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Yes, it is true that you should never settle for anything less than pharmaceutical grade fish oil capsules. This article will burst your bubble somehow, but you deserve to know the truth.
So here goes: there is no such thing as pharmaceutical grade fish oil. "Do you mean that these fish oil manufacturers are just misleading us into buying their product?" Not exactly.
Pharmaceutical supplements are those that pass the standards of USP (US Pharmacopeia). There is officially no such thing as pharmaceutical grade fish oil mainly because the USP is yet to have specific regulations on the purity of fish oil.
However, this does not mean that there is no such thing as quality fish oil. Private and voluntary institutions have sought to create safety guidelines for fish oils. These are institutions such as the US Council for Responsible Nutrition and the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS).
With some manufacturers, when these standards are met, they go ahead and call their omega-3 supplements to be pharmaceutical grade fish oil.
Whatever this argument will lead to, it is still imperative that you get pharmaceutical grade fish oil or its equivalent. Why? Much of our waters today are contaminated by harmful toxins such as mercury, PCBs and other chemicals. If a manufacturer sources their fish in contaminated waters, the fish oil they extract will most likely contain these toxins as well.
If you are not careful, your omega3 fish oils may cause you more harm than good. Therefore, to make sure you get all the health benefits of fish oil without the harmful chemicals, go only for a fish oil supplement that is thoroughly purified and rid of contaminants.
"If there is no such thing as pharmaceutical grade fish oil capsules, how do I make sure that I am getting quality omega 3 fish oils?"
Good question. The best suggestion I can give is that you check out the Certificate Analysis of the fish oil you would like to buy. Reputable manufacturers will be happy to provide them for you.
In the CoA, you should be able to get two important information. First, you should check whether the fish oil supplement actually contains what it says it does. You should check the amount of omega-3, EPA and DHA and see whether it corresponds to the amount on the label. Second, know the level of mercury, other trace minerals and additives and check whether it is safe for human consumption.
You may realize now that before buy fish oil, there are lots of factors to consider. Now, if you do not have as much time to look through different brands, I would highly suggest that you go for Xtend Life's fish oil supplement called Omega 3/DHA Ester.
Xtend Life impressively has more stringent standards in terms of fish oil purity, so it should be worth checking out. Their fish oils are not pharmaceutical grade fish oil capsules per se, but they probably work better.