​Which Omega-3 is Right for Me?

Omega-3s offer many important benefits, including supporting heart, vision, cognitive, mood, and immune health and promoting a healthy pregnancy. But how do we know which one is right for us? Here are some tips:
 
Quality
Our omega-3 should be sustainably sourced, meaning unpolluted waters and low-impact fisheries that are monitored to protect our waterways and local environment. 
 
Purity
We want clean, fresh omega-3s. They should be processed in state-of-the-art facilities, purified without chemicals, and third-party tested for freshness, potency, and purity. These are the standards maintained by Carlson. The gold standard for third-party fish oil testing is the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS) program. Carlson omega-3s earn the highest possible IFOS rating.
 
Superior Taste
We want our fish oil to taste fresh, not fishy. Look for oils that are taste award winning. All Carlson liquid fish oils have won Superior Taste Awards from the renowned chefs and sommeliers at the International Taste & Quality Institute. Carlson liquids are tasty enough to take right off of the spoon, but the delicious flavors also lend themselves to be creative additions to salads, smoothies, hummus, guacamole, salsa, popcorn, and more. 
 
Potency
If we're going for meaningful and measurable blood levels of omega-3s, the Omega-3 Test Kit can help us measure status. It's a quick finger prick test that is done at home and mailed to the lab. We receive results in two to four weeks. The target Omega-3 Index is 8-12%. For most adults, that means we should be taking between 1,750-2,500 mg of combined EPA and DHA daily.
 
The fish we consume is also part of our intake. If we have salmon or tuna a few days a week, we can take a less potent daily supplement. The target level for kids is 6%. The little ones get many benefits from omega-3s also, including supporting brain, vision, and nervous system health and development.
 
EPA and DHA
The omega-3s EPA and DHA are sourced from fish oil (or algae for vegans). While it's important to get both EPA and DHA, each of them has distinct benefits that may suit our unique health issues or goals. 
 
If pregnant or breastfeeding, we should make sure we're getting a minimum of 200 mg of DHA and as much as 1,000 mg daily, which supports both mom and baby. 
 
Other mood concerns? We should get some DHA but also a good amount of EPA. EPA has been shown to brighten mood in non-pregnancy related mood issues. If winter time blues are every an issue, getting our vitamin D levels into the normal range is also helpful. (Carlson also offers an at-home Vitamin D Test Kit.) 
 
EPA and DHA both support heart health and help maintain healthy triglyceride levels already within normal range. They also support learning for kids and healthy cognitive function for older adults. When we reach our senior years, it's important DHA is at least half of our daily omega-3 intake.
 
Soft Gels or Liquids
Soft gels or liquids are fine. Select the form that's best for you and easy to maintain long-term. It takes about 4 months to boost our omega-3 blood levels, if we are low. Omega-3s are an important part of our everyday health routine, from babies to seniors.