Choose the right Omega-3 supplement!
EPA and DHA
The two Omega-3 fatty acids with the most proven positive health effect are the two long-chain fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
It has been well documented through a number of studies that EPA and DHA help maintain the normal functioning of the heart, while DHA helps maintain the normal functioning of the brain and vision.
Conclusion: EPA and DHA are good for heart while DHA is good for brain and eyesight.
Check the contents and ingredients
A thing that is important to know when choosing dietary supplements is that the manufacturers have different ways to provide the content information of omega-3 in a dietary supplement. Some manufacturers states the amount of fish oil, some state the amount of omega-3, while others indicate both total omega-3 and the content of EPA and DHA. The last is what is important.For most, 2 grams of fish oil will sound better than 1 gram of omega-3, but it is not necessarily. Certain products are not concentrated enough to meet your daily needs for EPA and DHA, despite high levels of “fish oil”.So; amount of fish oil is not the same as amount of omega-3 oils, omega-3 oils is not the same as EPA and DHA levels.
Conclusion: A good omega-3 supplement should have a high content of the fatty acids EPA and DHA. We recommend an average amount of 1 gram omega-3 oil pr day. If the manufacturer only provides the amount of fish oil on the package, make sure to check how much omega-3 it is and how much EPA and DHA you receive per daily dose.
Do not choose a supplement with Omega-6 and Omega-9
Both omega-3 and omega-6 are essential fatty acids that must be fed to the body through the diet, but an imbalance can occur if we get too much omega-6. Omega-6 “competes” with omega-3 about space in the body’s cells.
Today, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the western diet is between 10: 1 and 20: 1. This means that we get up to 20 times more omega-6 than omega-3. The recommended max ratio is 5: 1.
When it comes to omega-9, your body produces enough of this fatty acid on its own, so you do not need any extra supplements.
Conclusion: Stay away from supplements containing omega-6 and omega-9. Most of us get enough omega-6 through a normal diet and the body can even produce omega-9.
Omega-3 from plant life
Some supplements advertise that they contain only omega-3 from vegetable sources, Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA), and that our body itself can transform this into the important fatty acids EPA and DHA. However, it is important to know that the body’s ability to convert ALA to EPA and DHA is very limited.
Nor are the positive effects of ALA the same as from the marine omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA documented. It is therefore better to feed the body omega-3 directly from marine sources.
Conclusion: Omega-3 from the plant life (ALA) has no proven effect on brain and vision – such as the marine omega-3 fatty acid DHA has.