By now, most people in the health sciences agree that taking fish oil capsules daily can greatly improve our health. The omega 3 fatty acids contained in it have been shown to have beneficial effects in depression, triglycerides, arthritis and child development. Estimates show that about 85% of people in the West are deficient in EPA and DHA, the omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil.

There is some confusion, however, when it comes to knowing how much EPA and DHA to take. Here are four key points you must consider before making a purchase decision.

1. The potency of the product. Some fish oils are stronger than others. Make sure you buy a supplement with the highest percentage of DHA possible. This will decrease the number of capsules to be taken and will also decrease costs.

2. The recommended intake. Most manufacturers recommended a daily intake of between 650 mg and 1000 mg, or, two to three capsules of a top quality, molecularly distilled fatty acid oil everyday. Make sure you understand that the above figures mean 650 mg of actual omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and not the total amount of fish oil itself.

3. The optimal intake. Several authorities, including the Canadian Ministry of health, have recommended larger intakes of both EPA and DHA. The optimal daily intake of omega 3 fatty acids will actually depend on the person and the reason he or she is taking it.

4. The health status of the person taking it. A healthy person who wants to take an omega-3 oil preventatively will probably be just fine taking the recommended manufacturer's daily dose of two or three capsules, but only if the fish oil is a true top-quality supplement. People taking omega 3 oil to improve their blood parameters, such as triglycerides or homocysteine, may require more, depending on the severity of the problem. In mental health issues, such as depression, some cases have shown great improvement with larger amounts of omegas, such as between 7 g and 8 g a day.

To conclude, I'd like to say that after many years of researching this topic, I think that the most important thing a consumer can do is to make sure he chooses a clean, molecularly distilled, concentrated omega 3 oil from a reputable company which offers a certificate of analysis to its customers, thereby proving that their product is effective and free of toxic chemicals. This is the easiest way to increase effectiveness and decrease costs in the long-term. I can't think of a better health investment than that.

Author's Bio: 

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

Get more in-depth self-improvement information please read my blog at life sucks, or check out my post at benefits of green tea.