Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, naturopath, or dietician. While this has worked very well for me I recommend checking with your doctor.
Raise your hand if your parents gave you Flintstone vitamins when you were a kid. Yes, my parents bought these for us. As I got older, I tried lots of vitamins and supplements to help with health. Let’s be realistic thought, supplements are not a panacea and cure for healthy eating, regular exercise and plenty of sleep.
So every once in a while I will take a variety of supplements as needed. Things like, Vitamin C when I am feeling under the weather, Vitamin B and Magnesium when I have heavy workouts and even some Vitamin D and potassium. But those are all very hit or miss. But there is one supplement I take every day, and that is Fish Oil.
Inflammation relief from Omega 3 Fish Oil
My journey to taking fish oil coincided with getting older and working out more. What I found is that I was getting cramps in my fingers and toes. It felt like you needed to crack the joints but they just wouldn’t. I just chalked it up to working out and getting older until I talked to a good friend of mine.
He had it worse than me, to the point where he was going to the doctors because of the pain in his fingers. After going to his Primary Care and a couple specialists, one of the doctors recommended fish oil supplements. And lo and behold, a couple weeks later, the pain in his fingers went away. I started taking them, and the pain in my joints also went away.
Besides the heart health benefits (it is supposed to help your HDL levels), the Omega 3 Fats have anti-inflammatory properties that seem to help with the join stiffness and pain. One time I ran out and didn’t take them for about a week and that stiffness started coming back. But I ended up ordering more, and within a few days, the pain went away.
Good Fish Oil
Before you head out and start buying fish oil from just about anywhere, it is important to know what to look for. In particular, you are looking for the EPA and DHA concentrations as well as a limited mercury content.
A lot of fish oils contain a large amount of fish oil but very little of the essential Omega 3 Fatty Acids you are looking for, specifically the EPA and DHA. I use a fish oil from Sams Club that performs pretty good with 66% of total fish oil content is EPA and DHA. One of the best performing ones is Viva Naturals linked below.
If you are looking for the best value, then take a look at the brand below. And if you have a Sam’s Club nearby, check them out as they perform quite well in both concentrations and value.
Both of these brands have high percentages of EPA and DHA, the fatty acids that have the most benefit.
Note: The one that surprised me was the Costco brand. When I looked at the EPA and DHA content it was quite a bit lower.
Finally, looking at Mercury content is something to be concerned with. The further up the food chain you go, the more mercury concentration you get. The ones I linked to have quite low mercury content.
I take Fish Oil… should you?
I have taken fish oil for several years now. Besides the inflammation relief, it seems to have helped with my HDL levels. Ultimately you have to decide if it makes sense but it does for me. Is there any supplement you take that is a must? Leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter.
For additional reading I have linked to an article as well as a Labdoor.com analysis of various fish oils if you are curious your self.