Question : I WOULD like to take fish oil to help maintain good heart health as I don't take fish regularly. Please advise.
Answer : The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends two to three servings of oily fish a week to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease which is equivalent to 900mg of omega-3 fatty acids to be taken on a daily basis. Clinical studies have shown that a regular intake of fish oil can reduce the risk of fatal heart attacks, lower elevated triglyceride levels and improve high blood pressure.
Generally, there are two main types of fish oil supplements found in the market, namely the fish oil concentrates and the non-concentrated fish oils. Non-concentrated fish oils provide the minimum requirement of omega-3 fatty acids per capsule. For every 1,000mg of fish oil, 18 per cent is eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 12 per cent is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This is commonly regarded as the 18/12 fish oil. When concentrated, one gram of standard concentrated fish oil can provide more than twice as much EPA and DHA as 18/12 fish oils. As you are planning to take fish oil supplement for maintaining good heart health, you may consider either taking a concentrated fish oil, which is two capsules daily, or 18/12 fish oil supplement, which is three capsules a day.
Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are produced as omega- 3 triglyceride, free fatty acids or ethyl ester. Omega-3 triglyceride is closest to the normal form of oils in nature. Fish oils in triglycerides form has been proven to be 70 per cent better absorbed than fish oils in the form of ethyl esters.