One of the more common nutrient deficiencies in most people’s diet is the lack of EPA and DHA found in fish oil.
Following dietary suggestions to consume 2-3 servings of fish a week – especially cold water, oily fish — is good advice to ensure adequate EPA/DHA, but most consumers do not eat fish that frequently. Many consumers are concerned about the risk of contaminants in many common fish. In fact, many consumers question whether the health benefits of eating fish outweigh those of eating fish that could contain mercury, lead, or other toxins.
With all of these concerns, many people turn to supplemental fish oil as a solution. When fish oil is properly processed, contaminants can be removed or reduced to levels where they should not pose a risk.
When choosing a clean fish oil, look for the following:
- Quality Company: Not all fish oil is created equal. Find a company you can trust that has a long history of quality production
- Molecular Distillation: This process places the fish oil under a vacuum, which allows it to boil at a much lower temperature (protecting it from damage). Molecular distillation allows for EPA and DHA to be removed and the heavy metals left behind. A benefit of the process is that the EPA/DHA is concentrated and fishy odor/taste is reduced. When done correctly, molecular distillation is capable of reducing the toxins in fish oil to levels considered to be safe by the EPA and other agencies.
- Small Fish: Bioaccumulation occurs when toxins accumulate as we move up the food chain. A small amount of a toxin is no problem in a small fish, but as a larger fish eats thousands of small fish, it now has accumulated more of that toxin. When still larger fish now eats hundreds of those fish, toxins concentrate even more. Companies using small fish help to reduce the bioaccumulation of toxins.
- Sustainability: Fisheries must be managed to ensure we have a good source of fish oil well into the future. Friends of the Sea is an international conservation organization that sets strict criteria for sustainability. Friends of the Sea only certify products made from fish stocks that are not overexploited. Attention is paid to population size and catch limits and avoiding harvesting at spawning time.
Ensuring quality should be a priority for anyone looking to get the most out of their fish oil.
Dr. Bruce Daggy
Senior Vice President, Research & Development and Chief Science Officer
View other posts by Dr. Bruce Daggy >
View Dr. Bruce Daggy's profile >
Shaklee Corporation offers OmegaGuard -- an ultra-pure, pharmaceutical-grade fish oil supplement in a 60 and 180 count size.
Watch video here. Learn more here.
Don't like taking fish oil supplements due to fishy after taste? Shaklee OmegaGuard is formulated to minimize odor and fishy aftertaste. The fish oil in Vitalizer is enteric coated to help reduce fishy aftertaste by delivering omega-3 fatty acids to the upper intestine.