Most of us have learned that omega-3 is healthy, but it is difficult to know which omega-3 product to choose. We help you find your way in the jungle of different products.
EPA and DHA
The two Omega-3 fatty acids with the most proven positive health effects are the two long-chain fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
It has been well documented through a number of studies that EPA and DHA help maintain the normal function of the heart, while DHA helps maintain the normal function of the brain and vision.
Conclusion: EPA and DHA are good for the heart, while DHA is good for the brain and vision.
Check the contents and ingredients
One thing that is important to know when choosing supplements is that manufacturers have different ways of providing the omega-3 content information in a supplement. Some manufacturers state the amount of fish oil, some state the amount of omega-3, while others indicate both total omega-3 and the content of EPA and DHA. The latter is what matters. To most people, 2 grams of fish oil will sound better than 1 gram of omega-3, but it is not necessarily so. Some products are not concentrated enough to meet your daily needs for EPA and DHA, despite high levels of "fish oil". So; The amount of fish oil is not the same as the amount of omega-3 oils, omega-3 oils are not the same as EPA and DHA levels.
Conclusion: A good omega-3 supplement should have a high content of the fatty acids EPA and DHA. We recommend an average amount of 1 gram of omega-3 oil per day. If the manufacturer only gives the amount of fish oil on the package, you need to check how much omega-3 there is and how much EPA and DHA you get per daily dose.
Do not choose a supplement with Omega-6 and Omega-9
Both omega-3 and omega-6 are essential fatty acids that must be supplied to the body through the diet, but an imbalance can occur if we get too much omega-6. Omega-6 "competes" with omega-3 for space in the body's cells.
Today, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the Western diet is between 10: 1 and 20: 1. This means that we get up to 20 times more omega-6 than omega-3. The recommended maximum ratio is 5: 1.
When it comes to omega-9, your body produces enough of this fatty acid on its own, so you do not need any extra supplements.
Conclusion: Stay away from supplements that contain omega-6 and omega-9. Most of us get enough omega-6 through a normal diet, and the body can even produce omega-9.
Omega-3 from plant life
Some supplements advertise that they only contain omega-3 from plant sources, Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA), and that our body itself can convert this into the important fatty acids EPA and DHA. However, it is important to know that the body's ability to convert ALA to EPA and DHA is very limited.
The positive effects of ALA are also not the same as from the marine omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. It is therefore better to feed the body omega-3 directly from marine sources.
Conclusion: Omega-3 from plant life (ALA) has no proven effect on the brain and vision - as the marine omega-3 fatty acid DHA has.