega-3 family are ALA, DHA, and EPA, but all eight members are important for optimum nutrition. The other five important Omega-3 nutrients are DPA, HPA, ETA, ETA(3) and SDA. When the total of the nutrients are combined together, they should equal the amount of fish oil in each serving. Do not ingest the fish oil tablets if it doesn't, as that is a sign of undisclosed additives.

Check the nutritional value on the fish oil supplement package to ensure it doesn't exceed the recommended daily allowance (RDA). The RDA of DHA and EPA is 400 mg. If the supplements exceeds this amount, do not ingest it. This is one of those situations where more is not better. Exceeding the RDA of DHA and EPA may result in hypervitaminosis A, due to the high amount of vitamin A found in these nutrients.

Fish oil supplements come in many different forms, including tablets, soft gels and capsules. Tablets are less expensive than softgels or capsules, because they cost less to manufacture. If a person has a digestive disorder, tablets may be more difficult for his body to breakdown. Softgels are preferred by many people because they are easy to swallow, regardless of size, due to their smooth coating and shape. Capsules are the most popular of the fish oil supplements because they are easy to swallow and break down quickly in the body.

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Discuss this Article

liveoak
Post 2

I have been using fish oil for a month and I swear I can tell a difference. My skin feels more hydrated and my hair is less dry. I looked up what I am experiencing and those two things are just a couple of the fish oil benefits known by experts.

My dad has started to take the capsules too on the advice of his doctor. Apparently doctors are prescribing it for the heart benefits it has. Looks like fish oil is really catching on.

DFMeyers
Post 1

My pharmacist told me to get the all-natural fish oil capsules. He said they have a gelatin coating and dissolve easier in the stomach. He also said since the capsules are all-natural, they contain no fillers and have more of the good things found in fish oil.

He said to look the label over carefully for preservatives and fillers. He said most of the time an all-natural capsule will say things like "no wheat, soy, dairy, etc" on the bottle. He said to get a fish oil capsule that is as pure as possible.

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