IWhat Source of Omega 3 Fish Oil Capsule is Best

Not all omega 3 fish oil is created equal. Learn what is important in making your selection.

As eye doctors, we often recommend our patients with dry eyes increase their dietary intake of omega 3 fish oil. Our typical dosage is 2000mg to 3000mg in a combination of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This translates into approximately 4 oz of wild, Atlantic salmon per day. Regardless of how much we like salmon we probably don’t want it every day no matter how many different ways there are to fix it; therefore, omega 3 fish oil capsules are a necessary dietary supplement. Mercury consumption can also be a consideration, especially in the case of farmed salmon. The manufacturing process removes mercury contaminants.

Generally, oily fish such as salmon, anchovy, mackerel, and herring are high in omega 3 fatty acids. It is easy to recommend that we increase the omega 3 fatty acids in our diet due to their many well-documented health benefits in conditions such as dry eye syndrome, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, lowering triglyceride, and cholesterol levels to name a few.

Characteristics of a High-Quality Omega 3 Fish Oil Capsule

  1. high in the omega 3 essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  2. be of a concentrated form (which also removes heavy metals such as mercury)
  3. the omega 3 fatty acids should be in the triglyceride form and not the ester form
  4. should not taste like fish

Always read the label and look for the amount of EPA and DHA. There may also be some other omega 3 fatty acids in the capsule; however, EPA and DHA will make up the bulk of the omega 3s. At least 50% of the capsule’s weight should be made up of the omega 3 fatty acids.

Concentrated Omega 3 Fatty Acids

If the omega 3 fatty acid content of the capsule is less than 50% then this is not a concentrated omega 3 fish oil capsule and you should find another one. It is important to purchase a concentrated form of omega 3 fatty acids. This concentration process removes the mercury. Also, if the capsule doesn’t contain concentrated omega 3 fatty acids then it is very unlikely you will experience indigestion and “fish burp.” In order to consume a therapeutic level of omega 3 fatty acids, you will have to consume 8 or more capsule, virtually ensuring digestive problems. Furthermore, you should avoid omega 3 capsules with an enteric coating. This is typically a sign that that particular omega 3 fish oil capsule is of low quality. A high-quality omega 3 fish oil capsule should not need a “special coating” in order to make it easier to tolerate.

Triglyceride Form vs Ester Form

This is a very important consideration. The triglyceride form of the omega 3 fatty acids is the same form of omega 3 fatty acids found in fish. An omega 3 fish oil capsule manufacturer may elect to leave their fish oil in the ester form because it is cheaper. During the concentration process the fish oil is converted into the ester form where the fish oil is concentrated, purified and the fish taste is removed. The omega 3 fish oil must then be converted back into the triglyceride form. The triglyceride form is more bio-efficient, after all, it is the same natural form contained in fish. Because of this, our bodies can more readily utilize the triglyceride form of the fatty acids.

Our Recommendation

The dosage is 2 capsules twice a day which will provide approximately 2200mg of omega 3 fatty acids. For patients with severe dry eye symptoms, they take two capsules three times a day, preferably with meals.

About Total Eye Care

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