FISH OIL 101: Know the Facts about Fish Oil

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by Dr. Melissa Miskell

As most of us natural-minded individuals know, it is essential to take a fish oil supplement every day. Fish oil can promote wellness through cardiovascular health, cytokine balance, joint health, and brain and nervous system function.

But it can be hard to know which fish oil is best or even how to distinguish a quality fish oil from a lesser quality oil. And, of course, how much should you take? These are all issues and questions that come up with my patients on a daily basis.

When it comes to selecting a high-quality fish oil with a high level of purity, I recommend finding a fish oil that is IFOS certified. IFOS is International Fish Oil Standards, which assures the highest level of purity, stability and potency in fish oils. IFOS rigorously tests its products, using direct analysis, for active ingredient content, contaminants and freshness.

A quality fish oil comes from cold water fish and contains a high amount of EPA and DHA. Another important factor to look for is an enteric coating. This coating assures that the fish oil will reach the small intestine before being metabolized; the coating will also cut down or even eliminate the “fishy” aftertaste.

Knowing how much fish oil to take is important. The appropriate amount can vary from patient to patient, depending on their reason for taking fish oil. Generally speaking, I tell my patients to take at least 900 milligrams per day. This is ideally broken down into 515 milligrams of EPA and 385 milligrams of DHA. Again, you may need more depending on your health history. That’s why it’s important to consult your primary care doctor or other health care provider who knows you and your medical history best and who understands the benefits of a quality fish oil supplement in your diet.

Dr Melissa  MiskellDr. Melissa Miskell is a board-certified gynecologist who specializes in bio-identical hormone replacement for men and women. She believes in wellness through supplements and compounded medications. Learn more about Dr. Miskell’s wholebody wellness practice at www.thefocus.net.

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