Heart of Perfect Health Fish Oil Recommendations

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In my new PBS special, Heart of Perfect Health, I tell viewers to look for four things in a fish oil supplement:

  • 1000 mg of Omega-3 per softgel
  • Enteric coating
  • IFOS (International Fish Oil Standard) seal for purity, potency, and freshness
  • Added Vitamin D

1000 mg Omega-3. There are many fish oil products on the market and many of them, unfortunately, are misleading. For example, just because you are taking 1000 mg of fish oil doesn’t mean you are getting 1000 mg of omega-3. Further, just because you are getting a certain amount of omega-3 per serving doesn’t mean you’re getting that amount per softgel! Make sure the serving size is one capsule or you’ll have to take twice as much to get the same amount of omega-3. You must read the label! Look for the amount of Omega-3 per capsule to know how much you are really getting.

Enteric coating. Most fish oil supplements are not enteric coated. Yet enteric coating helps deliver the fish oil to your intestines, where they are absorbed and utilized. Enteric coating of a high-quality fish oil supplement ensures a burp-free experience with no fishy aftertaste, and it helps enhance absorption of the fish oils

IFOS seal—International Fish Oil Standards. It’s a simple fact that our oceans are polluted and our fish are contaminated with toxins. That’s why taking a purified fish oil is an excellent way to get your omega-3s without concern about excess toxins. The IFOS seal assures you that your fish oil exceeds world standards for purity, potency, and freshness.

Vitamin D. The majority of Americans have deficient or insufficient levels of vitamin D, and many do not know it. While the Institute of Medicine recommends a scant 600 IU of vitamin D daily, this is far too little according to many experts. I’ll refer you to the Vitamin D Council for some great information on the subject. I am trying to raise awareness about this vital nutrient because it is often overlooked. I recommend vitamin D as a component of fish oil because of its importance to overall health. I also recommend, in my books and blog, that people get their vitamin D levels checked regularly. An optimal vitamin D levels is key.

Vin Kutty from OmegaVia recently applauded three out of four of my recommendations on what to look for in a fish oil product. He didn’t agree about added vitamin D, however. He made some valid points, especially when it comes to testing your vitamin D level, but I still believe that 1000 IU added to a quality fish oil supplement is helpful. People simply aren’t getting enough. I want to help people understand that. Glad we’re (mostly) on the same page, Vin. Thanks for the mention.


  • Ana

    I saw your program and you have motivated me to take my health seriously! I was diagnosed with prizmetal (variant) angina and I am only 40yrs old! Thank-you so much for your lifesaving information!

  • Sam

    Is the 1000 mg of Omega 3 a combined total of the EPA and DHA values shown on the label. For example, the capsules I have been taking contain 360mg of EPA and 240 mg of DHA per capsule for a total of 600mg. Does that mean I would need to take 2 capsules daily to meet your suggested 1000mg daily intake?

  • Sam

    I enjoyed watching your PBS presentation.

  • Sam

    I enjoyed watching you on PBS.

  • Teresa

    My husband and I just returned from a follow-up appt. with his Dr. after a trip to the ER from him fainting last week. He has been trying to regulate his high cholesterol and diabetes without going on prescription mediciation. He was recently placed on the max. dose of a statin (80mg.)at the beginning of Oct. 2012. He had tried going on a statin one other time but found that it would cause his blood sugar numbers to rise and he has experienced the same thing this time with going on a statin. He was also placed on the lowest dose of a high blood pressure med. (2.5mg)in an attempt to protect his kindeys from future damage from his diabetes. His blood pressure is normal and he has never had an issue with his BP. We talked with the Dr. today and he has agreed to let my husband try to control his cholesterol through the use of Omege 3. We have the next 4 weeks to prove that it can be done. His cholesterol numbers from 9/28/12 were Trig-104, cholesterol-233, HDL-42, LDL-170. After being on the statin for less than 2 months his numbers were Trig-50, cholest-106, HDL-46, LDL-50. Along with those numbers his liver enzyme numbers also were affected his ALT of 41 to 69 and AST 28 to 31. We want follow as nature means of dealing with our health and would greatly appreciate any other help you can offer. I am curious about finding the proper probiotics. We are hoping to show the Dr. that my husband can indeed control his our health without going on prescription drugs.
    Thank for sll that you do to help others find the heart of perfect health.
    Chris and Teresa from Michigan

  • eugene morales

    what is your answer to sam’s question
    he sent on dec 28 2012 8:44pm
    will this do what we need it to do.
    along with a seperate vitamin D

  • Simone Vanden Dungen

    Thanks so much for your program. It was very helpful and I went out the very next day to look for omega-3. The problem is that I got very confused. Please, could you explain the difference between the dha and epa. I also couldn’t find any certified omega-3 and total omegas were low on each brand I checked. Can you recommend a good on-line source of the supplements you recommended on your program. Thankyou!

  • Chris

    Eugene, yes, Sam would have to take 2 capsules daily.

    I’ve been working with fish oil capsules for years, and I have a considerably different take on Brenda’s ideas about enteric coating, IFOS and vitamin D. We certainly need more vitamin D than the RDA, but it definitely doesn’t have to be part of a fish oil capsule. I take 2000 mg of D3 daily and am considering switching to 5000.

    For an alternative view on the subject of fish oil, please visit naturalpurity.org

  • Irene

    Thanks for sharing this valuable information. I have really hesitate to take fish oil because of its look and its taste. Now I might have to reconsider seriously about the health benefits that it might bring.

  • Carolyn Gillman

    How do I know if my fish oil has 1000 Omega 3 mg when they don’t even list “Omega 3” as being part of the oils? I wish Brenda would’ve mentioned a name brand.

    I throughly enjoyed her presentation and wish she had her own line of products!

  • terrydarc

    I’d like to read Brenda’s take on Sam’s question (thanks to Chris for saying what I’d guess would be correct) – take enough total Omega-3 (DHA + EPA) to get to 1000mg.

    Thanks to Brenda and the PBS special for getting me to buy better Omega-3 supplements. Frankly, I can’t see what difference putting vitamin D together with Omega-3 would have. We’ve been taking extra vitamin D for a few years now. Nice to get the upgrade on fish oi1!

  • Dory

    Please I want to know where can i buy this recommended fish oil omega 3 . Thanks for such great information,
    God bless America

  • Rubie

    I have also been trying to locate an Omega3 fish oil that meets criteria found in your video. I CANNOT locate anything governed by “ISOF” organization/seal.
    Any recommendations???

  • Rubie

    I agree with comments by “Simone Vanden Dungen” !!

  • Rubie

    I have also been trying to locate an Omega3 fish oil that meets criteria found in your video. I CANNOT locate anything governed by “IFOS” organization/seal.

  • Johnny

    Chris, I take 10,000 units of D3 daily. My Vitamin D level was only 19 (reference range 33-100). My Dr. had me take 1,000 units for 6 months and my next Vitamin D level was ony 21. I consulted an online nutritionist and she said take 50,000 a day for 10 days and then step down to 5,000-10,000 a day. I did what she said and my next Vitamin D level was perfect at 67. That said, I am 60 years old, live in New England and don’t get much sun even in the summer. So it’s tough to have a good Vitamin D level naturally at my age in this climate.

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