Choosing a High Quality Omega-3 Fish Oil
While fresh fish tastes delicious, it is not always practical or available to eat. Thankfully, supplementation with a high quality fish oil that contains the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) also provides the cognitive and cardiovascular benefits that come with eating fresh fish.
When choosing an omega-3 fish oil, quality is critical – but not all fish oils are created equal. To find a high-quality formula that meets your needs, look for four key factors: purity, bioavailability, sustainability, and potency.
Marine pollution, such as mercury, pesticides, PCBs, and other toxins, can accumulate in fish and threaten the purity of their oils. Smaller, short-lived fish species that are lower on the food chain are considered safer to eat because they contain lower levels of contaminants.
Another form of pollution is radiation from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident in 2011. Radioactive material has made its way into marine plants and animals throughout the Pacific Ocean, but is more concentrated in predatory species that are higher on the food chain, such as pike and tuna.
Choosing a fish oil sourced from smaller species, such as herring, can help minimize your exposure to marine contaminants. For added assurance that a fish oil is pure and safe to use, check the label to confirm that it has been tested by a credible third party, such as ISURA֯®. Certification by ISURA guarantees that the omega-3 fish oil is of the highest quality, has been rigorously tested for purity, and meets international standards for freedom from heavy metals, PCBs, dioxins, and other pollutants.
Omega-3s come in many forms and from different sources. Phospholipid-bound omega-3 fatty acids have select advantages in how they are absorbed and used by your body. This is also the form that DHA and EPA exist in human cell membranes. Compared to triglyceride forms, phospholipid-bound DHA and EPA are easier to absorb and therefore a more efficient option for supporting overall health.
Rising temperatures, marine pollution, and overfishing is putting stress on our oceans. Fish oils that are sourced in an environmentally friendly manner and independently certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), or other environmental certification groups, help protect marine habitats from unsustainable fishing practices. This helps keep fish populations, and the marine animals that depend on them, healthy and viable for future generations to enjoy.
By choosing a fish oil with standardized levels of EPA and DHA, you’ll know you’re getting the right dose of essential fatty acids that you need to support your specific health needs. Whether you’re looking for a balanced ratio of DHA and EPA for cognitive and cardiovascular support or a 3:1 ratio of DHA and EPA to support brain function, look for their standardized concentrations on the list of medicinal ingredients.[4,5]
Pure Food Omega-3s
At Whole Earth & Sea, we know that your diet, your health, and the environment go hand in hand. Pure Food omega-3 formulas contain standardized DHA and EPA concentrations for reliable cognitive and cardiovascular support. These formulas include:
- Herring Gold® 500 mg
- Herring Gold® 1000 mg
- Cogni-Hi-Q™ with triple strength DHA
The DHA and EPA phospholipids in these products are easy to absorb and are sourced sustainably from the roe of Norwegian spring-spawning herring. The Marine Stewardship Council, whose mission is to conserve marine habitats, has independently certified their source. Herring roe is a natural source of choline, a precursor to acetylcholine, which improves memory and information processing in the brain. In addition to choline, our Pure Food omega-3s contain a natural form of the antioxidant astaxanthin. Herring Gold is provided in small softgels that are easy to swallow with no fishy repeat. Cogni-Hi-Q is designed specifically to support healthy brain activity with a 3:1 ratio of DHA and EPA phospholipids. Both formulas are sustainably sourced, rigorously tested for purity, and certified by ISURA֯®. They are non-GMO and contain no gluten, soy, or corn. These Pure Food omega-3 formulas are made with high-quality fish oils that you can depend on for purity, bioavailability, sustainability, and potency.
(1) Gribble MO, Karimi R, Feingold BJ, et al. Mercury, selenium and fish oils in marine food webs and implications for human health. J Mar Biol Assoc U.K. 2016;96(1):43-59.
(2) Kolar MV, Gugleta M. The consequences of disposal and leakage of radioactive materials on various species of marine and freshwater fish. Int J Fish Aquat Stud. 2019;7(6):185-9.
(3) Graf BA, Duchateau GS, Patterson AB, et al. Age dependent incorporation of 14CDHA into rat brain and body tissues after dosing various 14C-DHA-esters. Prostag Leukotr Ess. 2010;83(2):89-96.
(4) Yurko-Mauro K, McCarthy D, Rom D, et al. Beneficial effects of docosahexaenoic acid on cognition in age-related cognitive decline. Alzheimers Dement. 2010;6(6):456-64.
(5) Mozaffarian D, Wu JH. Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease. Effects on risk factors, molecular pathways, and clinical events. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011;58(20):2047-67.
(6) Swanson D, Block R, Mousa SA. Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA: Health benefits throughout life. Adv Nutr. 2012;3(1):1-7.
(7) Poly C, Massaro JM, Seshadri S, et al. The relation of dietary choline to cognitive performance and white-matter hyperintensity in the Framingham Offspring Cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;94(6):1584-91.