Is prescription fish oil worth the cost?

LOS ANGELES Anne Conway doesn't like to eat fish. So to get the heart-healthy benefits, she takes a /*fish oil*/ supplement.

"I take fish oil for my arteries to make my good cholesterol higher," said Anne.

Anne buys her fish oil as a supplement at the drugstore, but you can also get a prescription for fish oil called /*Lovaza*/. /*Consumer Reports*/ says it 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 dose to lower your triglycerides, you can do so by taking fewer pills, which is more convenient," said Gayle Williams, Consumer Reports.

However, Lovaza is expensive. It costs roughly $160 per month. Experts say even people with existing heart disease don't usually need the high dose it offers.

"The /*American Heart Association*/ recommends one gram of /*omega-3*/s 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 need to choose carefully. Consumer Reports recommends picking a brand that is labeled "/*USP Verified*/."

"USP Verified fish oil has been tested by the /*U.S. Pharmacopeia*/ for purity and potency, so you know you're getting oil that's free of mercury and other contaminants," said Williams.

Choosing a supplement for as little as $10 per month is healthy for your wallet, as well your heart.

If you choose to get your omega-3s from eating fish, stick with options like wild salmon, tilapia and sardines, because they have plenty of healthy omega-3s and low mercury levels.

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