Fish Oil is hot on the news lately. Fish oil is rich in DHA and EPA, two powerful fats responsible for things like: increased metabolic rate, improved fat burning, and reducing our risk for a host of diseases (cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes). Also studies are showing that supplementing babies and children with DHA improves brain development and can result in smarter children. In fact, the supplementing begins during pregnancy.
According to Dr. John Berardi:
” The North American diet is unbalanced in the omega 3 and omega 6 ratio, being higher in the omega 6 and increasing our risk for disease. The current North American diet provides a ratio that is around 16 to 20:1 (omega-6:omega-3). This is likely due to the shift in dietary staples, which generally do not include foods like flax, hemp, walnuts, perilla, green leafy veggies, chia, fish and algae.”
Its typically recommended using about 6-12g of total fish oil per day or 3-6g of combined DHA+EPA. The primary way most people are told to supplement are through fish oil, which is actually cod liver oil. However, there are some issues with this form of supplementation, such as traces of contaminants that are found in our fish supply. But where do fish get their DHA from? The algae they eat of course. Many experts recommend taking the form of these fats straight from the algae see below. This is also an option for vegans.
I went into my fridge and found my own bottles of fish oil and DHA supplements to compare. Here is what I found:
1.) Nordic childrens DHA-Cod liver oil-serving size1/4 tsp
618mg omega 3, 205mg EPA, 300mg DHA, 300mg Omega 9
2.) Nordic Baby DHA drops-1-4ml
1008mg omega 3, 328mg EPA, 500mg DHA, 480mg Omega 9
3.) DEVA algae DHA drops-100mg DHA per 7 drops for children
4.) Spring Valley Prenatal DHA-1 softgel, 200mg DHA
Below is some information about algae based DHA.
The bottom line, in my opinion, is that both sources of DHA/EPA are good. The best thing I would do is rotate the source and increase your consumption of the fats directly from foods. Getting it from different sources ensures that your hitting all your bases. If you are vegan, then you would need to use only the algae based. I will warn you, its got a strong flavor so you may want to just take the pills and avoid the drops!