Omega-3 supplements, particularly fish oil Omega-3s, are highly popular amongst health enthusiasts. And with the attention, comes an exorbitant amount of misinformation that keeps people from taking advantage of this amazing nutrient or causes them to consume it the wrong way.
Breaking The Top Myths Of Omega-3 Supplements
Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the top myths about Omega-3 supplements, and their explanations to put your mind to rest!
- All Sources Of Omega-3 Are Equally Beneficial
There’s Omega-3 in flaxseeds and chia seeds. It’s also present in certain nuts. But none of these contain the same amount of Omega-3 as fatty fish. Also, not all fish contain the same level of Omega-3. Therefore, you can’t get an adequate fill of Omega-3 in every aisle of your local health food store.
Target the richest sources of Omega-3. Look for those containing EPA and DHA molecules—such as fish or more conveniently, Omega-3 fish oil capsules. With supplements, you can add the nutrient to your diet without hassle and a hefty grocery bill!
- Fish Is the Best Source To Acquire Omega-3
You do get a ton of Omega-3s in your system with fish. However, is fish alone enough for plentiful Omega-3 and to gain the maximum benefits it has to offer?
Yes, fish is the richest source of Omega-3. But people rarely go for a fish every day. It can be because fish is more expensive than other meats. Some people don’t like the smell or texture of fish. Don’t forget that cooking fish decreases its nutritional benefits too.
Hence the reason fish oil capsules are a thing. Your best bet to get all the Omega-3 your body needs is with these easily available supplements (choosing the right one for you, of course).
- The Benefits Of Omega-3 Capsules Are Overhyped
If a nutrient has attention because it can help with various health conditions, it has to be overhyped, right? However, you can take your fish oil Omega-3 supplements with peace of mind for dry and flaky skin, chronic joint pain, anxiety and stress, and various other conditions, as there’s plentiful research backing the benefits of Omega-3 supplements.
In fact, Omega-3 is an essential nutrient that improves the functioning of every cell in your body. As studies show, Omega-3 enhances the permeability and fluidity of cell membranes. Best of all, this nutrient plays a vital role in suppressing chronic inflammation.
- Expiration Dates Indicate Freshness
If you pick up that bottle of Omega-3 fish oil capsules you bought a while back and you’re well within the expiration date, it must be fresh and effective?
Not quite right. Omega-3 supplements usually come from natural sources. With minimal addition of chemicals for preservation, there’s the chance of expiration. Clinical studies show that many fish oils oxidize long before their expiration dates. That said, you can preserve the freshness of your Omega-3 supplements longer by storing fresh capsules in an airtight container—preferably in the freezer.
- Omega-3 Capsules Always Smell and Taste Fishy
Will you call a smelly fish fit for consumption? The same goes for fish oil capsules with Omega-3. Fresh fish oil does not have a fishy smell or taste. If you open a bottle that gives off that stink, it may be well on its way to oxidizing and has become rancid.
Remember, rancid fish oil is toxic and can cause organ damage. The easiest way to check if your Omega-3 supplement is bad, break open a capsule to smell and taste the oil inside. Also, you can study oxidation values on the bottle to figure out if the capsules are safe for consumption.
- It’s Better To Get A Little Bit Of Omega-3 Than None At All
Just as you need a certain percentage of calcium or iron every day for great effects, you need to cross a certain dose of Omega-3 to get the benefits of these fatty acids.
This is proven by researchers who conducted analytical studies, involving the effects of Omega-3 on inflammation, on stress levels, and skeletal issues. In each of these studies, subjects were divided according to the dosage of Omega-3 they received. And, the results were apparent in each case; individuals in the high-dosage Omega-3 group showed healthier responses than low-dosage groups.
- Your Omega-3 Dose Depends Entirely on Age and Weight
While your age and weight are certainly significant factors in determining how much Omega-3 you need, there’s more to consider. Genetics, lifestyle, any health conditions, and more—various factors affect Omega-3 dosage.
For instance, a person with a penchant for processed food (thus more inflammation-causing content) in their diet will need more Omega-3 than someone with a mostly natural diet. Another example is if a person is taking Omega-3 to combat rheumatoid arthritis. Their clinical condition takes precedence rather than age or weight, as they need a higher dosage of Omega 3 fish oil to effectively help strengthen their skeletal system.
- Concentrated Capsules Are More Beneficial
Concentrated omega-3 oils are all the rage these days as they pack a powerful punch of EPA/DHA per serving. It’s no wonder these are a popular choice for health enthusiasts.
However, the process of creating concentrated fish oils involves altering the oil’s natural fatty acid balance, which can strip it of its complete spectrum Omega-3 content. This can harm the oil’s bioavailability, according to research. Moreover, some types of concentrated Omega-3s, known as ethyl esters, may not be safe for pregnant women or infants due to their synthetic chemical structure.
- Poor-Quality Fish Oil Turns Cloudy When Chilled
Did you know that marketers selling highly concentrated Omega-3 are responsible for the myth about cloudy fish oil being low-quality?
As a matter of fact, any natural oil that contains a variety of different fats will turn cloudy when chilled, such as extra virgin olive oil. Full-spectrum ‘Omega-3’ fish oil capsule also contains other beneficial fats, including Omega-7 and Omega-9—fats that have different chemical structures and behave differently in the freezer. Hence the reason for a cloudy appearance!
- Only DHA and EPA Supplements Are Healthy
The attention toward DHA and EPA is reasonable. Fascinating research has revealed that EPA possesses a remarkable ability to combat inflammation, while DHA is a vital player in nurturing brain function.
However, the chase after either DHA-only or EPA-only supplements ignores the fact that these nutrients do not appear alone by nature. In fact, the combination of various fatty acids is what makes Omega-3 so effective. There’s ongoing research in this area, but we know that different nutrients function harmoniously, complementing each other’s benefits.
Verdict: Omega-3 Supplements, Yes Or No?
All in all, there’s so much to be gained with Omega-3 supplements. Make sure you do your research. If you are first going to invest in Omega-3 supplements, it’s important to get the best quality, effective dosage, and attention towards other dietary and lifestyle habits that boost health too!