Fish oil capsules are an efficient way to get seafood’s crucial omega-3s, known as DHA and EPA, and tests have shown that they’re typically free of mercury. “Taking one standard fish oil supplement triples the typical American’s intake of omega-3s,” says University of South Dakota scientist William Harris, PhD, an authority on fish oil. But other sorts of omega-3 supplements won’t do the same job. Flax oil pills, for instance, contain a different omega-3 fatty acid, ALA, which isn’t as effective. Don’t rely too heavily on foods with added omega-3s either.
Experts say it takes about 1,750 mg of DHA and EPA a week to start to see benefits (doctors may suggest larger amounts for patients with heart disease or other ills), and foods with an omega booster won’t get you close. The independent testing group ConsumerLab.com, for instance, found that Tropicana Pure Premium Healthy Heart with Omega-3 Orange Juice contains just 50 mg of DHA and EPA per serving. Two slices of Wegmans 12 Grain Bread with omega-3 give you 90 mg. Even omega-3-fortified eggs contain only 150 mg each, experts estimate.