Best bet for fatty acids
Q: I know you strongly recommend taking fish oil, but I haven’t seen you discuss the EPA/DHA supplements taken by many of us. Don’t these supplements concentrate the omega 3s and eliminate the need for fish oil?
Dr. Wright: You’re definitely right that EPA/DHA capsules do offer a concentrated dose of essential omega-3 fatty acids. And these supplements can help reduce the total volume of fish oil you might take. But I still think it’s best to continue to take at least a small quantity of fish oil or eat two to three servings of whole oily fish, like salmon or mackerel, each week along with those capsules of EPA/DHA.
Don’t forget that many nutrients come in “complexes” with other nutrients. Examples include tocopherols, carotenoids, and the B-complex. There are other omega-3 fatty acids and probably other useful nutrients in whole fish oil that you can’t get in EPA/DHA capsules alone. That’s why it’s a good idea to use some of “the whole thing” along with extra amounts of certain fractions (like EPA/DHA) to get the most health benefit.