The benefits of concentrated fish oil on the nervous system, brain, inflammation-related disorders and child development have been well documented. There is some confusion, however, about the relative merits of supplements versus eating fish. Here are four things you must consider before choosing what to do.

1. Toxicity. The most effective omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, come from fish. Unfortunately, most fish available on the market today are contaminated with mercury, cadmium, arsenic and PCB's. The larger the fish, the greater the levels of contaminants. Tuna fish, for example, is high in omega-3s, but is also one of the most contaminated fish on the market.

2. Lower cost. Omega three fatty acids are only present in certain fatty fish. The cleanest fish tends to be pacific sockeye salmon, which, unless you live in British Columbia or Alaska, can be very expensive. Also, in order to get the benefits from fish, the fish has to be eaten fresh. Canned fish is heated to very high temperatures to kill the mould, viruses and bacteria present, thereby destroying the sensitive DHA and EPA inside.

3. Potency. By taking concentrated fish oil capsules you can control and increase the amount of DHA and EPA taken. This is especially important when your aim is to help alleviate specific health problems. In order to get real benefits from the omega-3 fatty acids, you have to take a constant strong dose every day. Sporadic fish consumption just will not do.

4. Convenience. All the benefits that omega-3 fatty acids confer on our health can be gained by taking 2 or 3 concentrated fish oil capsules a day, every single day. In the modern work environment, it is not easy to work in enough portions fresh, fatty fish into our diets in order to benefit substantially.

In conclusion, for most of us, the supplemental omega-3's are much more practical and effective than trying to eat fresh, high-quality fish, several times a week. In deciding which supplement to buy, make sure you choose a concentrated fish oil rich in DHA and low in contaminants, made from fish from the cleanest seas in the world and with a publicly available certificate of analysis.

Author's Bio: 

Sector rotator. Natural health and biophysics devotee. I enjoy mountaineering, baguazhang, learning interesting things and the music of Piazzolla.

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