Omega 3 Fish Oil Archives

It’s not quite so simple as buying your fish oil capsules on price

There is hundreds of different brands of fish oil capsules available. In our view the fish oil capsules from Xtend Life, a company based in New Zealand, are the best. Let us explain why.

First let’s discuss price. There are many people who choose their fish oil capsules based on price. However you can’t choose your fish oil capsule is based on price, or at least based solely on price. We’ll explain why.

Why you can’t buy fish oil capsules based on price

The assumption is that if you’re buying fish oil capsules you need the fish oil. This isn’t quite true.

In fact what you need, what is good for you, is the DHA and EPA contained in the fish oil. If the capsules were filled with fish oil that had no DHA or EPA they would be worthless. The Omega 3 oils aren’t fish oil, their DHA and EPA.Fish oil capsules

In fact it’s only the DHA and EPA that you’re buying, the rest is just carrier. And there are wide variations in the amount of DHA and EPA in different brands of Omega 3 capsules.

So if you’re buying a capsule that had 3 times as much DHA and EPA and was twice the price it would represent better value. Perhaps now you see the point.

You can’t compare price without also comparing the quantities of the active Omega 3 ingredients.

Most fish oil capsules are what is called 18/12 capsules. This means that they are 18 percent EPA and 12 percent DHA. In a 1000 milligrams capsule you are getting 180 milligrams of EPA and 120 milligrams of DHA.

The label should always state quantities of DHA and EPA in the capsules. If not don’t buy them.

The Omega 3 fish oil capsules from Xtend Life contain 28 percent DHA, around 2 1/2 times as much as regular 18/12 supplements. They are also much higher in EPA.

However there are still other considerations when choosing your Omega 3 capsules. Price is just one.

Are there PCBs and Mercury in the fish oil?

Elsewhere we’ve spoken about the purity and cleanliness of your capsules. Whereas many fish in the ocean are contaminated with small amounts of PCBs and Mercury, you don’t want your Omega 3 supplements to contain PCBs or Mercury.

And some, in testing, have been found to contain not insignificant amounts of these contaminants. To the point where there is now legal action about this in California, though that is the subject of another article.

So regardless of the price you want clean fish oil capsules. What’s the point of getting your daily dose of Omega3 fats together with a little Mercury and PCBs?

It’s possible to test fish oil for contamination. Any company marketing Omega 3 supplements should be both testing it’s supplements for contamination as well as publishing the results on its website.

Xtend Life publish a Certificate of Analysis on its website for every batch of oil used, so that customers can examine the results of testing before buying. These tests are conducted by an independent laboratory.

If there is no information on the website of a supplier of fish oil capsules then assume that there are problems. There may be none, but if they aren’t willing to produce evidence on their website of the cleanliness of their product assume otherwise. We do.

How fresh is the fish oil?

There’s more. Many manufacturers of supplements use oil purchased on the wholesale market. The fish from which the oil is sourced could have been caught anywhere. And remember, many fish are caught in the Atlantic Ocean which is one of the most polluted oceans, being close to major population centres.

And it’s not just contamination. When purchasing on wholesale markets the freshness of the oil is unknown. How long ago was it extracted?

The freshness of the fish oil used is important. Like anything else oil from fish goes off, or what is called rancid, and this is one of the major reasons that people experience “fishy burps”.

Xtend Life only use fish caught by their own contracted fishermen, and get the oil from fish as fast as possible to ensure freshness. That way you can be sure you’re fish oil capsules are as fresh as possible.

So as you can see buying fish oil capsules isn’t as simple as you might have thought. Unless you make a direct comparison of the amount of active Omega 3 fats in the brands that you’re considering you can’t compare on price.

And regardless of price the freshness and cleanliness of the oil in the capsules is paramount.

In our view the fish oil capsules from Xtend Life are the best in the world. They have high levels of DHA and EPA, their Certificates of Analysis are displayed on the website for all to see, demonstrating the cleanliness of their product, and they contract their own fish, and extract the oil, as fast as possible to ensure optimum freshness.

Written by - Omega 3 Fish Oil

Choosing your fish for the Omega 3 isn’t as easy as you might think

Our website is dedicated to telling you more about the health benefits of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids DHA and EPA. And our preferred way of adding these essential fatty acids to your diet is by using high quality Omega3 supplements each day.

But of course Omega 3 essential fatty acids come from fish. So today we wanted to look at getting your Omega 3 from fish, and some of the things you need to think about before heading down to the local fish shop and buying your fish.

The first thing to understand is that the amount of Omega 3 found in fish varies enormously. Those good essential fatty acids are found in the oil in the fish, and different types of fish have different amounts of oil.

Mackerel, for example, is a very oily fish and is a good choice when eating fish for this reason.

As a general rule the more oily the fish the more likely it is to have higher levels of Omega 3 essential fatty acids.omega 3 in fish

It is also well-known that salmon has a higher level of the essential fatty acids than many other fish.

And then there are fish with very low levels of fatty acids. Catfish, for example, is particularly low.

Mackerel has somewhere around 2.6 grams of Omega 3 in a 3 1/2 ounce serving. Catfish has .3 of a gram.

You can see the difference, the amount of good fats in some fish is extremely low, and in other fish is very high, so it’s not just a matter of buying fish. If you’re eating fish for those good fats you need to be eating the right fish.

Here’s a list, courtesy of the Readers Digest, showing you some of the different levels of fatty acids in different types of fish.

Type of fish    Total Omega-3 content per 3.5 ounces (grams)

Mackerel                           2.6

Trout, lake                       2.0

Herring                              1.7

Tuna, bluefin                 1.6

Salmon                               1.5

Sardines, canned         1.5

Sturgeon, Atlantic      1.5

Tuna, albacore              1.5

Whitefish, lake              1.5

Anchovies                       1.4

Bluefish                            1.2

Bass, striped                 0.8

Trout, brook                 0.6

Trout, rainbow           0.6

Halibut, Pacific           0.5

Pollock                            0.5

Shark                               0.5

Sturgeon                        0.4

Bass, fresh water      0.3

Catfish                            0.3

Ocean perch               0.3

Flounder                      0.2

Haddock                      0.2

Snapper, red              0.2

Swordfish                    0.2

Sole                              0.1

However it’s even more complicated than that. Let’s take salmon for example. Whilst salmon is very high in good fats, it has to be wild salmon. Yet very few of us are eating wild salmon when we buy salmon at the local fish shop. Normally we are eating farmed salmon.

And farmed salmon is low in Omega 3 fats because it eats a completely different diet than wild salmon.

And there’s more. Fish can be contaminated with industrial toxins, and some fish is more contaminated than others. Shark and tuna for example have higher levels of contamination because they are top of the food chain fish. Whilst this is a subject for another article it’s worth understanding that you need to know a little more about contamination levels of individual fish before you buy them.

And there’s even more. How you cook the fish also has an impact. There is research showing that frying fish destroys a lot of the Omega3 fats and, depending on the oil that you fry it in, can even pose a risk of increasing your risks of heart attack.

Steaming your fish is a particularly good way of cooking it, steaming seems to affect the oils in the fish as little as possible.

So as you can see it’s not quite as simple as you might think eating fish for your Omega3. Whilst there’s no doubt that there’s Omega 3 fish, and that eating fish is good for you, you need to spend a little more time researching to find out which particular fish to buy and how to cook it.

Or you could take quality fish oil capsules instead, they are very cost-effective, and the best are free of contamination.

Certainly don’t stop eating fish, fish is yummy and has none of the nasty saturated fats found in so many meat products. Just be aware that how you choose and cook your fish does affect the amount of good fats you’re getting in your diet.

Written by - Omega 3 Fish Oil