Fish oil contains EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) and its consumption is linked to better joints (particularly for those with rheumatoid arthritis), better mood (used especially for depression and bipolar disorder), a decrease in violence (given to prisoners), and better brain health. It is also correlated with heart health. It is a potent anti-inflammatory and may prevent hypertension. Evidence also exists that fish oils can aid in weight loss, in part by increasing fat metabolism. A study from the University of South Australia found that fish oil supplements combined with physical activity caused greater fat loss than exercise alone. In addition to its use as an immunity booster, fish oils also are used therapeutically to treat macular degeneration, painful menstrual periods, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Before taking a fish oil supplement, check with your healthcare practitioner to make sure that it is a safe and responsible choice for your healthcare needs.
With all the buzz surrounding the benefits of the omega 3 fatty acids, it’s not surprising to find omega 3 fortified foods and beverages popping up on supermarket shelves, in baby formulas, cereals breads and even yogurt! With regard to supplementation, how does one decode a good fish oil supplement from a neutral one or even worse, one contaminated with PCBs? Look no further–Nordic Naturals (www.nordicnaturals.com) is an excellent choice, and here’s why:
Quality: Over the years, I have sampled a variety of fish oil supplements, in addition to increasing my omega 3 fatty acid intake via diet (walnuts, flax oil, flaxseed meal, wild salmon, edamame, sea vegetables and sardines—yes, even sardines!). As far as supplements go, I have used liquids, gel capsules, enteric coated capsules, chewable capsules, and what I like to refer to as “goo” (i.e. think fish oil based packet of ketchup!). I keep coming back to Nordic Naturals for its superior quality and reputation. They are guarenteed by third party testing to have no detectable mercury, lead, dioxins or PCBs. Unfortunately this is NOT the case with many other brands. Another added benefit and an indication of quality is that Nordic Naturals do not tend to cause the “fishy burps” (no need to explain this, I hope!) found with fish oil supplements of lesser standards.
Many supplement companies offer a basic fish oil supplement, almost as a one size fits all. Nordic Naturals is vastly different in its approach and has individualized its line to offer products for kids, teens and adults. For example, there are naturally flavored strawberry, chewable capsules for kids that are very small and easy to consume. There are also liquids, as well synergistic blends for joint health, blood sugar, longevity, etc.
Cost: Nordic Naturals’ website offers discounts and free shipping. You can also find deep discounts for Nordic Naturals’ line of products online anytime on Amazon, and it is generally less expensive than purchasing from local retail health food stores.
Education & Mission: In addition to being an easy to navigate website. www.nordicnaturals.com helps to educate both the general public and health care practitioners. They are a very generous company, offering samples and educational materials to health care providers to share with clients, and helping consumers decide on the correct supplement, which is key for maintaining optimal health.