Concentration & Amount of Omega-3
Concentration of omega-3 in fish oil affects its efficacy. Research found that more omega-3 (EPA and DHA) can be detected in the body if fish oil with high concentration of omega-3 is consumed. Approximately a decade or so ago, fish oil manufacturers started producing more concentrated fish oil that contained around 50% omega-3. With modern technology, ultra-concentrated fish oils with 85 to 90% omega-3 (> 80% DHA + EPA) is now available. They are also known as pharmaceutical grade fish oil. By taking these ultra-concentrated fish oil, it is easier to get high dosage of omega-3 (a dosage that has been used in clinical studies) with fewer pills.
Amount of omega-3 per serving (expressed in milligrams of EPA and DHA) is the key thing to look out for on a fish oil label. Note, the amount of omega-3 is usually not listed on the front label. Indeed, majority of fish oil marketers may mislead consumers by claiming a high milligrams of total fish oil on front label, such as “1,200 mg fish oil”. In this case, 1,200mg refers to the amount of the fish oil, and not the actual omega-3 content. Number of fish oil softgels per serving is another important piece of information from the label. If this fine print is not read, there is risk of getting far less than the recommended dosage by taking just1 softgel. If the concentration of omega-3 per softgel is low, 2 to 6 softgels may be required per serving to obtain the desired or recommended amount of omega-3. If you require a higher dosage of fish oil, such as > 1,000mg combined EPA and DHA daily, you may want to look for a more concentrated product to minimise the number of softgels required. It is important to check the omega-3 content from nutrition fact label. Do not simply look at the total amount of fish oil per softgel that is printed on front label of bottle. Choose the fish oil that offers high amount of omega-3 per softgel to minimise the total number of softgels that you need to swallow daily.