Picking the Best Omega-3 Product is as Easy as 1, 2, 3!
With so many brands to choose from, how do you know which one is best? Three easy answers can be found by simply reading the product label to ensure that you choose a product that will be the most beneficial for the price you pay.
1. Form Counts
Key Takeaway: Look for rTG or cleaned triglycerides on the label. It’s like eating a big piece of fresh, cleaned fish.
When talking quality, one of the biggest discussions around fish oil is, “Which form of fish oil is the best?” Omega-3s from fish oil come to consumers most commonly in two forms: cleaned triglycerides (rTG) or ethyl esters (EE). The choice is very simple, when we eat fish the Omega-3s we receive from the fish are in a triglyceride form. Over 98% of all fats ingested in our diets are in triglyceride form.
So, what is EE fish oil? Ethyl esters are produced during the purification process by adding ethanol (an industrial alcohol). Once purification is complete through the distillation process some manufacturers choose to leave the oil in an EE form due to cost. Quality products continue the process by removing the alcohol which leaves the oil in a cleaned, triglyceride form.
Therefore, when we supplement Omega-3s the cleaned triglyceride form (rTG) is optimal as this is the form that our bodies receive the nutrients naturally from our diets: minus any contaminants from the ocean (mercury, PCBs, etc.). Research shows us that this form is approximately three times more absorbable and beneficial than the ethyl ester form.
2. Plant or Animal Omega-3s?
Key Takeaway: EPA and DHA are the Omega-3 forms found in fish and provide the most benefit.
There are three common forms of Omega-3s, one from plants like flaxseed oil or chia seed oil. These will be listed on the label as Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA). ALA is the most abundant Omega-3 in nature. While plants are a valuable part of a healthy diet, ALA must be biochemically converted in the body for the Omega-3 nutrients to be useful and beneficial.
The other two forms are from marine sources like fatty fish and algae. These Omega-3s are called Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA). EPA and DHA can be easily absorbed and bioavailable which means they can be immediately beneficial when consumed.
3. The Perfect Amount of EPA and DHA
Key Takeaway: All fish oils are NOT created equal.
Most health experts recommend between 500mg – 1500mg of EPA and DHA per day. Remember, we can’t make them from scratch, so we have to get them in our diets. Many times, a product label will claim 1200mgs of Omega-3s yet there is a very small amount of EPA and DHA.
Follow the Steps:A busy, active lifestyle requires optimal nutrition, including a high-quality re-esterified triglyceride (rTG) Omega-3 fatty acid supplement to function at its best! Read your label and follow the 1, 2, Omega-3 steps to ensure you're supplementing your life in the best possible way:
- Form: Cleaned Triglyceride Form (rTG)
- Animals Rule: Fish = EPA and DHA
- Amount: Between 500mg – 1500mg of EPA and DHA per daily serving