fish oils

Fish oil for better health

PCC Taste | February 2013

Who can benefit from fish oil supplements? Nearly everyone, says Kathi DeAnda, one of Redmond PCC's health and body care experts. Here, she answers some of the most common questions she hears from shoppers.

What's fish oil made from?

Typically it's made from small-bodied fish including anchovies, sardines and mackerel. These oily-fleshed fish are abundant in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA that can help boost brain and cardiovascular health, improve immune function and reduce inflammation. Our bodies don't produce omega-3s, DeAnda says, and most of us don't eat sufficient amounts of wild Alaskan salmon, grass-fed meats, walnuts and other sources to obtain them from diet alone, making supplements a practical choice.

How does PCC choose which brands to carry?

PCC carries fish oil from Nordic Naturals, Barlean's, Carlson Labs, Ascenta and other producers that maintain award-winning standards for purity, potency, freshness and flavor and craft their oils from wild-caught fish. Each batch is third-party tested for heavy metals and other environmental toxins.

Should I get liquid or capsule?

The liquids are generally much more cost effective, DeAnda says, as one spoonful of oil typically is equal to five gel caps. "When you're trying to get higher levels of essential fatty acids, taking a liquid is really the way to go unless you're a champion pill swallower." The downside to liquid is that it typically must be refrigerated; capsules travel well.

If I choose liquid, how should I take it?

DeAnda suggests taking fish oil with a meal. For those squeamish about swallowing oil, try Barlean's Swirl, which combines pure fish oil with fruit flavors to enjoy on its own or stirred into yogurt, applesauce or a smoothie. "Sometimes it's just that trial and error of finding out what works for the individual," DeAnda says.

More about: fish oil, health and body care products, omega-3

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