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What to Look for in a Fish Oil Supplement

September 14, 2015 2 min read

In my last post, 15 convincing reasons to supplement with fish oil, I discussed exactly that. I hope you were convinced. Until recently, I was not using fish oil after being confused about conflicting reports in the media about its effectiveness, toxicity, and fish sustainability issues. However, Charles R Poliquin set the record straight for me; supplementing with fish oil should be a priority for most people given the massive benefits it provides. He did also make clear that quality matters. Taking a "bad" fish oil supplement could cause you more harm than good. fish oil supplement The main things that comprise a "bad" fish oil are: Rancidity - Many fish oils are already rotten and deteriorated by the time you ingest them. This isn't just unsavory, it's downright dangerous and damaging to your health. Toxicity - It's well-known that our waters are polluted and mercury and other heavy metals are a real concern for some species of fish. All fish oil will contain some trace of mercury, it's just a matter of how much. Insufficient levels of EDA and DHA and the use of fillers - Some brands have been caught over-stating the omega-3 content of their supplements. Find a product with a serving size of at least one gram total — the daily dose recommended by most experts. Harvested from unsustainable fish - Some fish species are critically endangered and should be avoided. Like most of the supplement industry, fish oil is largely unregulated. Companies can pretty much sell what they want and tell you what they want. However, certain 3rd party consumer watch-dog groups routinely test products. One I like to refer to is NutraSource. Another company, which monitors all kinds of supplements is LabDoor. If you are unsure about a fish oil you are considering, refer to these sites. As a general rule of thumb, most store-bought fish oils aren't quite up to standard. The one exception being the Nordic Naturals, which consistently rates well by all quality control standards. This is the one I use. nordicnaturals The cleanest fish are caught off the coast of Chile, where the waters are some of the cleanest in the world. And the fish carrying the least amount of heavy metals are the small ones, lower down on the food chain such as sardines, menhaden, and anchovies. Avoid oils from large predator fish such as shark and cod liver oils. Be sure to pay attention to storage needs. Some oils require refrigeration. I hope that helps in your quest for finding a great fish oil. Do you follow us on Instagram? [caption id="attachment_109019" align="alignnone" width="100"]snapchat code @BodyRockTV[/caption]  

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