The best fish oil supplements provide a minimum of 500mg of omega3 fatty acids per capsule. Omega3s are a group of polyunsaturated fats that are good for our health. They include DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid), DPA (Docosapentaenoic acid) and (ALA) α-Linolenic acid, as well as five other less significant ones. DHA is believed to be the most important in several ways.
ALA is found primarily in vegetable oils. Until recently, it was believed that ALA supplementation would raise blood levels of DHA, but research has shown that it has little, if any, effect. For vegans and other vegetarians, marine algae supplements are being recommended, because they provide DHA.
DHA is the most abundant fatty acid found in the brain and inside of the eye. Its necessity for proper brain development in children has been well established. It is present in breast milk and most infant formulas are fortified with it.
The benefit for reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s, a degenerative brain disease, is currently being studied, as is the benefit for reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration. The macula is a small spot in the back of the eye, responsible for central vision. Degeneration of this area is the major cause of blindness among the elderly. Although some peripheral vision is usually retained, central vision is lost. One of the risk factors for macular degeneration is high blood triglycerides.
The best fish oil contains a large amount of DHA, because it is so important to the brain and because it has proven to be most effective at reducing blood triglyceride levels. One clinical trial compared the effectiveness of DHA to that of EPA. DHA had a significantly greater effect.
High triglycerides are associated with an increased risk of heart disease among older people, specifically with atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. The best fish oil can help reduce our risks of age-related heart diseases. Not only because it lowers triglyceride levels, but also because it has anti-coagulant and anti-inflammatory activity.
An anti-coagulant is any compound that prevents clotting and “thins” the blood. The most well known anti-coagulant is aspirin. Doctors often recommend a low-dose aspirin regimen for patients that are at risk for or have had a history of heart attacks. Now, many doctors recommend omega3 supplementation, as well.
The biggest complaint that people have when taking these supplements is that they cause fishy tasting burps. The best fish oil supplements are guaranteed to be “burp-free”. You can get your money back if they cause that problem.
The reason that the manufacturers are sure that there will be “no burps” is because the oxidation level is so low. Oxidized oils are not fresh when they are encapsulated. The smell is hidden by the capsule, but the stomach has a negative reaction to them, anyway.
There are many other benefits of increasing your omega3 intake. Many different doctors recommend it. Books have been written about it. But, in order to get all of those benefits, you need to be sure to buy the best fish oil on the market.