body canít easily manufacture omega-3ís like EPA and DHA - they are
best supplied by our food. Luckily, the one organism that can make them
- plankton - is eaten by certain types of fish (which are in turn, eaten
by other fish). We can eat these fish and so get the omega-3 the plankton
made originally. Alternatively supplements can be used, which contain
the EPA and DHA found in these oil-rich fish. Fish are generally to
be preferred over supplements, since they supply other important nutrients
like vitamins and minerals also. However, some people are not able or
willing to eat fish, and for them supplements, or fish oil supplemented
foods, are a feasible and sensible way to get omega-3.
you are a vegetarian, you can get one of the Omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic
acid or ALA) from sources such as linseed oil or rapeseed oil, though
to be most useful to body, the ALA must first be converted to EPA and/or
DHA. Modern diets make this conversion process inefficient, (see the
omega-3 page) so that lots of ALA must be eaten to produce levels of
EPA and DHA comparable to those that can be obtained by eating fish.
much Omega-3 do you need ?
studies have shown that fairly small amounts of Omega-3ís can make a
big difference to heart risks. Current thinking is that around 400 mg
a day is enough to reduce risk quite substantially. You can get it by
eating oil-rich fish or by simply taking one or more concentrated fish
oil capsules a day.
oil-rich fish once or twice a week will make a good contribution towards
supplying the amount of Omega-3 you need to improve general health
some people supplements are the best way to take Omega-3. Cod liver
oil is a good source of EPA and DHA. If you are taking another type
of supplement, make sure you read the label to check that EPA and DHA
are listed. With products like cod liver oil, containing vitamins A
and D, it is recommended that you do not exceed the suppliers dosage
instructions. With fish body oil capsules (which contain far lower amounts
of vitamins A or D) this restriction is not important.
following table shows a range of supplements which provide omega-3.
Some conditions, or the drugs taken to help them, are not compatible
with high doses of Omega-3 fish oil. For example, as Omega-3 thins the
blood, anyone taking Warfarin or any another anti-coagulant drug, should
not increase their levels of Omega-3 without seeking advice from their
doctor. Similarly, other prescription drugs may interact with the omega-3
polyunsaturates, and if you are taking such drugs, you should check
with you doctor before taking omega-3 supplements on a daily basis.
content of selected supplements
Seas Cod Liver Oil
Seven Seas Extra High Strength Cod Liver Oil
Seven Seas Extra High Strength Cod Liver Oil Capsules*
Seven Seas High Strength Cod Liver Oil Capsules*
Seven Seas One-a-day Cod Liver Oil Capsules*
Seven Seas Cod Liver Oil Capsules*
Seven Seas High Strength Pulse Capsules
Seven Seas Pulse Capsules
Lanes Lanepa Capsules
Pharma-Nord Bio-Marine Capsules
Wassen Omega-3 Fish Oil Capsules
Lifeplan MarinEpa Concentrated Fish Oil Capsules
Lifeplan Flowmega Prime Omega 3 Fish Oil Capsules
mg per serving
1 or more
* because of the possibility of excessive intake of vitamins A or D, the
manufacturers recommendations on dosage must not be exceeded.