Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What Is In Your Fish Oil Supplements?

A lot us are taking fish oil supplements on the daily basis. We believe that the omega-3, EPA and DHA are good for our brain and nervous system, help to fight heart and chronic diseases, and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's.

How well do we know about the contains in the fish oil supplements? LabDoor has analyzed 30 best-selling fish oil supplements in the U.S.A., measuring the omega-3, EPA and DHA quantities, vitamin D and CLA amounts, mercury level, and total oxidation values.

They found:

- 21/30 demonstrated omega-3 levels that varied by over 10% off their label claims.

- 6/30 contain omega-3 level 30% lower than what the label stated.

- 12/30 contain DHA level 14% lower than what the label stated.

- DHA intake should be higher than EPA, but most supplements trended in the opposite direction, generally serving up twice as much EPA as DHA.

- Every product contained measurable amounts of mercury, ranged from 1 to 6 parts per billion per serving, which is well below the upper safety limit of 100 parts per billions.

- The majority of products passed oxidation (freshness) test. All brands showed oxidation level above 20, where safety limit is 26. The average score of the 30 brands was 21.3, but 1 product recorded a score above the upper limit and 6 more products measured within 5% of the upper limit.

THEN, should we still take fish oil supplements?

According to Dr. Philip Gregory, editor-in-chief of the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, says in this New York Times article that:
“It may be that for people with heart disease who are already well treated with statins or high blood pressure medication, fish oil supplements may not offer any additional benefit,” he said. “Similarly, for those who already consume fish in their diet, adding a supplement probably doesn’t offer additional benefit.”
Whether fish oil will benefit normal or healthy people wasn't discussed in the study. I guess it is up to us whether to consume, way to consume, and frequency of consuming.

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