Buying Guide for Best Fish Oil (DHA) Supplement
There are more than 18.8 million users of the omega 3 supplement in the US. This makes DHA the highly used natural supplement by adults in the US. This means that the market for omega supplements is indeed booming and each day manufacturers are investing branding and marketing so that their products remain as the most preferred by the ever growing users. The BIG question is whether these individuals have picked the correct and safest supplement that will be able to offer the maximum benefits? Well, many can’t answer that because they lack the necessary and basic knowledge when it comes to buying the best DHA supplement.
The best source of DHA is fish oil, apart from that fish oils also provide eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). DHA has been associated with many health benefits and can be used by anyone from kids to the elderly. This has enhanced its popularity. The main challenge is that this supplement is not monitored tightly, hence many people might be fooled hence end up buying products that are made with low quality ingredients. This, in turn, could end up failing to deliver the expected benefits and even offer possible harm to your health.
What is an Omega 3 Supplement?
Also known as essential fatty acids/ fatty acids/fish oil supplement. This natural supplement is crucial for good human health, the major challenge is that the human lacks the capability of producing the DHA and EPA found in fish oil. There are three varieties of the fatty acids (polyunsaturated acids): DHA, EPA and Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). The ALA is however found in plant food like soybeans, flaxseed, algae, nut oils and walnuts.
The DHA is a long chain fatty acid, and so is EPA, however, the ALA is short chained. In order for the ALA to be absorbed by the body, it must be converted to either DHA and/or EPA. Though this conversion most of the times will not be very efficient and that’s why many experts advise people to get DHA and EPA from fish oil and fish oil supplements, as they enjoy foods that offer ALA.
What are the health benefits if using fish oil supplements?
Fish oil has many benefits, hence it’s highly recommended by experts. The good thing about a fish oil supplement is that there is plenty of evidence that are supporting how efficient fish oil is to the human body, unlike the other supplements that are available in the market. Below are the benefits of using fish oil supplement:
Lowers the level of Triglycerides (Fat) in your Bloodstream:
when there is a high level of triglyceride in your blood, then it’s a symptom of excess fat/cholesterol (dyslipidemia) in your body. This can cause possible terminal illness like atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis occurs when the arteries harden due to the fatty material that has built up. The good thing is that fish oil has the natural capability of reducing the level of triglyceride in your bloodstream.
Reduces the aggregation of the Blood Platelet:
Fish oil inhibits the dangerous accumulation of the body blood platelets. When there is a buildup of blood platelets, there are possible blockages in the arteries and veins. This will, in turn, cause thrombotic strokes and ischemic strokes.
Lowers the Blood Pressure:
There are two types of blood pressure the higher (systolic) and the lower (diastolic). Both of these levels can be significantly reduced by fish oils. Hence, it’s very helpful to individuals who suffer from high blood pressure/ hypertension (HBP). The other advantage of this supplement is that it will not increase your cholesterol level and has very minimal side effects.
Reduces the level of Inflammation:
it’s healthy to have some level of inflammation in your body. Inflammation is the natural way of the body to eliminate pathogens and detrimental stimuli. But, too much inflammation that is prolonged is very harmful, and can, in turn, cause several disorders like acne, inflammatory bowel diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, etc. Since fish oils have anti-inflammatory effects hence will prevent many inflammations caused disorders, or reduce their symptoms.
Helps in Treating Behavioral and Mood Disorders:
if you are suffering from mood disorders, it’s very helpful to in-cooperate fish oil into your treatment. Mood disorders include depression, bipolar disorders, while behavioral disorders include addiction, ADHD/ADH. Proven studies show that fish oils have the ability to stabilize the moods and calm the effects that are associated with impulsive and hyperactive behaviors.
Improves the health of your bone:
there is very minimal research on this new area, however, the existing evidence suggests that frequent intake of fish oil helps in improving the health of your bones. High intake of omega 3 fatty acids has been associated with enhanced bone health. Apart from that the few studies also revealed that higher intake of fish oil is directly related to increased mineral density in the bones. They also prevent bone decay.
Improves the health of skin, hair, and nails:
if you have flakey and dry skin, brittle nails or lifeless hair, then you are suffering from the deficiency of the Omega-3 fatty acids minerals. Intake of fish oil source food will help you deal with the deficiency. Within no time you will have stronger nails, smoother skin and shinier skin.
What are the Side Effects of Using Fish Oil Supplements?
The benefits of fish oil supplements are many and something that many users love about this supplement. Though it’s also good to also look at the other side of the coin, there are several side effects that buyers ought to be aware of before buying fish oil supplements. Though the side effects are few and have mild density, though in severe cases it becomes very serious. These side effects occur only if an individual takes the fish oil in excess or the individual has a particular medical condition. The side effects include:
Suppressing your Immune System:
studies suggest that if you take a high dosage of fish oil, then you will be able to suppress the immune system of your body. This occurs when anti-inflammatory effects are produced in very large numbers. Long term inflammation is a health threat compared to the normal inflammation that is used to get rid of pathogens.
You stand the risk of Bleeding:
since fish oil lowers the aggregation of blood platelets, it’s important to be very cautious of this. High consumption will probably cause the thinning of the blood and hence affect the important functioning ability of the blood platelets which is clotting. A simple nosebleed could turn to be catastrophic and you can suffer a hemorrhagic stroke.
Possible Allergic Reactions:
this is an uncommon situation and rarely happens. Never the less, some users have reported allergic reactions when using fish oil products. The allergic reactions vary from one person to another, others have mild allergic reactions while others suffer from severe allergic reactions. Some of these reactions include itching, swelling, difficulty in breathing, hives, and redness. These symptoms will only occur to people who are allergic to fish oil or the material used in making the capsules like gelatin. That’s why it’s good to check if you have any of these allergies.
Irritation of the Gastrointestinal System:
when taking fish oil be prepared to experience some gastrointestinal issues like gas, stomach upset, diarrhea and bloating. In order to avoid this, make sure your supplements don’t go bad, which normally happens when you leave your supplements exposed to oxygen, heat, and light. The other trick would be, to give your body ample time to adjust the supplement.
Fish Burp Breath:
this is the most unavoidable side effects that come with taking fish oil supplements.Having the smell of fish in your mouth is not something very pleasant. In order to deal with this, it’s best to take your fish oil supplements after or during a meal. The smell could be caused by a rancid fish oil.
In case you experience the above side effects apart from the fish breathe after you take the fish supplement, then the best thing would be to reduce the dosage of your intake. If the symptoms persist then you stop altogether. Meanwhile consulting a doctor about the correct dosage to take should be the best move to take.
Just knowing the benefits and side effects is not enough. Let’s look at the primary variables that are crucial when looking for the best fish oil supplement.
- The Level of Purity of the supplement: it’s important that the fish oils you purchase are able to meet all the international standards that are set for the heavy metals, dioxins, PCBs. Most of the fish oil supplements claim to meet these requirements when they actually don’t.
- The level of Freshness: the Omega-3 oils suffer from possible oxidation, this makes the oils to be rancid. When fish oils become rancid they have pro-inflammatory capabilities and hence increase they will do the opposite of what they are supposed to.
- The Level of Potency: this refers to the amount long chain derivatives (DHA & EPA) that are found in fish oils. In order for one to get the expected anti-inflammatory effect, the fish oil supplement they are taking must have enough potency.
- The Nutrients Present: all the fish oil supplements have a certain amount of DHA & EPA, the other ingredients present is fat soluble vitamins.
- The Bio-availability: this is the ability of your body to absorb the important components of the fish oil. The bioavailability is determined by the molecular structure of the fatty acid(s). Natural structures have a higher bioavailability compared to the fatty acids that have less natural structures.
- Cost: if you have a budget of your preferred fish oil supplement its best to stick to it. Shop around for the best fish oil supplement after getting a recommendation from a qualified doctor.
Omega 3 has many benefits and is a must have supplement. You don’t need to suffer from any illness or deficiency to start using it, you can use to make sure you continue living a healthy lifestyle.