With all the talk of EPA and DHA and ALA, how do you choose your Omega 3 capsules?

If you’ve been reading about Omega 3 fish oil you may have become a little confused. The more you read the worse it gets. You start learning about EPA and DHA, and long chain and short chain omega 3 fats. About ALA and converting ALA to DHA.

For example a reader recently asked us about how to choose his Omega 3 fish oil capsules. He was confused about the difference between long chain and short chain Omega 3 fats, and confused about which were the best Omega 3 supplements.

We can understand that. Here’s a short explanation, and then we’ll have a look at how to choose the best Omega 3 fish oil supplements.

The three Omega 3 fats we’ve mentioned (DHA, EPA and ALA) are polyunsaturated fats. They are all good for your body but by far the best and most important is DHA. Remember DHA is the fat that makes up a large part of your brain, though of course that isn’t the only reason.

ALA is primarily found in plant foods like flax, whilst EPA and DHA are found in sea foods like fish. ALA is the less important Omega3 nutrient. And ALA is a short chain fat. No need to go into complete detail on what a short chain fat is as it’s really complicated.

But DHA, the most important Omega 3 fatty acid, is a long chain fat, and, along with EPA, is what you need from your Omega 3 supplements. And all Omega 3 fish oil capsules contain DHA.

So you’re better getting your Omega 3 fats from fish oil supplements rather than supplements like flax seed oil supplements.

So are all fish oil supplements the same? How do you choose between them?
How to choose Omega 3 Capsules

There’s 2 things you need to look for to find the best rated Omega 3 fish oil capsules. You need to look for the quantity of DHA in the capsules, and the purity of the oil.

You look for the quantity as all fish oil capsules have DHA, but in different amounts. Thus you cannot just look for the cheapest fish oil capsules without knowing how much DHA is in them.

Supplements with a third of the amount of DHA than other supplements are not good value even if they are half the price, because on a price/DHA quantity comparison they are actually more expensive.

And that’s not all, you need to consider the purity of the oils too, because, sad to say, many of our fish are contaminated with toxins. You wouldn’t want to take Omega 3 capsules with traces of mercury and PCBs would you?

We’ve done a much more detailed article about how to choose Omega 3 supplements. That deals with all the issues so make sure that you’ve read that if you’re interested in finding out more about the differences between the different supplements available, how to compare them and which ones are our preferred supplements.

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