Fish Oil – Making the Case for Pharmaceutical Grade

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of brands of fish oil on the market today. Most major grocery chains even their own brand of fish oil. Pharmaceutical grade is mostly a marketing term. Since fish oil is a food supplement it is loosely regulated if it is regulated at all. The term pharmaceutical grade was developed to help describe the purity of a particular supplement and all types of supplements are not graded the same. Marketers would have you believe that their product with this term automatically makes their product more potent and purer.

Determining the potency and purity of the supplement that you choose should be easy but marketing tactics make it very hard to accomplish. Many would claim that because they have a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certified facility, their product is pharmaceutical grade. However, since the FDA only ensures that the facility is clean, this rating means nothing as it would apply to the product. Some make their claim based on the claims of purity based on their own research. Regardless of how pure the motives of the manufacturer those motives have nothing to do with the purity of their fish oil.

The best manufacturers in this field submit themselves to a third party independent laboratory which uses the standards set by the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS). These standards are on the criteria set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). They have set 7 different categories in which the products they test are placed. No where in the standards does it mention pharmaceutical grade fish oil. The grades of fish oil as set by the IFOS are: ultra-refined, natural grade, combination products, kid products, functional food, raw material, pet products, and archived reports. IFOS publishes a web site with listings of products which meet their 5 star ratings.

Fish oil potency relates to the amount of EPA and DHA they contain and purity relates the product being free of toxins. The fish used to make fish oil often come from heavily contaminated waters and when the oil is concentrated the toxins will also be concentrated. Removing impurities from the finished supplement expensive when done correctly. Molecular distillation and high pressure filtration are used to reduce the amount of PCB and heavy metal toxins. Typically, the less a supplement costs the fewer safeguards that are taken in the production of the supplement. These results in a less potent product that contains additional impurities.

Food of all types have become more highly refined and the processing it requires has removed many of the nutrients that were once plentiful in all forms of raw food. The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are the nutrients we seek when we eat fish and take supplements. These nutrients have been shown to protect against heart disease, joint diseases, reduce blood pressure, and build up the immune system. This protection is the reason these golden capsules are in such high demand.

Regardless of what it is called, the most important thing about the supplement you choose is whether or not the capsule you take has the potency you require and none of the impurities that can cause you harm. A quality supplement should have no taste or smell. It should cause few of the noted side effects and be stored in a tightly sealed dark amber or light protected container.

One of the best ways to avoid all this controversy is to eat fish according to the standards of the American Heart Association, which states that adults should eat two 6 to 8 ounce servings of oily fish per week. Baked, broiled, or sauteed is the only way to cook fish if that is how you want to get your essential fatty acids. Take the time to know what you are taking and how it affects your body. Do not fall for the marketing ploys and terms that are designed to mislead and make sure you get the right product for you and your family.

Choosing the Best Fish Oil Supplement – Important Factors You Need to Consider

Choosing the best fish oil  supplement  can be a simple task once you know what you should look for in fish oil based products. This article has a detailed account of factors that you should take into consideration while choosing fish oil based  supplements .

Purity

One of the major problems with most of these  supplements  is that they contain PCBs, dioxins, and heavy metal contaminants that can be quite harmful to your health. So, make sure the  supplement  you choose is tested for heavy metal contamination and microbiological contamination. It is also advisable to choose a  supplement  that is purified using a reliable purification technique like molecular distillation. This is one of the important factors you should consider while choosing the best  supplement .

Efficacy

A lot of fish oil based  supplements  do not contain optimum levels of omega 3 fatty acids. They are not as effective as most people think. So, make sure the  supplement  you choose contains the right amount of n-3 fatty acids. On average, a capsule should contain at least 500 mg of DHA and EPA. Apart from this, it should also contain omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids, which are beneficial to your health. This again is a factor that differentiates the best fish oil  supplement  from the rest.

Freshness

Make sure the  supplement  you choose contains oil from fresh fish oil that have not lost their medicinal properties. If you cut open a capsule, it should not have a rancid odor. If it smells bad, it means that the oil has oxidized and lost its active properties. So, the oxidation levels of the  supplement  you choose should be very low. You can verify this by looking at the Certificate of Analysis (COA) given by the supplier. This is an important thing you need to keep in mind while choosing the best fish oil  supplement .

DHA – EPA ratio

The  supplement  you choose should contain DHA and EPA in a 2:1 ratio. DHA is the most important omega 3 fatty acid needed for your body. It has anti inflammatory, anti cancer, and immune boosting properties. Also, your body is capable of converting DHA into EPA whenever needed. It cannot convert EPA into DHA. So, make sure you choose a fish oil based  supplement  that contains DHA and EPA in the right proportions.

Standards

The best fish oil  supplement  should meet certain standards. For example, it should be manufactured in a GMP compliant laboratory under expert supervision. It should be approved by the FDA. It should meet the standards set by authorities like the International Fish Oil Standards, Council for Responsible Nutrition, European Pharmacopeia, and the Norwegian Medical Standard.

Finding the best fish oil  supplement  could take you some time. But believe me – it is definitely worth spending your time. Once you find the right  supplement , make it a part of your regular diet. It is, in my opinion, a safe and effective way to boost your immune system naturally and improve your overall health.

Are Dietary Supplements For Diabetics Worth the Money?

A diagnosis of diabetes is a life-changing event for some people. Suddenly you are forced to pay close attention to your diet, monitor your blood sugar, and deal with other complications in your daily routine. Some diabetics who are struggling to control their blood glucose are turning to special dietary  supplements  for extra help. Are diabetic  supplements  worth the money?

Certain natural botanical extracts have been used for thousands of years to treat diabetes and related conditions. Scientific research continue to demonstrate that these substances can be very helpful for people with diabetes. The most beneficial are those that assist the body to use insulin better and to maintain a healthy blood sugar level.

Biotin, Vanadyl Sulfate, Bitter Melon Extract, Cayenne, Juniper, and Gymnema Sylvestre are only a few of the natural ingredients that enhance the body’s use of insulin. Each substance has slightly different properties, so they work best when taken in combination. For example, Vanadyl Sulfate seems to mimic insulin within the body, while Cayenne can help to reduce insulin resistance. Juniper, on the other hand, can help strengthen the pancreas, which is the organ that produces insulin.

Turning to blood glucose control, Chromium and Vitamin C are notable players. They both support glucose metabolism, which contributes to more stable glucose levels. Cinnamon Bark can assist in glucose tolerance. Huckleberry and Banaba Leaf Extract will also help stabilize or lower blood sugar.

Many  supplements  for diabetics contain nutrients that support general health. Ingredients that enhance enzyme activity, weight loss, and fat reduction are particularly important for persons with diabetes, who often need to lose some unwanted pounds.

 Supplements  have a cumulative effect and so it may take several months for you to notice an improvement in your health. It depends very much on your individual body chemistry and the severity of your diabetic condition.

How do you know if a  supplement  is working? You will want to chart your blood sugar readings as usual. When you find the  supplement  that is right for you, you can expect to see more normal blood sugar levels, weight or fat loss, more energy, and improved overall health. Some people find that their excessive hunger or their craving for sweets goes away.

In the best case scenario, correct supplementation can reduce your need for prescribed medication. Of course, no matter how good you feel, you should never change the way you take your medication without the approval of your physician.

Why Herbal Dietary Supplements Are So Popular

Herbal dietary  supplements  are commonly used today by an increasing number of people to treat various health conditions and diseases. As the name suggests, herbal  supplements  are those that contain herbs or botanical ingredients.

Herbal dietary  supplements  are so popular because they provide a natural and healthy solution for improving one’s health and quality of life. Many people are under the impression that herbal dietary  supplements  are new additions to the health industry. However in reality, the use of herbs and medicine go back to prehistoric man.

Guidelines that  supplements  should follow

There are certain guidelines that herbal dietary  supplements  have to fulfill by its manufacturers. They should be taken orally to  supplement  the diet by increasing one’s dietary daily intake.

Most herbal dietary  supplements  contain one or more vitamins, herbs, minerals and amino acids to maintain the body’s nutritional balance. Different  supplements  are available in different forms like capsule, powder, pill, gel caps, liquids and concentrate soft gels for quick and easy absorption of the  supplement  in the body.

Not a meal on its own

However remember that herbal dietary  supplements  are in no way a conventional food or meal  supplement  that can be taken on its own. It is to be included in your diet with your regular food, as a nutritional and beneficial  supplement .

With there being different types of herbal  supplements , more than 4 billion people take some form of herbal  supplements  in their day to day life. The most common reasons for people to take these  supplements  include prevention of some disease or illness, to help with weight loss, for improvement of one’s energy levels and to cure insomnia or to help one relax and sleep.

Herbal  supplements  are also taken to manage any symptoms that arise due to illness, injury or disease and to increase one’s life longevity. Sometimes it is also used as a part or alternative to traditional medicinal treatments or even as an alternative to the more expensive treatments.

Consult your doctor

Some people use herbal  supplements  only because they are a convenient means of adding some vitamins, minerals and herbs in their diet. Then again, there are people who take these  supplements  just to improve their performance in their physical, emotional and mental well being.

So you can see that herbal dietary  supplements  are indeed very beneficial in improving your health and general well being. However just like any other medication, it is always better to consult your physician or doctor about taking these  supplements , especially if you suffer from other health ailments like diabetes and high blood pressure.