Pricey Prescription Fish Oil

Fish Oil is sold as a dietary supplement, but now it comes a s a prescription, too. Consumer Reports takes a look to see if more-expensive prescription fish oil is worth the extra money.

You can buy fish oil as a supplement at the drugstore, but you can also get a prescription for fish oil called Lovaza.

Consumer Reports Gayle Williams says this is one of the first supplements to be offered as a prescription.

"Lovaza has a concentrated amount of fish oil, so if you need to take a high does to lower your triglycerides, you can do so by taking fewer pills, which is more convenient," said Williams.

But Lovaza is expensive, costing roughly $160 a month. And even people with existing heart disease don't usually need the high dose it offers.

"The American Heart Association recommends one gram of omega-3s per day for people with existing heart disease. You can easily get that much from one or two capsules of a fish oil supplement," said Williams.

In picking a supplement, you do need to choose carefully.

Consumer Reports recommends picking a brand that is labeled "USP Verified."

It has been tested by the U.S. Pharmacopoeia for purity and potency, so you know you're getting oil that's free of mercury and other contaminants.

Choosing a supplement for as little as $10 a month will keep your wallet healthy along with your heart.

If you chose to get your omega-3s from eating fish, you want to be sure to avoid fish that contains too much mercury.

Consumer Reports says stick with options like wild salmon, tilapia, and sardines because they have plenty of healthy omega-3s and low levels of mercury.

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