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Should Your Fish Oil Pills be Thrown Back?

Lizard King

Lizard King

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 9, 2010
11,595
3,417
#1
The beneficial fatty acids in fish oil have been associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer, fatal heart attacks, better brain function, and more. But a recent report conducted by a consumer watchdog group has discovered some fish-oil-supplement claims are downright fishy.

The details: Consumer Lab, a third-party evaluator of supplements, tested 38 omega-3 supplements, including softgels and liquid, and products for adults, children, and pets. They tested for harmful contaminants often found in some fish (mercury, PCBs, and dioxins) and omega-3 fatty acid levels, particularly the beneficial EPA and DHA forms. They found that nearly one-third of the products were rancid and/or did not contain the levels of omega-3 fatty acids indicated.

Which is better: Fish vs. Fish Oil
.
The good news is that most products fared well; including New Chapter Wholemega Fish Oil, which Tod Cooperman, MD, president of ConsumerLab.com, says is a good choice for consumers looking for a product that has not been distilled or chemically treated. In terms of a quality bargain, Dr. Cooperman says Swanson EFA's Super EPA packs a solid bang for your buck.

On the other fin, NOW Neptune Krill Oil did not do as well. Consumer Lab found it was rancid and contained just 80 percent of its claimed total omega-3 fatty acids in two separate laboratory tests. The complete report is available at ConsumerLab.com, but viewing it requires a membership purchase.

Could omega-3s be the cure to preventing breast cancer?

What it means: Dr. Cooperman says fish oil supplements that passed testing are a good choice for people looking to boost their omega-3 intake, even better than eating real fish (in terms of contamination). "Nothing is truly contaminant free. It's impossible at this point," he says. But, he adds, some fish contain much higher levels of contaminants than fish oil pills do.

Which is healthier: Farmed fish vs. Wild fish.

Here's what you should look out for when considering fish oil quality:

Read labels wisely.
Make sure you scan fish-oil-supplement labels carefully to make sure you're getting what you think you're paying for. "Concentration of omega-3s in the fish oil can vary from 20 percent to 80 percent," says Dr. Cooperman. "Read the supplement panel carefully. You're looking at the amount of EPA plus DHA. Don't look at total omega-3s." Check the omega-3 fatty acids breakdown on the nutrition label to make sure you're getting a decent amount of EPA and DHA. (Add up EPA plus DHA amounts. If it accounts for less than 23 percent of the omega-3s, it's low.)

For instance, a product touting 1,200 milligrams (mg) of fish oil could really only contain 20 percent of the inflammation-taming, brain-boosting EPA/DHA combo.

Don't confuse price with quality.
"Price is not an indicator of quality," says Dr. Cooperman, who notes that some good quality fish oil supplements fell into the six- to 10-cents-a-day category. "You really don't have to pay a lot."

If you're out for a bargain, Dr. Cooperman suggests Swanson EFA's Super EPA, which provides 500 mg of EPA and DHA per softgel at a very good price.

Don't be duped by meaningless claims.
"Pharmaceutical-grade," "contaminant-free," and "tested in FDA-approved laboratories" do not carry weight. Dr. Cooperman explains that the FDA does not approve analytical labs (although some labs could be FDA registered and inspected.)
 
R

RADAR

Member
Jan 19, 2011
34
2
#4
Great post LK, i have been saying all along that all supplements are not created equal,this is proof in the pudding.

I have my perferred brands ,but posting them may be against the rules here so no comment here!
 
R

RADAR

Member
Jan 19, 2011
34
2
#5
I actually believe it is also. just make sure the company has a solid reputation.
 
barbellbeast

barbellbeast

MuscleHead
Oct 4, 2010
343
43
#6
I had to run over to my supplement cabinet and make sure my fish oil caps contained more than 23% EPA/DHA.
 
ajdos

ajdos

MuscleHead
Sep 8, 2010
2,282
388
#8
Krill is a good sup, it is a phospholipid not just lipid like fish oil which our bodies cells are comprised of you get about a 30% better uptake of the beneficial acids in krill however costs make it just as efficient to use fish at higher quantities, molecular distillation should be the process your fish oil uses to purify out the contaminants.
 
marx

marx

MuscleHead
Sep 29, 2010
4,671
625
#9
CVS brand, cheap as fuck was found chock full of pcb's, seems like there was a consumer suit somewhere cuz the company knew it...

Stuff I usually use is more expensive, and like you mention AJ, distilled...
 
JackD

JackD

Senior Moderators
Staff Member
Sep 16, 2010
5,066
538
#10
Great post, maybe we should list the ones we used and how the checked out?? I don't use fish oil anymore, haven't found one I like.
 
Snachito

Snachito

Senior Member
Oct 8, 2010
189
22
#11
Excellent info!! This is the one thing I always worried about with fish oil as it goes rancid fast, but most of all which companies fish oil is of high quality no matter the cost!!
 
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