This article was inspired by my 17 year old son who unbeknown to me purchased a huge container of fish oil from the local chemist. "So Mum do you reckon that this fish oil is a waste of money?"
Here's the thing with fish oil capsules there are so many variances in the quality of the product and the amount of active ingredients they contain. Let’s take the one that my son bought for example, Nature’s Way Fish Oil Capsules 1000mg. That sounds pretty impressive, 1000mg but in reality, the active ingredients are only 300mg with the remainder of the product being regular fish oil, soya and sulphites. That would be why 200 of them are only just over $10. The other issue is that we don’t know where this product is sourced from and if it has been screened for heavy metals, pesticides and plastic contamination. With autoimmune conditions often being attributed to heavy metal contamination the last thing you need is to further exacerbate this problem whilst tying to help yourself by taking fish oil.
What is a therapeutic dose?
You need to get the dose right for your condition, there is no point spending money on a product if you don’t know the right amount to take. Some conditions like depression and anxiety have shown improvement with amounts as low as 200mg a day whilst other conditions such as heart disease and autoimmune conditions require up to 3000mg a day. Remember this is the amount of the active ingredients not the total on the front of the container.
How do I know if it’s contaminated?
It is highly unlikely that you will be able to buy an over the counter product that is free from contamination and at a high enough dose to be useful. Even some of the practitioner only brands aren’t as good as they should be. A good practitioner will be able to source the right product for you as they have access to many brands that specialise in this field that are very transparent when it comes to where the oil has been sourced and the testing that it has undertaken.
Is fish oil a waste of money?
Not if you are buying a pure product that is tested and third party certified, and you are taking the right dose for your condition. In this instance the cost does make a difference to the quality.