Selecting the right omega-3 supplement shouldn’t give you heartburn. There are four easy steps to select a high-quality omega-3 supplement.
Step No. 1 – Before making the trip to your local retailer, connect with your health care practitioner. It’s important to speak with your doctor before starting a supplement program or switching dietary supplements. There are some vitamins and nutrients that can interact with prescription medications. These interactions are called drug-nutrient interactions. It’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor or pharmacist first to cross-reference any possible interactions.
Step No. 2 – Look for an omega-3 supplement from either fish oil or, if you are a vegetarian, algae oil. Not all omega-3s are created equally and the body can’t efficiently convert ALA omega-3 – primarily found in nuts and seeds – to the long-chain omega-3s (EPA and DHA) that have been researched extensively for their heart health benefits.
Step No. 3 – When looking at the supplement label, be sure the label clearly explains how much EPA and/or DHA omega-3 is included in each capsule. Often times, supplement companies will lump all omega-3s into one line item, but it is important to know how much of each omega-3 you are getting in a serving or capsule. Rely on your doctor to suggest the levels appropriate for your body and your health condition.
Step No. 4 – Overfishing is a serious environmental concern. There are regulations in place to protect fish populations and guide fish oil manufacturers. Many organizations guide companies in sourcing fish oil from regulated fisheries where equipment, practices and procedures are in place to protect fish stocks. Several high-quality brands will include their sustainability measures on packaging, so look for this information. Some regulating bodies include, Friends of the Sea® Certified Sustainable Fisheries, Seafood Watch, among many others.
When in doubt, you can always look for the MEG-3® logo on supplement packaging to know you are selecting a high-quality omega-3 supplement that features heart healthy EPA and DHA omega-3s.