Most patients respond to this question with, “Absolutely, yes!”  There is no hesitation whatsoever.   However, I challenge you to consider this question in a little more detail.

The benefits of taking a fish oil supplement are generally well known.  The primary benefit, in my opinion, is its natural anti-inflammatory properties.  Particularly, since many chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, arthritis, some forms of cancer, autoimmune diseases, and dementia may be attributed to a high inflammatory process within the body.

If you are not eating fish one to two times per week, then I encourage you to add a daily fish oil supplement.  However, not all fish oil supplements are created equally.  Be sure to take a high-quality fish oil supplement such as Tuna Omega-3 Oil or Cod Liver Oil by Standard Process®.  Both of these fish oil supplements undergo rigorous testing for purity and environmental toxins by a third party.

Here are two easy tests to determine if the fish oil supplement you are taking is made from quality fish oil:

First, when you open the bottle take a big sniff.  Do your fish oil supplements smell really fishy?  This brings us back to the lead question above.  Quality fish oil should not reek of a strong fish smell.  A strong fish odor may indicate that the fish oil in the supplement is rancid.  At most, there should be only a hint of a fish odor.  The Tuna Omega-3 Oil and the Cod Liver Oil supplements have no fish odor at all after opening the bottle.

If you have tried fish oil supplements in the past but find you “burp” fish the rest of the day, this also suggests a low-quality or rancid fish oil.   I have not received this complaint from patients after they switch to one of the Standard Process® fish oil supplements.

Second, put a couple of capsules of your fish oil supplements in the freezer overnight.  When you retrieve them, are they hard as a rock?  Are they “fish” cubes?  Quality fish oil should not freeze solid.  If it is frozen, the fish oil has oxidized and is rancid.  Remember, fish oil for these supplements comes from cold-water fish.  If the fish don’t freeze, your supplements should not either.  A quality fish oil supplement may become a little firmer in the freezer but they still have plenty of give or are squishy.  The firmness is generally from the gelatin capsule freezing, but the fish oil should never freeze. Again, I have tested this myself by placing both the Tuna Omega-3 Oil and the Cod Liver Oil in the freezer overnight, and neither one of them froze.

Finally, it is always a good idea to refrigerate your bottle of fish oil supplements after they are opened. This will help retain the quality of the fish oil longer than keeping it in the cupboard at room temperature.

If you would like to improve your health by taking a high-quality fish oil supplement, please call me at (530) 894-5990.  I would be happy to help you reach your health goals through good nutrition and whole-food, high-quality supplements.

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