General Health

How To Choose The Right Omega-3 Supplement?

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 22 September 2023, Updated on - 25 September 2023

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Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that play a crucial role in maintaining good health. They are not produced by the body, so it is important to obtain them through diet or supplements. Omega 3 fatty acid capsules are a popular choice for getting omega-3s as they provide a concentrated dose of these beneficial fatty acids. Omega 3 capsules offer numerous health benefits. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of omega 3 supplements available in the market and how to select the right one for your needs.

What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that plays a crucial role in maintaining our overall health. They are essential for the proper functioning of our body and cannot be produced by our own body, hence it is important to obtain them through our diet or by taking supplements.

1. Types of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are a family of polyunsaturated fats that include several different types. The three primary types of omega-3 fatty acids are:

  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA): EPA is commonly found in marine sources. It is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is beneficial for heart health, mental health, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA): DHA is also found in marine sources and is particularly important for brain development and function. It is crucial for maintaining cognitive health, supporting  eye health, and reducing inflammation.
  • Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA): ALA is primarily found in plant-based sources. Our body can convert ALA into EPA and DHA to some extent. ALA is known for its cardiovascular benefits and plays a role in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.

2. Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that offer numerous health benefits. They are primarily found in two main sources:

  • Fatty Fish: These include salmon, mackerel and sardines
  • Plant-based Sources: These include flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts.

Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids offer a wide range of health benefits, making them an essential part of a healthy diet. Here are some of the key health benefits associated with omega-3 fatty acids:

1. Cardiovascular Health

Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely beneficial for cardiovascular health. They can help lower blood pressure, reduce triglyceride levels, and decrease the risk of heart disease.

Numerous studies have shown that omega-3s can improve heart function, reduce the risk of arrhythmias, and decrease the likelihood of plaque buildup in the arteries.

2. Brain and Cognitive Function

Omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain development and function. They have been shown to enhance cognitive function, improve memory, and reduce the risk of cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

Omega-3s are essential for the growth and maintenance of brain cells and can also help regulate mood and emotions.

3. Eye Health

Omega-3 fatty acids are important for maintaining eye health. They can help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and dry eye syndrome. Studies have  shown that a higher intake of omega-3s is associated with a reduced risk of developing AMD, which is one of the leading causes of blindness in older adults.

4. Inflammation and Joint Health

Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body. This makes them beneficial for individuals suffering from inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Regular consumption of omega-3s can help alleviate joint pain and stiffness, improve joint function, and reduce the need for anti-inflammatory medications.

5. Skin Health

Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in maintaining  healthy skin. They help keep the skin hydrated, improve skin elasticity, and reduce skin inflammation. Omega-3 can also benefit individuals with inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

How to Choose the Right Fish Oil Supplement?

Choosing the right omega 3 fatty acid capsules is essential to ensure you receive the maximum benefits without compromising quality or safety. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a  fish oil supplement:

1. Quality Control and Purity Standards

When it comes to choosing the right fish oil supplement, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. Quality control and purity standards play a critical role in determining the effectiveness and safety of any fish oil supplement.

  • Third-party Testing: Look for fish oil supplements that have undergone third-party testing by reputable laboratories. These tests ensure that the product meets specific purity and quality standards, including the absence of heavy metals, contaminants, and harmful substances.
  • Certification: Third-party certification provides an extra level of assurance that the product is safe and reliable.
  • Pharmaceutical-grade Fish Oil Supplements: Opt for pharmaceutical-grade Omega 3 supplements whenever possible. These products are manufactured using stringent quality control measures, ensuring consistent potency and purity. They are often recommended by healthcare professionals for their high quality and efficacy.

2. The Importance of EPA and DHA Concentrations

EPA and DHA are the two key omega-3 fatty acids that provide most of the health benefits. Look for a supplement that has a higher concentration of EPA and DHA. The ratio between these two fatty acids is also important, as different health conditions require different ratios. The optimal ratios for different health conditions are:

  • Heart Health: A higher ratio of EPA to DHA is recommended to support cardiovascular health.
  • Brain Health: A higher ratio of DHA to EPA is beneficial for cognitive function and brain development.

3. Formulations and Dosage Forms

Liquid fish oil and fish oil capsules are two common formulations of fish oil supplements, each with its own set of advantages and considerations.

  • Liquid Fish Oil: This form is taken directly by measuring out the recommended dosage with a spoon or dropper. It can be mixed with food or beverages for easier consumption.
  • Fish Oil Capsules: These are pre-measured Omega 3 capsules that contain a specific amount of fish oil. They are convenient and easy to take, especially for those who don't like the taste of liquid fish oil.
  • Enteric-Coated Fish Oil Capsules: Enteric-coated fish oil capsules have a special coating that prevents them from dissolving in the stomach. Instead, they dissolve in the intestines, which can help improve absorption and reduce the risk of fishy aftertaste or burps.

4. Sustainable Fishing Practices and Environmental Impact

It's also important to consider the sustainability of the fishing practices used to obtain the fish oil. Look for supplements that are sourced from fisheries that follow sustainable practices to protect marine ecosystems and minimise environmental impact.

What are Supplement Labels and Claims?

Supplement labels and claims provide critical information about dietary supplements, helping consumers make informed choices about their use.

1. Reading the Supplement Facts Panel

When choosing Omega 3 supplements, it's essential to understand how to read the supplement facts panel. This panel provides information about the nutrient content and serving size of the supplement. Here are some key things to look for:

  • Serving Size: Check the serving size to determine how many capsules or teaspoons you need to take daily.
  • Omega-3 Content: Look for the total amount of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids per serving. Aim for higher levels of EPA and DHA, as they are the most beneficial forms.
  • Purity and Quality: Ensure that the product is free from contaminants such as heavy metals, PCBs, and dioxins. Look for third-party testing certifications like IFOS or USP.

2. Identifying High-quality Fish Oil Supplements

To ensure you're choosing a high-quality fish oil supplement:

  • Source: Opt for supplements derived from wild-caught fish, such as anchovies, sardines, or mackerel, as they have lower levels of toxins.
  • Molecular Distillation: This process removes contaminants from the fish oil, ensuring purity.
  • Freshness: Check for supplements with added antioxidants like  vitamin E to prevent oxidation and maintain freshness.

3. Common Misleading Claims to Avoid

Be cautious of misleading claims on supplement labels:

  • "Mercury-Free": All fish contain trace amounts of mercury, so claiming complete absence may be deceptive.
  • "No Fishy Aftertaste": While some supplements may reduce the aftertaste, it doesn't necessarily indicate better quality.

Potential Side Effects and Precautions

Fish oil supplements are generally considered safe for most people when taken at recommended doses, but they may cause side effects or interact with certain medications or medical conditions in some individuals.

1. Fish Allergies and Sensitivities

Fish oil supplements are derived from fish, so individuals with fish allergies or sensitivities need to exercise caution. If you have experienced allergic reactions to seafood in the past, it is advisable to avoid fish oil supplements altogether. Common symptoms of fish allergies include:

  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Digestive issues

Consult with your healthcare provider before starting any fish oil supplement if you are unsure about your allergies or sensitivities.

2. Potential Interactions with Medications

Always inform your healthcare provider about any supplements you are taking to avoid potential drug interactions.

  • Omega 3 supplements may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners like warfarin and aspirin. Combining these medications with fish oil supplements can increase the risk of bleeding and bruising.
  • Other medications that may interact with fish oil include antihypertensive drugs, cholesterol-lowering medications, and  diabetes medications.

3. Recommended Dosages and Guidelines

The recommended daily dosage of omega-3 fatty acids varies depending on the individual's age, health condition, and specific needs. General guidelines suggest a daily intake of 250-500 mg of combined EPA and DHA for most adults.

However, higher doses may be necessary for individuals with specific health conditions like heart disease or high triglyceride levels. It is crucial to follow the dosage instructions provided by the manufacturer or consult with a healthcare professional for personalised guidance.


In conclusion, understanding how to choose the right omega 3 supplement is crucial for reaping the maximum benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Remember, making informed decisions about your health is the first step towards achieving optimal well-being. By choosing the right fish oil supplement and incorporating healthy lifestyle habits, you can support your heart health and overall vitality. Always prioritise your health and consult with a healthcare professional for personalised guidance.

To know what dose is best for you

Consult Apollo's Expert Cardiologists


General Health

Frequently Asked Questions

  Yes, fish oil supplements can generally be taken alongside other vitamins and medications. However, it's always a good idea to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before adding any new supplements to your routine.  

  Fish oil supplements are generally safe for people of all ages, including children and older adults. However, it's important to follow the recommended dosage and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any specific concerns or medical conditions.  

  Yes, pregnant women and children can take fish oil supplements. Omega 3 fatty acid capsules are particularly beneficial during pregnancy for fetal brain development. However, it's important to choose a high-quality fish oil supplement that is free from contaminants such as mercury.  

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