Standard, double strength, triple strength, wild salmon, algal or krill oil – it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the myriad of fish oil capsules in the supplement section. There are so many brands and variations in strengths on the market. Knowing what to look for and how to read the labels is essential if you want to choose correctly.
It might sound strange but buying fish oil is a bit like buying perfume – you get what you pay for. A bottle of 4,000 capsules for only $20 probably means the quality is not that high.
At present, there are four types of fish oil capsules:
A standard capsule contains 1,000 mg of fish oil, which is equal to 1 gram of fish oil. This gives you 180 mg EPA plus 120 mg DHA. At less than 20 cents a dose, these are the cheapest and most widely available of all fish oils.
The figures simply mean you are getting a total of 300 mg of the long-chain omega-3s (180 plus 120), with the remaining 700 mg of the fatty acids present not having any therapeutic value. Remember this figure of 300 when shopping so you can compare. You’ll often see it listed as 300 mg omega-3 marine triglycerides.
Some brands now advertise they are extra concentrated (“Super strength” or “One-a-day”) to enable you to swallow only one capsule yet obtain the same dose as two of the standard capsules. My assessment is that you pay a little more and may have to visit a pharmacy to buy them but you get 50 per cent more omega-3s so these are good value for money and convenient. These are the ones I like. You can always wait until these one-a-day capsules come on special and then buy in bulk as long as they’re not close to their expiry date and you store them correctly.
This range is more expensive still so you’ll have to weigh up if it’s worth paying the extra for the convenience.
Your choices have narrowed but the liquid oil is cheaper – and good for arthritis in many cases. These are a good option if you have to take a lot or don’t fancy swallowing so many capsules.
I hope this short extract from my latest ebook, "Fish Oils & Omega-3s”, will help you understand the differences between the available capsules. If you want to learn more, about fish oils and their uses, grab yourself a copy from the Foodwatch shop. It lists and explains the most common terms, compares popular brands of capsules and reveals the key considerations in choosing the most beneficial fish oil for you.
To buy your copy of the eBook, click here.
Winner of the Non-Fiction Authors Gold award
Catherine Saxelby has the answers! She is an accredited nutritionist, blogger and award-winning author. Her award-winning book My Nutritionary will help you cut through the jargon. Do you know your MCTs from your LCTs? How about sterols from stanols? What’s the difference between glucose and dextrose? Or probiotics and prebiotics? What additive is number 330? How safe is acesulfame K? If you find yourself confused by food labels, grab your copy of Catherine Saxelby’s comprehensive guide My Nutritionary NOW!