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A Consumer’s Guide To Choosing Fish Oil Supplements

Numerous studies in recent times have called attention to the value of omega-3s for wellness. Our bodies cannot synthesize omega-3s, so we must get them in our food. The most common way that people obtain omega-3 is by ingesting fish. However, this article shall illustrate the trouble with acquiring omega 3 fatty acids from fish, and then will explain what to search for in fish oil supplements.

Fish No Longer a Sound Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Previous to fish oil supplements, the consumption of fish was the only way to get omega-3s in our diet. This was an acceptable method, but the realities of an industrialized world means more water pollution. The end result is that fish have become adulterated with all types of poisonous contaminants like mercury, PCBs, dioxins, arsenic and heavy metals. These pollutants play a part in a wide range of diseases such as blindness, cancer, birth defects and even death.

Omega-3 Supplements Also At Risk of Contamination

Due to these dilemmas, more and more people are choosing fish oil supplements as a solution. But, fish oil capsulesare affected by the same risks, in spite of the fact that many fish oil companies claim that their products are clean. A fairly new study by the Food Standards Agency in the United Kingdom instigated the withdrawal of numerous fish oil products due to toxic levels of pollutants!

Also, consider this alarming report from Greenpeace about OmegaProtein, the biggest maker of fish oil supplements on the planet. Their investigation shows that OmegaProtein’s fish oil wares were discovered to be contaminated by poisonous amounts of flame retardants! Granted, perhaps we should take this news with a grain of salt considering Greenpeace’s ideological leanings, but if true, it is particularly scary!

So now that you know some of the risks possible in fish oil supplements, what can be done about it? Fortunately, there are a handful of criterion that make it easy to assess a fish oil supplement for strength and safety.

The Cream of The Crop: The International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS) Program

The ideal method to ascertain if an omega-3 product is a sound, quality supplement is by selecting one that’s been frequently tested by the International Fish Oil Standards program, or IFOS. The IFOS program is a voluntary third-party certification group that evaluates fish oil supplements along 5 criteria:

* Passes All Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and World Health Organization (WHO) Testing Categories

* Equal to or More than 60% Concentration of Omega 3 Benefits

* Oxidation Quantity Lower Than 75% of CRN Requirement

* PCB Amount Lower Than 50% of CRN Requirement

* Dioxin Amount Lower Than 50% of World Health Organization Requirement

These standards were selected because the standards required by the CRN (Council for Responsible Nutrition) and WHO (World Health Organization) were not rigorous enough to let larger intake of omega-3 fish oil. To get the advantages of fish oil, one must regularly consume much more than just the 1,000 mg a day that has been typically recommended. The reason only 1 gram has been advocated, however, is due to adulteration risks. This is obviously not a issue if you’re taking an IFOS-certified product.

If you’re not consuming an IFOS-certified product, you are certainly more at risk of consuming impurities. Chances are, in spite of the fact that your fish oil product may claim to be purified by “superior molecular distillation” (a marketing ploy), it may not be harmless to take. Since the International Fish Oil Standards program reports the findings of their certifications on their website, you can look up the best brands of fish oil supplements on the market.

Learn in detail about fish oil supplements by visiting Brittany A.R. Wallace’s website. Brittany is a health and nutrition expert that studied fish oils for almost a decade.

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