You see it everywhere; one of the consequences of a more health conscious society is that businesses step in to fill the demand. This is great for the most part, but not always. Titles like “Fat Free” (on marshmallows of all things), “Gluten Free”, even the “ORGANIC” are almost like trigger words that we associate with healthy, regardless of what food comes with that label.
Not all Omega-3’s are created equal.
Recently, a team of Canadian journalists took a closer look into the supplement industry, including fish oil supplements, and they discovered that some supplements might not be all that they’re cracked up to be.
Omega-3 fish oil, like other polyunsaturated fatty acids, can oxidise and become rancid. When they do, they might not be safe to consume. The scary part is that it’s very hard to tell when they do become rancid.
Oxidised, rancid oils-promote oxidative damage and increase inflammation, both of which are risk factors for nearly every modern disease. The more unsaturated a fat is, the more vulnerable it is to oxidation. Long-chain, omega-3 fats found in fish oil are the most unsaturated of the fats, and thus the most susceptible to being damaged.
Exposure to elements like light, heat and oxygen can degrade the oil, resulting in oxidation. Out of the seven brands tested by journalists, four had evidence of oxidation. One brand in particular had twice the allowable limits for oxidation.
This is why it’s absolutely crucial to ensure that the fish oil you select is fresh and not rancid. Once it has gone rancid, it will have the exact opposite effect on your body than you want it to.
New Zealand is not the exception.
A New Zealand study found almost all fish oil supplements available in the New Zealand market contain concentrations of EPA and DHA (the important part of fish oil) that are considerably lower than claimed by their labels. Along with this, and possibly more importantly, the majority of supplements tested exceeded the recommended indices of oxidative markers.
Surprisingly, best before date, cost, country of origin, and exclusivity were all poor markers of supplement quality. (Read more HERE)
How to find good Fish Oil?
The simple answer would be for us to see the results of the actual study and which brands scored the best. Unfortunately, life is not that easy and the brand names were not published which leaves us a bit in the dark.
Supposedly, you could break open a capsule and if it smells fishy then the oil is rancid, but this is not the most objective and accurate indicator. So, we are left with judging a book by its cover, which brand seems to have the best formulation and processing? I can say without a doubt, that I have not researched every brand under the sun, but there are a few that I like and recommend.
Metagenics MetaPure EPA/DHA
Bepure Three Fish Oil
I often get asked what this has to do with Chiropractic.
As a Structural Chiropractor, I focus on correcting the underlying structure of the spine, clearing up the communication between your brain and your body, leading to better function, less accidents and a healthier you. This is a process that, just like braces, can often take a bit of time and therefore, there are Complimentary Recommendations that help our patients get better results faster. One of these is to have a healthy intake of Omega 3 Fatty acids for many reasons, but the top ones are to decrease inflammation and to improve the function of the nervous system through the Corrective Process.
Fish oil has amazing benefits to the body, and if you aren’t eating fish every day, fish oil can be a great way to boost your Omega 3 intake. It can often be hard finding the best products, especially if we are trying to save a few dollars.
I also know that it is hard working a 40 hour week, having kids, hobbies and a to do list a mile long, researching every single detail of what you can do to promote your health is an impossible task, so I hope you would look on my practice as a resource, we are here to help.
If you have any comments or questions regarding fish oils I would love to hear them. You can email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to learn more about the role of omega-3 intake and Structural Corrective Care, schedule a Complimentary Consultation by contacting our practice on 06•651•1004