How to Pick the Right Omega-3 Supplement: A Checklist
The health and wellness community has for years touted the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids – ranging from cardiovascular health, cholesterol reduction, anti-inflammatory properties to improving brain function. These benefits undoubtedly created consumer demand, and the food and supplements industries responded by marketing omega-3 in everything from gummy vitamins to eggs and yogurt, and even in food and supplements for our four-legged friends.
However, a key, current conversation in the vitamins and supplements space is that of transparency: specifically, whether all manufacturers are making it clear for consumers to understand what they’re getting, where they’re getting it from – and if it will deliver in optimizing your health. In other words: how do you know if you’re picking the right supplement?
As far as omega-3 goes, we believe there are a few components that will help you gauge the quality of your supplement. It is not a coincidence that these are also at the heart of what makes Oceanblue different, and at the core of entire range of omega-3 products (including our Wellness series).
We’ll offer a brief checklist below:
1) Identify Your Targeted Daily Dosage:
Each desired health benefit – whether cardiovascular health, decreased inflammation, or improved brain function – requires a different daily dose of omega-3. GOED – the global organization for EPA & DHA omega-3s – offers the following intake recommendations for three key benefits.
Once you’ve identified how much omega-3 you require daily in order to achieve your desired benefit, you’re in a better position to narrow your search.
2) Evaluate Dose per Capsule (Concentration):
According to GOED, seafood is the primary source of EPA and DHA in the diet. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend two servings of fatty fish per week to deliver the recommended amount of omega-3s your body needs to support cardiovascular health. For pregnant or lactating women, that recommended dosage about doubles. And for general health, we’re looking at more than 1g (vs. mg) of Omega-3 EPA+DHA per day. That’s a lot of salmon and other natural sources – daily.
Which brings us to the benefit of supplements: because it will be challenging for most people to consume sufficient cold-water, fatty fish (or other omega-3 food sources) to reach the minimum recommended daily dosage, supplements make sense. Your task then becomes evaluating a supplement that delivers that dose as efficiently as possible. The higher quality the Omega-3 and the stronger its concentration, the fewer capsules you’ll need to swallow daily.
1 soft gel daily of a high-quality supplement like Oceanblue OmegaPower will deliver 1,050mg of omega-3 fatty acids (675mg EPA/ 300mg DHA/ 75mg DPA), sourced from wild-caught anchovies and sardines with zero to low mercury exposure off the Peruvian coast. In case you’re running the calculations, that’s more than twice GOED’s daily recommendation to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Consume 2 capsules daily and you have the equivalent of consuming nearly 4oz. of salmon daily.
3) Research the Source of Omega-3 Oil (type of fish and geography):
The type of fish your Omega-3 supplement is sourced from – as well as the geography (or farm) from which it is sourced from – should be clearly labeled on your supplement, to afford you the opportunity to research potential contamination levels in those waters, sustainability practices, and other guidelines.
Ocean Blue sources the anchovies for its Wellness series (and others) from the coast of Peru, where very cold waters are known to possess no to extremely low contaminants. Peru’s anchovies in particular have very high Omega-3 content, thanks to a strong current that delivers nutrients directly into their feeding zone. The fishery employs conservative measures to protect the bio-source, and to ensure the sustainability of this natural resource. Your research should ideally lead you to responsible manufacturers and suppliers.
4) Stay the course:
Once you’ve selected the right omega-3 supplement for your dosage requirement, the reality is that it will only benefit you if you take it consistently. If it requires 4 daily capsules to achieve that dose, you should take those 4 capsules at the same times daily – and not just for 4-6 weeks (we’re talking long-term here). For this reason, we recommend selecting a high-quality and high-potency omega-3 supplement like Oceanblue OmegaPower. Taking 1 to 2 capsules a day for 6 years will be a far easier and more sustainable habit to form than taking 4 or 6 daily.
Click here to shop for Oceanblue’s 2100 Omega-3 (or our range of omega-3 products).
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.