Fish Oil Guidelines

This post is practical info about buying and taking fish oil, as part of any proper mood repair project. My doctor had me switch off cod liver oil (CLO) to fish oil.  This is because my plan includes taking a high quality multi-vitamin which helps to simplify (somewhat) my supplement plan.  I hope that if you follow along with me on this blog, eventually you will end up at a supplement plan that has you feeling awesome.  I’m feeling much better already, but I continue to plug away at figuring out each component of my supplement plan.

Why Fish Oil?

With a multi-vitamin, you’ll usually be getting a full dose of Vitamin A–hopefully palmitate which is the pre-formed vitamin, not beta carotene. Some of us don’t make good conversions from beta carotene to palmitate.

So, while you’re getting that Vitamin A from your multi, you don’t want a bunch more from cod liver oil (which I took for years, so this was a course correction for me).

Furthermore, CLO doesn’t contain the correct ratio of EPA to DHA. And, it’s got a lot of “filler” or in other words not concentrated for what we’re looking for.  We are looking for that higher EPA and DHA because of the diets we have been eating our whole lives.  And, likely we are still getting some crap oils in our diet, so we are working at repairing the fats levels in our bodies.

Rx for Fish Oil

Here are my doctor’s exact notes:

Change to Purified Fish Oil – strive for is 1,000 mg of the omega fatty acid EPA- not just 1,000 mg of fish oil. Read the label for actual dosing. Maintain 3:2 EPA:DHA ratio–standard fish oil usually about 6 capsule daily with food. Liquid is about 1 teaspoon. Good brand Nordic Naturals. Keep the capsules in the freezer, less reflux

So, I went home, looked over brands that I could easily get my hands on via Amazon or Vitacost, looked at the prices and specifications, and decided that, indeed, Nordic Naturals was the way to go.  I can take far less oil because it’s concentrated, has the correct ratios of EPA:DHA, with less “filler.”

It’s a very small amount on a spoon, and such a cost savings, that I recommend TRY THE LIQUID.  If you cannot, then get the capsules. I give capsules to the members of my family who are finicky and impatient.

The Math

The liquid is about $67 for a bottle.
OK, now that the collective gasp is over, let me offer some facts. In order to see the pricing, you have to do the fancy math of amounts of EPA your are getting, number of servings and price. And standardize that so you are comparing apples to apples against any other product or against capsules.  When I did that, I decided this was the way for me to go. Liquid is cheapest.
I also compared to another high quality fish oil by Seeking Health. Notice the bottles are both 8 oz. Nordic is $60, Seeking Health is $30. But when you look at the amount of EPA and DHA in 1 tsp. you are actually getting twice the amount in the Nordic Naturals.  So, either product is good. Just remember to take your appropriate dose so you’re not drinking extra dollars per day. Har har.


Do you want Xtra Vitamin D in your fish oil?  That depends on you.  My approach is to have a separate Vitamin D supplement because “D drops” are cheap.  I’m not going to do the math here, but my gut instinct is saying that the Vitamin D amount you are getting in the Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega is not worth the additional cost, and it appears to be taking up space in the capsule so you are not getting as much EPA.
Conclusion: No. Just buy the regular Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega, not the “Xtra”
Caveat: If you have someone who really needs the Vit D, but you cannot pin them down, and you need convenient form for dosing, maybe you need the Xtra Vitamin D in the fish oil.  There are some cases where ease trumps cost.


Keep in the fridge or freezer, even if it’s in capsules.  In order to optimize your absorption, split your dose.  I take 1/2 teaspoon with breakfast and 1/2 with lunch.

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