Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most studied ingredients and have many powerful benefits for the body and brain. Studies have shown that Omega-3s are essential for promoting brain, eye, and heart health. In cases, they were shown to act against depression and anxiety123.
Omega-3 fatty acids are naturally found in fish’s triglycerides (TGs) form. Fish oil comes from various oily fish species, such as mackerel, tuna, herring, and anchovies. Manufacturers can use many different methods to collect fish oil. These methods usually involve many stages that usually include cooking, pressing, filtering, and centrifuging the resultant oil.
An alternative form of fats is created during the processing steps of fish oil production, called ethyl esters (EEs). These fish oils are commonly sold and make up the vast majority of the fish oil market, as they are generally cheap. However, scientific research shows that our body does not absorb fish oil in the same way when it is in the EEs form, and this form also seems to be more prone to oxidation than triglycerides4.
NHS recommends the consumption of two portions of fish weekly. Since the average consumption of fish in the UK is well below this level, it is generally advised to boost Omega-3 fatty acids intake through high-quality supplements56.
What to remember:
Fish oils contain Οmega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fatty acids that the body cannot make. The most well-known Omega-3 are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). They are the only Omega-3s in the biologically active form that the human body can absorb and utilize in contrast to Omega3s from plant sources such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Consumption of fish and fish oil is the most effective way to attain appropriate EPA and DHA dietary levels.
Here are six tips of how to select the Omega-3 supplement:
- Look for supplements that contain EPA and DHA; these are the biologically active forms of omega-3 fatty acids that your body can absorb and utilize, providing you with more benefits.
- Look at the serving size, as in many cases, Omega-3 supplements promote that they contain a high amount of EPA and DHA, but to get this intake, you need to consume multiple pills/capsules/softgels.
- Make sure you buy high-quality Omega-3 supplements by checking their certificate of analysis for Triglycerides TGs or most bioavailable form rTG concentrates, which are better absorbed than other forms of fats like ethyl esters (EEs) and are less prone to oxidation.
- Always choose Omega-3 supplements that can guarantee their Purity and Freshness. You always want to select a fresh fish, and similarly, you always need to opt for Omega-3 supplements that can ensure their freshness through 3rd party certificates.
- Pick an Omega-3 supplement packaged in dark-colored glass packaging to ensure an oxidation-free environment over time.
- Select Omega-3 supplements that respect the environment and have sustainability certificates to prove it.
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