Different brands of fish oil contain varying amounts of the two fats that are showing to offer health benefits.
The Good Housekeeping institute reminded consumers to read labels carefully to ensure the capsules contain enough of the good fats - EPA and DHA.
“These two fish fats, EPA and DHA, are the ones with the benefits,” said the institute’s Samantha Cassetty. “There are other omega-3s and other fish oils, but they don’t have proven benefits.”
EPA and DHA have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease.
There’s also evidence that they improve symptoms from inflammatory-related conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. The fats are also known to help with mood disorders and lower the risk of age-related eye diseases.
Most people need 500 milligrams of fish oil a day. People with heart disease need more - 800 to 1,000 milligrams.
One bottle the institute checked read on the front label that its capsules contained 1,000 milligrams.
“But then when you turn to the back, you’ll see that much less of that comes from the EPA and DHA,” Cassetty said.
To find out what fish oil brands contain the appropriate levels of the fats, check the April issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine.