I recently mentioned to someone that she might consider adding fish oil supplements to her diet to help her ADHD symptoms. When I started taking high quality fish oil, I noticed an immediate change in the way I felt and the way my brain worked.
However, it’s important to note that not all fish oils are equal. Some actually contain high levels of things like mercury which completely defeats the purpose of taking them.
And while you might think that price would be a good comparison factor for getting a good quality fish oil, that’s just not the case.
In order to find a good quality fish oil with all of the good things in it, you need to check for a few things.
Compare the levels of DHA and EPA, with emphasis on the amount of DHA. A ratio of 18/12 is typical, but if you can find one with a higher level of DHA – the second number – then you’re on the right track. If the label doesn’t specify these ratios, look for an oil with at least 250 mg of DHA per capsule.
You need to also consider what kind of fish the oil came from, where it came from (what waters), how it was extracted and how well the oil has been filtered.
Fish oil that comes from sardines, anchovies, herring, tuna and salmon are preferred. Don’t buy a fish oil that doesn’t list the type of fish used. Ideally, the whole body of the fish should have been used, not the scraps. If it doesn’t tell you that, save your money.
The waters that the fish came from can be an indication of the cleanliness of the oil. Fish from clean waters such as New Zealand, Norway, and Antarctica are especially good.
Fish oil can be extracted in a number of ways: squeezed, centrifuge or by solvent. Obviously, solvents add chemicals to your fish oil and are not desirable.
A fish oil that uses molecular distillation is safe and clean enough to take. Any additional filtering measures listed are an added bonus.
Also be sure to look for an expiration date on the bottle and stick closely to it. Some fish oils can go bad even before their expiration date.
I have to tell you – I fully intended to end this article with a list of several products that you could buy that meet this criteria. I’ve been searching online now for over an hour and cannot find any other than ones you buy online from companies I have not heard of.
My suggestion? Go to a health food or vitamin store – preferably not one in the mall – and do the best you can to hit as many of the qualities as you can.
That’s my answer until I find a better one.
Edited to add: I knew that some time ago I had tried an omega 3 oil at the suggestion of someone I met on Twitter. It made a profound difference in the way I felt and how my brain functioned. Being my usual ADD self, when I ran out, I never ordered more. Here is the link to that site and where I’m placing my next order. I suggested automatic refills; wonder if they ever did?