T Nation

fish oil question for tampa terry

hey tampa terry, you seem to be really good at answering nutritional questions, so i wanted to see if you or anybody else could answer this one. I just bought Nature Made fish oil. It has 2400mg fish oil concentrate with 432mg of omega-3 and 288mg of omega-6 in every 2 softgels. how much of these should i take in a day to notice the best health benefits. i don’t eat any fish in my diet, i weigh 225lbs and are currently following the westside 4 day split.

Hey, there, Mike!!!

There are a couple of tricks where fish oil is concerned. The first is that you need to buy a product that has measurable amounts of EPA and/or DHA. I use a product called Ultra Omega 3 which is manufactured by Health from the Sun. It has 850 mg of EPA and 560 mg of DHA per serving. To get the 6g of EPA/DHA that John Berardi recommends, I have to consume 1.5 tablespoons.

So in answer to your question, unless I know how many mg of EPA and DHA your fish oil has per serving (and what the serving size is), I can’t tell you how much you need to take.

The only other issue where fish oil is concerned is how it’s processed. To get measurable amounts of EPA/DHA, they “condense” the fish oil. But doing so also condenses the mercury, PCBs, DDT and other heavy metals and carcinogens found in fish. Either buy pharmaceutical grade (which is just a descriptive term used by Barry Sears) or fish oil that is molecularly distilled to remove the bad stuff. Molecular distillation is the gold standard. I would not consume a product that wasn’t molecularly distilled.

I hope that answers your questions. If it didn’t don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

Plus dont take down too many soft gels and caps as they migth contain mercury and some other harmful elements.

I have conducted my own personal tests of many brands of fish oil. In the process, I tried and rejected many brands. In my opinion, none compared to the quality and effectiveness of Sears pharmaceutical-grade - except Carlson’s. Carlson’s is the best value in fish oil at half the cost of Sears, and almost the same quality. Compared to Sears and Carlson’s, all others I tried tasted spoiled. You can’t tell this kind of quality from the label.

I buy Carlson’s in 500 ml bottles from iherb.com - free shipping and discounts with volume purchases, and fast shipping.

I agree with with the Sears Pharma. Grade however it is quite expensive but as far as purity and concentration goes, it is the best!

I consume Life Extension Fish Oil caps. 360mg. EPA and 240 DHAmg. per cap. I used to consume Zone Fish Oil but found that I could get more Oils per cap with Life Extension.

Sears may be good. but who wants to spend a friggin hundred for a bottle? Especially when some of us take upwards of 2-3 or more servings a day?

Sears pharmaceutical grade (Omega Rx, I think) is not the same as the Zone brand fish oil. The Zone brand is just ordinary, health-food-store fish oil. Sears Omega Rx has 60% DHA+EPA, over 600 mg per capsule, which sounds about the same as the Life Extension supp.

And, yes, I agree that Sears fish oil is very expensive. I paid about $65 per bottle or $3 per day for the high dose I wanted. So I tried lots of brands looking for a better value, which I found in Carlson’s brand at half the cost per dose.

But you have to compare the cost PER GRAM of DHA+EPA. You have to take twice as many servings, OR MORE, of most fish oils to get a comparable amount of DHA+EPA. You can get all the other fats in the supp much more cheaply (and enjoyably) through food or flax sources.

But for me, quality is extremely important for fish oil. Essential fats are just that, essential, AND a macronutrient so I’m taking them on a gram scale. I also buy Grow protein powder because of the quality, even though there is cheaper protein powder. Or why would someone buy Tribex instead of a cheaper tribulus supplement? In summary, my advice is that if you’re going to use a fish oil supplement, use a high-quality one.

Well stated andersons, I agree!

By the way andersons have you found any quality difference between Life Extension brand and the Sears brand?

This fish oil is on sale this week at netrition, just wondering if anyone had tried it and if it looks like a good deal?

Andersons said:

“I have conducted my own personal tests of many brands of fish oil. In the process, I tried and rejected many brands”

Could you please share a little of the methodology of your tests e.g. how did you perform the tests, what criteria you used, etc?


Netrition’s Deal of the Week features “Pure Omega-3 Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil” from Performance Biomedical Labratories for $21.95/100 softgels.

Each 1200mg cap contains 516mg EPA and 276mg DHA. Has anyone tried these and does it seem like a good value?

Just wondering if anyone else has looked at the consumer guide report on fish oils. They tested a bunch of different brands, including the CVS brand, and none of them contained PCBs, heavy metals, dioxins, etc. Their recommendation was to go for the cheapest stuff. Thoughts? I bought Sears myself recently - and given the consumer guide report (usually quite reliable, they conduct their own HPGC), I wonder if I should be buying cheap.

Alright, now I’m worried. For probably about a year now I’ve been pounding Twinlab’s “Super Max EPA” fish oil capsules (12 per day).

2 softgels contain 450 mg EPA, 300 mg DHA and 2 mg of Ascorbyl Palmitate. (It doesn’t say anything about total weight of each softgel). Nowhere on the bottle does it mention anything about molecular distillation. Have I been poisoning myself with mercury and such??

I stick to Now Foods Super EPA, 2 caps have 720 mg EPA and 480 DHA. $15.75 per bottle of 120.

Both NOW foods and Twinlab are trusted names!

TME asked: "Netrition’s Deal of the Week features “Pure Omega-3 Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil” from Performance Biomedical Labratories for $21.95/100 softgels.

Each 1200mg cap contains 516mg EPA and 276mg DHA. Has anyone tried these and does it seem like a good value?"

I’m pounding them right now. Two servings of 3 capsules per day. I’m very prone to the nasty fish burps and mildly upset stomache common to such dosing, but I’ve had little problems with the Pure Omegas. I still have to ingest with food, but otherwise no problems. The best I’ve ever tried, by far…

Hey Terry, I’m actually taking the same caps as the original poster of this thread. (Costco, baby)

Looks like in every 2 softgels (the bottle says to take 2 with a meal twice a day)

Fish Oil Concentrate 2400mg
:: Omega-3 (EPA) 432mg
:: Omega-3 (DHA) 288mg
:: Omega-6 90mg

Right now I am taking what the bottle says.

How do you determine how much EFA’s you need?

expression, JB’s recommendation is 6-10g of combined EPA & DHA. Barry Sears in his book the “Omega Zone” found health benefits at about 6g, too, if I remember correctly, though I don’t have the book in front of me.

If you get a chance, read the article on Athletic Performance in his book. It won’t take you any longer than 15-20 minutes. Well worth the read, and you’ll be hooked on EPA & DHA forever more. (grin)

A certain amount of EPA and DHA is created from flaxseed oil (about 25 to 33%) if all the enzymatic pathways are working correctly (not always the case). So if you’re taking in a couple of tablespoons of flaxseed oil per day, you could probably reduce the amount of EPA & DHA you take in.