The American Heart Association suggests eating fish at least two times a week, especially fatty fish high in two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids--eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA. People who can't get enough of these omega-3s through diet sometimes take fish oil capsules as a supplement. Before you take fish oil or any other supplement, talk with your doctor.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
When looking at the labels on fish oil supplements, it's important to note how much EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids are contained in each capsule. Both Spring Valley and GNC brands sell a standard 1000 mg fish oil supplement that contains 300 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. Spring Valley also sells a 1400 mg capsule with 900 mg of omega-3s. GNC sells a Triple Strength fish oil that contains 900 mg of omega-3s. Check with your doctor to determine the right dosage to meet your needs.
If you have a specific fish oil need, both brands offer a variety from which to choose. In addition to standard fish oil capsules and supplements coated to help prevent fishy burps, both Spring Valley and GNC sell salmon oil and cod liver oil. GNC also sells fish oils that are combined with resveratrol, co-enzyme Q10, krill or phytosterols.
Both Spring Valley and GNC fish oils are easy to find. The Spring Valley brand is sold at Walmart stores and through Walmart's website. Spring Valley fish oil also can be purchased through online retailers such as Amazon.com. GNC fish oil is sold at GNC retail stores and is available through GNC's website. Use the store locator on the Walmart and GNC websites to find the retailer closest to you.
If you're uncertain about what brand of fish oil to buy, Consumer Reports recommends looking for bottles that are marked USP verified. Products with this label have been tested by U.S. Pharmacopeia, which sets widely recognized standards for food ingredients and dietary supplements. Consumer Reports says U.S. Pharmacopeia tests fish oil for purity and potency, so you know you're getting a fish oil that's free of mercury and other contaminants. Neither Spring Valley nor GNC fish oils carry the USP seal.
To get the most for your money, it pays to shop around. With Spring Valley and GNC, prices may vary from retailer to retailer. It's also possible to find the products on sale. What's important when you're shopping is that you compare the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in each capsule. You also may pay more for enteric coatings designed to reduce fishy burps.