Fish oil has many health benefits for your heart, immune system and even our brain and mental health. This is well known and omega – 3 food supplements are one of the most popular food supplements worldwide. So, there are many suppliers out there, and it can be hard to know which product to buy.
In this article we want to answer the most common questions around fish oil and omega – 3 fatty acids to make sure, you can make the best decision for yourself. We wrote a step-by-step guide on how to buy a high-quality supplement, and today we want to answer the question, which fish is best to make fish oil from and which fish is best for omega – 3.
Fatty fish living in cold waters typically contain the highest amounts of omega – 3 fatty acids. In our last article about which fish to eat to get the most omega – 3 fatty acids, we learned that while most seafood and fish contain some EPA and DHA, it really does matter, which type of fish you eat.
Fish is not equals fish
Most contain such low amounts of omega – 3 that it does not make a big difference to our body. The type of fish containing high levels of omega -3 however, should be a staple in your diet and supplies you not only with fatty acids but also with other important vitamins and protein. Fatty fish such as salmon, anchovies, sardines or Atlantic mackerel are some fish you should try to include in your diet. And these are also the ones that are most commonly used in the production of fish oil.
Be wary of mercury poisoning
Another important consideration is the amount of pollutants that a fish can contain. While the oil is purified and processed, some environmental pollutants cannot be extracted from the fish. The best-known example is mercury, a heavy metal which can cause damage to our nervous system. However, if we avoid bigger predatory fish that live long and therefore accumulate more mercury and other pollutants in their tissue, we are on the safe side. Smaller fish, such as the anchovies that we use, are therefore a good and safe option as a base for fish oil. Fish to avoid are for example shark, tile fish, swordfish or king mackerel.
Another difference to consider is whether the fish is caught in the wild or was raised in fish farms. Here at Omega 3 of Norway we only use wild-water fish because we believe that they provide a purer and higher quality resource for our products.
Differences between wild and farmed fish
But what are differences between wild-caught seafood and farmed fish? Wild-caught fish is caught from its natural habitat like lakes, rivers and oceans, where it is living free and without any human interference. Farmed fish however, live in a controlled environment, are fed a specific diet and sometimes are even treated with different types of drugs. Farmed fish might be more at risk for diseases because of the proximity they have with many other fish and depending on their diet, they might also contain other pollutants that would not occur in wild fish.
Omega – 3 content of fish
The omega – 3 content of fish always depends on their diet. So, while wild fish has a varied diet of smaller, EPA and DHA rich fish, farmed fish eat the same diet day in and day out. Depending on the farm, this can be fortified food or not. We believe that fish caught from its natural habitat with sustainable fishing practices is the best option for a high-quality omega – 3 – supplement.
But whatever your choice, make sure the fish is sustainably caught or farmed and that there are strict quality control measures in place during the whole production process.
Fish oil is made from the tissue of fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel or anchovies. Here at Omega 3 of Norway our fish oil is made from wild caught anchovies and contains over 90 % triglycerides, the most natural form of the omega – 3 fatty acids. We use a patented 10x step distillation process, that achieves the highest levels of Purity & Richness in a Wild Water Omega 3. This makes them easier to absorb in our body and increases the bio efficiency and therefore their health benefits.
Essential fatty acids
Omega – 3 fatty acids are so-called essential fatty acids, because our body depends on them but cannot produce them itself. Consuming omega – 3 through food alone is possible, but difficult, so with a high-quality supplement you can easily make sure that you reach your daily quota of those fatty acids.
The purification process
Fish oil is extracted from fish and contains the fatty acids Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). After it is extracted, the oil has to be distilled and purified to make sure that it contains no pollutants and is high in the fatty acids EPA and DHA. There are several technologies to purify and process the oil. We use a special patented molecular distillation procedure to guarantee the best quality outcome. The EPA and DHA in our products take on the molecular structure of triglycerides, which is the most natural and stable form. Other supplements contain EPA and DHA as ethyl-esters, which are technically speaking not fats any more, which can influence their absorption rate into our system. We are committed to purity, quality and innovation and our products meet all the industry standards with regard to safety, traceability and sustainability, which enables us to present products with the lowest rates of environmental pollutants in the industry.
While all seafood contains some omega -3 fatty acids, only fatty cold-water fish like salmon, anchovies or herring contain high enough amounts to serve as a base for fish oil supplements. To avoid the risk of mercury poisoning, small fish are ideal, so wild-caught anchovies like we use them at Omega 3 of Norway are an excellent and safe source of omega – 3 fatty acids. Other things to consider when buying your fish oil supplement, is looking at the molecular structure EPA and DHA take on and in what concentration they are present in the oil.
Browse our Shop to see our range of high-quality fish oil and krill oil products and make the smart choice for your future health today.