Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements... Buyer Beware! Suppliers are Being Deliberately Deceptive


Just about everyone has heard of the miraculous Omega-3 fish oil supplement, so much so that it has fast become the most popular dietary supplement available today. But according to some experts, many of us are wasting our money on fish oil supplements that provide little to no benefit at all.

Dr Alex Richardson, one of the worlds leading Omega-3 researchers, says that the poor quality of many of these supplements is a very real concern. So before you rush out to stock-up with another 6 months supply of Omega-3's, it's important that you understand how consumers are being deliberately misinformed by many suppliers who are pushing cheap and inferior fish oil supplements at hugely inflated prices.

What Makes Omega-3 so Special

The two most crucial Omega-3 fatty acids which are responsible for a long list of health and anti-aging benefits, are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Both are primarily found in fish oil.

Whilst DHA helps keep the brain functioning properly and is also essential for optimum eye health, EPA is an antioxidant that helps in the fight against the signs of aging, formation of wrinkles and sagging skin. EPA also helps to repair and protect the skin against sun damage.

Apart from anti-aging, EPA and DHA provide so many other benefits, including improved joint mobility, stronger bones, improved mental health, healthy cholesterol levels, better vision and prevention of eye degeneration, improved skin texture, improved hair and nail health, healthy blood glucose, and there is strong evidence that EPA and DHA is crucial for our heart health and our immune system.

Omega-3 Supplements - 'Buyer Beware!'

Everyone should be taking fish oil supplements, from young children all the way through adulthood and into old age, Omega-3 plays a vital role in keeping us looking younger and staying healthy, both mentally and physically. Unfortunately when it comes to choosing the right supplement, most people haven't got a clue!

Here's what you need to know...

(a) Always check the quantity of EPA + DHA contained in each capsule. Sometimes this is represented as a single number eg. 300mg EPA/DHA, but usually as two numbers eg EPA -180mg and DHA -120mg, just add these two numbers together to give you the combined total.

Health experts are recommending 1000mg EPA/DHA per day for optimum heart health, optimum visual/mental health and anti-aging benefits.

(b) Many suppliers are being deliberately deceptive in how they label and market their supplements. They are pushing cheap fish oil supplements, of the lowest potency and quality, under product names such as 'High Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil ' or 'Maximum Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil '.

You will find that most fish oil capsules available at drugstores and health food stores contain between 240mg EPA/DHA and 360mg EPA/DHA per capsule and the rest is made up of a mixture of less expensive oils. These are typically your basic 'no-frills' supplements and are clearly NOT maximum strength, you would need to take between 3 - 4 capsules daily just to match the recommended daily intake of 1000mg EPA/DHA - hardly good value for money.

Always read the label on the back and check the ingredients for the exact amounts, and don't be fooled by sneaky suppliers who list their ingredients in this manner "...this product delivers 600 mg of omega 3, including EPA and DHA..." without giving the actual amount of EPA and DHA.

Generally, and unless the manufacturers can prove otherwise, anything less than 500mg EPA/DHA per capsule will not be as pure or as refined, and risks having higher levels of pollutants such as mercury, lead, PCBs and other contaminants. You shouldn't have to take more than 2 capsules per day to meet your daily quota of 1000mg EPA/DHA.

(c) DHA vs. EPA..? Comparing the two fatty acids side-by-side. Although both are critical for optimum health, DHA is a major building block of cells in the brain and also in the retina of the eye. It is vital for mental health and brain functioning, prevention of memory loss, alzheimer's, depression and more. It is also one of the most important nutrients for eye health and prevention of macular degeneration and other eye problems.

It's only when you dig deeper that you begin to realize just how important DHA is to everyone of us, and more so if you are middle aged or older... According to, a highly respected health website, DHA alone makes up about 15% to 20% of your brain's cerebral cortex, as well as 30% to 60% of your retina, making it an essential nutrient for both brain and eye health.

Furthermore DHA can be converted to EPA in the body, whereas the opposite is not true, EPA cannot be converted to DHA. For this reason alone it's important to have higher levels of DHA fatty acids.

Which One Should You Buy?

When it comes to shopping for Omega-3 supplements, it's recommended that you look for brands that contain at least 500mg EPA/DHA per capsule, of which at least 200mg (but preferably more) is DHA.

At time of writing, all the brands listed below provide a minimum 3 months supply at the recommended dosage of 1000mg EPA/DHA per day.

Jarrow Formulas EPA-DHA Balance (240 Soft Gels)
630mg EPA/DHA per capsule
EPA 420mg
DHA 210mg
2 servings daily (120 day supply) provides 1260mg EPA/DHA

Nordic Naturals, Ultimate Omega, 1,000 mg Fish Oil, Soft Gels (180 Soft Gels)
550mg EPA/DHA per capsule
EPA 325mg
DHA 225mg
2 servings daily (90 day supply) provides 1100mg EPA/DHA

NOW Ultra Omega-3 - 500 EPA / 250 DHA (180 Soft Gels)
750mg EPA/DHA per capsule
EPA 500mg
DHA 250mg
2 servings daily (90 day supply) provides 1500mg EPA/DHA

Kirkland Signature Enteric Coated Fish Oil Omega 3 1200 mg (180 Soft Gels)
684mg EPA/DHA per capsule
EPA 410mg
DHA 274mg
2 servings daily (90 day supply) provides 1368mg EPA/DHA

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