How To Choose Fish Oil To Lower Triglycerides: The Buying Guide
How do you choose the fish oil to lower triglycerides? You must consider many things, such as the brand name, price, and product quality. In addition, you should also consider whether it is suitable for your needs or not.
So how do you choose the right fish oil to lower triglycerides? Here are some tips that you can use to help you find a good product:
What you Should Keep in Mind When Buying fish oil to lower triglycerides
When shopping for a fish oil to lower triglycerides, there are several things to consider. You need to think about the quality of the product, the price, and even how much it will benefit your life. However, you also need to keep these factors in mind:
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The Vitamin Shoppe Omega
The Vitamin Shoppes fish oil offering provides over 1000 mg of omega 3 per softgel, and of this, 680 mg are EPA and 260 mg are DHA. These combine to make up 76% of the fish oil in the supplement, much higher than many of its competitors.
Its mercury levels are also tremendously low, as are its levels of PCB toxins. As for other ingredients, there are essentially none! Aside from the fish oil, the only things The Vitamin Shoppe Omega 3 Fish Oil supplement contains are gelatin, glycerin, water, and a bit of vitamin E to act as a preservative.
Types Of Fish Oil Supplements
The recommended amount of omega-3s varies by age and condition, according to the National Institutes for Health. Adult males between the ages of 19 and 50, for example, need 1.6 grams a day, while females of the same age require only 1.1 grams. Diet alone can provide the recommended amount of omega-3s, as just one serving of farm cooked salmon boasts 1.24 grams of DHA and 0.59 grams EPA.
Still, fish oil supplements can provide reassurance that your body is getting the benefits provided by omega-3s. The supplements come in different forms, typically divided into two main types, says Dr. Pedre. Many companies will deodorize them to take away the fish smell and may add essential oils, like lemon oil, to mask the fish aftertaste, he says.
The main types of fish oil supplements include:
- Soft gel capsules. Soft gel capsules are a popular method of taking fish oil. The capsules make it easy to swallow, adds Dr. Pedre.
- Liquid. You can also take fish oil in liquid form, sold in a bottle. Liquid is my preferred delivery mechanism when giving higher doses of fish oil, says Dr. Pedre.
- Prescription. Prescription fish oil supplements have been approved for high triglycerides, says Dr. Pedre. For example, Icosapent is indicated as an adjunct to diet to reduce high triglyceride levels and for cardiovascular disease risk reduction. Ask your doctor about prescription fish oil supplements to learn more.
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Who Benefits From Taking Fish Oil
Contemporary Western diets have replaced many sources of omega-3s with omega-6, which is a much less beneficial PUFA. Anyone who doesnt eat at least eight ounces of fatty fish weekly can feel extra support from taking fish oil supplements to rebalance their omega-3 levels.
Since omega-3s lower your triglyceride levels and raise your LDL , along with a whole range of other cardiovascular benefits, anyone with a history of high cholesterol or heart troubles will benefit from increasing their omega-3 levels.
Pregnant people need to take in more omega-3s to support their growing fetuses. Omega-3s help a growing baby build its brain and retinas, so while you might not be able to eat sushi, a fish oil supplement can help with everything from preventing preterm birth to a higher birth weight.
The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s are exciting, but there hasnt been as much research on them yet. And one of the most extensive national studies of over 25,000 adults on omega-3s and heart disease showed that taking omega-3 supplements didnt decrease the risk of a heart attack in people who werent already at risk of having them. However, researchers found that 77% of African-American participants had improved heart health, which requires more research to understand but is interesting in the meantime.
Other areas that fish oil supplements might help with include:
Fish Oil Lowers Inflammation
Inflammatorycytokines are mainly produced in fat tissue by infiltrating immune cells.
Thesecytokines induce a process called intracellular lipolysis in your fatcells, which basically means they break down fat into fatty acids.
Thefatty acids are then released into the bloodstream and can be picked up by theliver to produce triglycerides and VLDL.
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What To Look For In The Best Fish Oil Supplements
Both Dr. Pedre and Gans emphasize that sourcing high-quality fish oil supplements is crucial. You want to make sure they come from quality fish and that they are being produced by a supplement manufacturer that follows or even exceeds the FDAs Good Manufacturing Practices guidelines, says Dr. Pedre.
Like any supplement, you should buy from a reputable brand and look for a third-party certification, adds Gans. Third-party certifications confirm that the product contains what the label says and is safe for consumption.
You should also look at the EPA and DHA levels, as you want to choose a brand with higher levels of these compared to just total omega 3s, she adds. And lastly, seek a brand that has been certified as sustainable.
Indeed, EPA and DHA levels can vary widely when it comes to fish oil supplements. For example, Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega has 650 milligrams of EPA and 450 milligrams of DHA per serving, compared to New Chapters Wholemega Fish Oil that has 180 milligrams of EPA and 220 milligrams of DHA, says Gans.
Another concern with fish oil supplements is the possibility of heavy metal exposure, says Dr. Pedre. Its a good idea to find out if the company youre buying it from uses an independent lab to test their fish oil for heavy metals and that they can certify it is free from any significant amounts of heavy metals.
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Potential Side Effects And Risks
Possible side effects of omega-3 supplements and drugs include:
- Indigestion, heartburn, or burping
- Diarrhea or flatulence
- Increased bleeding
Stomach upset is often due to the high fat content of fish oil and can be mitigated by taking fish oil supplements with a meal and early in the day, rather than on an empty stomach or at dinner or bedtime. Another option is to try other omega-3 supplements that do not contain fish oil.
OTC omega-3 supplements that may contain fish should not be used by those with fish allergies. The Rx omega-3s derived from fish are highly purified, yet the risks are still unclear, so those with fish allergies may want to avoid them and opt for plant-based sources instead.
People who take blood pressure medications or anticoagulants, who have hypotension, or who have an increased risk of bleeding or hemorrhagic stroke should seek medical advice before starting omega-3 supplements.
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A Quick Look At The 12 Best Fish Oil Supplements In 2022
in the bodys immune, endocrine, cardiovascular, and pulmonary systems.
There are different types of omega-3, including:
- Eicosapentaenoic acid : Known as a long-chain omega-3, EPA comes from oily fish and seafood, including salmon, sardines, and mackerel.
- Docosahexaenoic acid : Another long-chain omega-3, DHA also comes from oily fish and seafood.
- Alpha-linolenic acid : This is a different type of omega-3, which is found in some plant oils, including soybean and flaxseed. It is also in black walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds.
The human body cannot make essential fatty acids. However, it can convert ALA to EPA and DHA in small amounts.
|easy-to-swallow size neutral taste coating to help eliminate fish-flavored burps|
|Cons||unsuitable for vegan diets high dosage|
For an easier-to-swallow fish supplement, GNCs triple-strength option comes in a mini size. However, despite being small, they contain a high concentration of omega-3s.
In total, each dose contains 1,065 mg of omega-3s. Of this, 734 mg is EPA and 266 mg is DHA. The company lists 65 mg as other omega-3 fatty acids.
The company claims it sources its fish oil from deep-sea anchovies, cod, tuna, sardines, and salmon, which are then purified of toxins.
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Life Extension Super Omega
Are you looking to add more fish oil in your diet? Life Extension has a great option for you. The supplement features omega-3s from sustainable caught Chilean anchovies. Plus it also contains sesame lignans and olive extract, which add additional health benefits to the product.
This product is potent because its been certified by IFOS, an organization that evaluates the quality and potency of fish oil products. Its not just good for a healthy heart, but low in cost as well!
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High Dose Recommended In Science Advisory
byNicole Lou, Staff Writer, MedPage Today August 20, 2019
Prescription omega-3 fatty acids are an effective and safe option to cut down triglycerides, according to a science advisory released by the American Heart Association .
However, over-the-counter omega-3 supplements are not reviewed or approved by the FDA and should not be used in place of prescription medication for the long-term management of high triglycerides, cautioned writing group chair Ann Skulas-Ray, PhD, of the University of Arizona, Tucson, in a press release.
Prescription omega-3 fatty acids at a dose of 4 g/d, are clinically useful for reducing triglycerides, after any underlying causes are addressed and diet and lifestyle strategies are implemented, either as monotherapy or as an adjunct to other triglyceride-lowering therapies, her group concluded.
Fish oil products containing eicosapentaenoic acid and/or docosahexaenoic acid taken at that dose have been shown to reduce triglyceride levels by at least 30% in patients with triglycerides of 500 mg/dL or greater, according to the statement published online in Circulation.
EPA-only formulations did not raise LDL cholesterol in this group, whereas combination EPA-DHA did, authors noted.
Among people with hypertriglyceridemia in the 200-499 mg/dL range, the 4-g/day dose of prescription omega-3 fatty acids lowered triglycerides by 20% to 30% without significantly increasing LDL cholesterol.
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Fish Oil To Prevent Depression
For information about other supplements promoted for depression, see our answer to the question: What are the best supplements for depression and anxiety?
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How They Lower Triglycerides
When you consume fish oil or other foods with omega-3s, key essential fatty acids get incorporated into your cells where they counteract the chemical breakdown of fats . Those lipids would eventually be delivered to your liver for further processing. Less fat going to your liver means less fat being packaged into triglycerides for the body use later on.
Omega-3s generally help the heart in other ways, too, lowering inflammation, counteracting blood clotting, and minimizing the buildup of plaque inside the arteries.
Best For Vegans And Vegetarians: Vegetology Opti3 Omega
- Provides only a small amount of vitamin D, an important nutrient for vegans
- Form of the omega-3 oil is unclear
With the popularity of fish oil supplements and plant-based diets, it is great to have a vegan option for omega-3s. It is also a great choice for people allergic to fish, a common allergen.
Additionally, omega-3 supplements made from algae may have a high level of carotenoids compared to fish oils, which are antioxidants that are important for reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.
While a vegan supplement wont be made from fish oil, it can still be rich in omega-3s.
Omega-3 fats can be sourced from algae oil, which is the food the fish eat, as a source of omega-3s.
Vegetologys Opti3 Omega-3 EPA and DHA is 100% vegan and registered with the Vegan Society.
Opti3 is tested for potency and purity. In addition, their products are gluten-free and non-GMO.
Opti3 contains 912 mg of omega-3s, 500 mg DHA, and 300 mg EPA. It also contains 200 IU of vitamin D.
Price: $25.99 for a 30-day supply or 60 capsules
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Best For Burp Reduction: Kaged Omega
|2,300 mg per 1 teaspoon|
|Pros||is a liquid, which may suit some people better lemon flavor free of gluten, sugar, nuts, and soy|
|Cons||unsuitable for vegan diets very high dosage needs refrigeration higher cost|
Wileys Finest omega-3 liquid contains a very high concentration of omega-3, with 1400 mg of EPA and 900 mg of DHA per serving. This may not be appropriate for everyone, and a person should consider speaking with their doctor or a healthcare professional before purchasing.
The National Academy of Medicine has not established an upper intake level for omega-3s. At very high doses, DHA and EPA may hinder immune function by suppressing inflammatory responses. They may also increase bleeding time. According to the FDA, it is safe to take supplements containing no more than 5 grams per day of EPA and DHA.
This product also comes in liquid form, making it suitable for anyone who has difficulty swallowing softgels or capsules.
Can You Lower Cholesterol Without Medication
There are ways to manage high cholesterol, and the wonderful news is that heart disease is 90% preventable, Dr. Cho says. Even if you have a significant family history of high cholesterol, you can prevent heart disease.
If you have coronary artery disease or carotid artery disease, your doctor may recommend that you pair healthy lifestyle habits with cholesterol-lowering medications, which can work wonders.
But nearly everyone can benefit from learning about healthy lifestyle choices that can lower cholesterol the natural way, including diet, exercise and stress management. Dr. Cho outlines the best ways to lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease.
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How We Chose These Brands
When choosing the best fish oil supplements, we evaluated each brand based on several criteria which you can use as a frame of reference when looking for a fish oil supplement for yourself.
- Type of Omega-3: The product must contain EPA and DHA.
- Amount of Omega-3: Not just total fish oil. Products needed to contain at least 250 mg of combined EPA and DHA.
- Fish Oil Form: The product uses fish oil as free fatty acids, triglycerides, or re-esterified triglycerides .
- Brand Reputation: Does the brand have a good reputation in the industry? Are the products made in a certified Good Manufacturing Practices facility?
- Purity: Is the fish oil tested for purity and heavy metals?
- Professional Involvement: Are there healthcare professionals involved with the brand?
- Supported by Research: Is the brand committed to research?
- Price: Is the price comparable to other similar products?
Best Fish Oil Supplement For Runners
There’s no doubt that running is a high-impact sport. While there may be no better feeling than the endorphin rush you get after a nice run, it does put a ton of stress on your joints. You can avoid some of the joint stress by doing cross trainingfor example, on a roweras well as making sure your recovery is on point. Another way to support your joint health is with diet and supplementation. Fish oil supplements in particular have been shown to decrease inflammation in the body, which can aid in relieving joint pain or soreness. After searching the marketplace for runner-friendly omega-3s, we named Orgain Wild Omega-3 the best fish oil supplement for runners due to its wild caught sourcing and high EPA & DHA content.
Each 1,260-milligram, two capsule serving provides a whopping 680 milligrams of EPA and 450 milligrams of DHA. To cut the potentially fishy aftertaste, Orgain adds natural lemon oil.
This product is sustainably sourced from wild caught fish, meaning that it was done with environmental protection in mind. To ensure safety, Orgain Wild Omega-3 is third-party tested for toxins and heavy metals, making it safe even for runners who are pregnant. Its an easy choice for all runners looking for a high-quality fish oil that delivers the recommended amounts of EPA and DHA.
BUY: Orgain Wild Omega-3
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Side Effects Of Nonprescription Omega
The FDA doesn’t regulate supplements as closely as prescriptions. So the amount of omega-3s listed on the label may be higher than what you actually get. In addition, supplements may not be pure omega-3s and may contain other ingredients or contaminants.
Nonprescription omega-3 fatty acid supplements may cause mild side effects, such as:
- Fishy burps or taste in the mouth
Side effects of Lovaza and Omtryg may include:
Joint pain may be a side effect of Vascepa.
Prescription omega-3 fatty acids or high doses of omega-3 supplements may also affect the blood’s ability to clot. People who take blood-thinning medications should be aware of this precaution if they also take omega-3s. Talk to your doctor if you take blood thinning medicines, such as warfarin , or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as aspirin and ibuprofen .
Omega-3 fatty acids lower high triglyceride levels, but brands that contain DHA may raise levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol. This could be a problem if you also have high cholesterol, which often goes hand-in-hand with high triglycerides.