written by Francesca Buongiorno
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in high concentrations in cold water ocean fish such as sardines, anchovies, herring, salmon and mackerel. Research indicates that Omega-3 fish oil promotes an anti-inflammatory response in the body, preventing and improving symptoms of common diseases and ailments. Studies have shown that people who suffer from chronic inflammatory acne may benefit from taking therapeutic doses (1000-1700 mg) of purified omega-3 oils daily.
With recent scares regarding the purity of ocean fish, and thereby the safety and efficacy of supplements derived from them, it is a good time to revisit how to go about choosing a high quality fish oil supplement. Use the checklist below to help you select a superior and effective fish oil supplement.
- The label is important, so read it. The vital ingredients in fish oil supplements are omega-3 fatty acids, or EPA and DHA. These two fatty acids are the only ones that matter in reducing inflammation and chronic breakouts. The amount of each should be shown separately and should total between 1,000-1,700 mg per serving. There should be a higher ratio of EPA to DHA, about 2:1 or thereabouts. Many labels simply mention the total count of omega-3 fatty acids. This information is not helpful because you don’t know the actual amount of EPA and DHA. Similarly, if the EPA and DHA is stated on the bottle, but in lower amounts, be sure you will be able to take all the capsules necessary to get your daily dosage of 1,000-1,700 mg. Some popular drugstore and health food brands have such a low amount of EPA and DHA that one would have to take 12 capsules just to get the adequate daily amount!
- Look for molecularly distilled or pharmaceutical grade fish oil. This should be mentioned on the label. This is the highest grade fish oil because it is molecularly distilled, avoiding oxidation of the fish oil. This is also the only process that successfully removes impurities and contaminants (mercury, dioxins, PCBs, etc.). Lastly, it produces a more concentrated form of fish oil with higher potencies of EPA and DHA, so less capsules to swallow!
- Find out some information about the manufacturer. Check out some other products they produce. Do some research to see how long they have been in business and if they have a good reputation. Here is a great website for comparing brands: www.nutrasource.ca/ifos
- Look for capsules that have enteric coating. This coating ensures that the capsules will break down lower in your digestive tract, not in the stomach, minimizing those unpleasant fishy burps that many people experience after taking fish oil supplements.
- Look for Vitamin E. Vitamin E helps to prevent oxidation during storage, keeping the oils from turning rancid. Vitamin E will usually be listed under “Other Ingredients” as tocopherols or mixed tocopherols.
By carefully choosing the right fish oil supplement, you optimize the potential benefits that Omega-3 fatty acids can impart to you. Many health practitioners agree there are many benefits to taking a quality fish oil supplement, especially for the immune system, heart, brain and joints. Of special interest to acne sufferers, they may help regulate hormones, minimizing the intensity and duration of inflammatory breakouts.
*Please note: Although there is no known toxicity associated with using fish oils over long term, you should check with your physician particularly if you have a chronic underlying illness or are pregnant. According to the FDA, you should not take more than 2,500 mg of Omega-3s daily unless under the recommendation of a physician.
Face Reality Acne Clinic carries high quality fish oil supplements; but supplements alone will not get rid of your acne. For more information about how to have clear skin, please visit Face Reality Acne Clinic.