We keep hearing about the many benefits of fish oils and omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, according to the Harvard School of Public Health study on the top preventable causes of death, low dietary omega-3 fatty acids are listed as #8! No wonder it is such a hot topic. While many cultures eat a lot of fish, the average Canadian does not. This is why supplementing daily with a high potency fish oil is highly recommended.
The two omega-3 fats that we are most familiar with are EPA and DHA. They are both important but perform different functions in the human body. DHA is a necessary building block for the brain and eyes. It is crucial that expecting mothers and children consume DHA for proper childhood development. For the purpose of this article, we are going to discuss EPA and what to look for in an effective EPA supplement.
In most standard fish oils you will find that EPA is a higher quantity than DHA. This is because it is mirroring the natural ratio of EPA to DHA found in fish. EPA has been shown to help in lowering triglycerides, improving cardiovascular function and elevating mood. Whether you are talking head or heart, research shows that EPA seems to counter inflammation on a cellular level. While this is an oversimplification, the body of research on omega-3 seems to indicate that DHA is more structural (building block of cell membranes) while EPA is more hormonal (manages messages between cells). If you are taking a fish oil for general health, then choose one that has a balanced ratio of EPA and DHA. If you are taking it for therapeutic support of the heart, triglycerides or mood then high potency EPA fish oil should be your choice.
When deciding on an EPA supplement, there are a few things to consider. The first is dosage. You always want to look at the amount of EPA in the capsule versus the amount of fish oil. Norwegian Gold Ultra EPA by Renew Life is the highest potency EPA fish oil on the market with 1000mg of EPA in every capsule. Since most recommendations are for 1000mg or above, this high potency formula means you get more benefit in fewer capsules. The other thing to always look at is if the fish oil has been third party tested for purity, potency and freshness. IFOS (International Fish Oil Standards) is the only true third party omega-3 certification program. Its standards exceed all world guidelines so you can be assured you are getting the best product possible. With the state of our oceans, sustainability is also very important. Not only are all Norwegian Gold fish oils 5 Star IFOS rated, they are also the only omega-3 supplements in Canada that are Friend of the Sea certified across the entire line.
One last consideration when choosing a high potency EPA fish oil is absorption and digestibility. Ultra EPA is enteric coated and contains lipase, the fat digesting enzyme, to ensure that your body is able to break down the oils properly. This leads to enhanced absorption and no “fishy” burps, the most common complaint among fish oil users. If you are on blood thinning medication, it is advised to discuss whether omega-3 supplements are right for you with your doctor.
If you want fish oil that you can feel good about, choose Ultra EPA for both your health and the health of our planet.
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