Are your Omega 3 fish oil supplements contaminated?

It’s becoming commonly known that fish caught from our oceans may well be contaminated with various industrial toxins including PCBs and Mercury. And anyone considering taking Omega 3 fish oil supplements needs to consider whether or not the fish oil supplements that they choose to take may also contain contaminated oil.

That’s not to say that there’s large amounts of industrial contaminants in any amount of fish oil. Although they are only there in small amounts, who wants even small amounts of Mercury or PCBs?

Of course we take our Omega 3 fish oil supplements because we understand the importance of eating more of the 2 essential fatty acids DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) which are found in fish, which are extremely good for our health, and which most of us get too little of in our modern Western diet. But do we want to be taking PCBs and Mercury or other contaminants with our DHA or EPA?

PCBs are a very nasty industrial chemical which have been banned in the US since the late 70s. Many are considered to cause cancer. In fact the threat of PCB and other industrial contamination is now sufficiently high that according to proposition 65 in California consumers must be warned of chemical contamination in excess of certain levels. This is intended to provide the general public with some measure of protection from products which contain high levels of nasty industrial chemicals.omega 3 fish oil

So the bad news is that industrial contamination with toxic chemicals such as Mercury and PCBs has been detected in 10 reasonably well known brands of fish oil supplements, including some particularly big names.

And as a result legal action has been undertaken against manufacturers of various supplements suggesting that their supposedly high quality Omega 3 fish oil supplements don’t meet the strict standards required of them by proposition 65, and that they have failed to warn the consumers of the risks of taking their products.

When you buy Omega 3 supplements you may well see various claims about the type of fish oil used in the supplements. For example you may see the fish oil described as “ultra-refined” or “pharmaceutical grade”. None of these terms have any legal meaning, none of them indicate that the particular fish oil in the supplements you are considering is free from industrial contaminants, and the reality is that these terms are nothing more than marketing terms.

There is no doubt that, despite the fact that taking high quality fish oil supplements is good for your health, if the supplements that you take are contaminated with industrial toxins you do not want to be taking them.

The risks are too high, despite the benefits.

The good news is that there are excellent, high quality and totally clean fish oil supplements available.

But if you’re seriously considering taking fish oil supplements for your health, as you should be, or if you take them now, how can you tell whether or not they are clean? There’s a simple way.

Industrial contamination can be detected by laboratory tests, just as it was detected in those supplements mentioned above. The manufacture of any brand of fish oil supplements should, for the benefit of consumers and potential consumers, publish a Certificate of Analysis on their website, by an independent laboratory not owned by the manufacturer, certifying that each batch of oil used in the supplements is clean and free of contamination.

Only then can you be fully confident of the cleanliness of the Omega 3 capsules you’re proposing to take.

The manufacturer of what we consider to be the highest quality Omega 3 supplements in the world has every single batch of fish oil tested by an independent laboratory and the results published on the website for all to see. There is no contamination.

So the bad news is that not all fish oil supplements are clean. The good news is that it is still perfectly possible to get clean high quality Omega 3 fish oil supplements that are clean and extremely good for your health, and cost-effective. You’ve just got to buy carefully.

Written by - Omega 3 Fish Oil

There’s no doubt about the heart health benefits of Omega3 fats. Is lowering your blood pressure possible too?

The range of health conditions benefiting from increasing your intake of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids is enormous. And for this reason sales of Omega 3 fish oil supplements have exploded over the last decade or 2. But do the health benefits of Omega 3 supplementation include reducing your blood pressure?

There’s no doubt that there is a wide range of heart health benefits from increasing your intake of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). This is now mainstream science and there are even medical doctors working in hospitals telling heart patients to start taking Omega 3 fish oil supplements.

And medical organisations are now recommending that all of us have a minimum intake of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids for this reason. The American Heart Association is a good example  of one such organisation.

However high blood pressure is a related condition which may also benefit from increasing your intake of the Omega 3 fats.omega 3 fish oil

The American Heart Association has looked at a study entitled “Effects on blood pressure of Omega 3 fats in subjects at increased risk of cardiovascular disease”.

As the name suggests the study was examining the effects of supplementation with Omega 3 fish oil supplements on blood pressure as well as heart rate in men with moderate or high cardiovascular risks.

In the study a group of men, 120 in total, were split into groups and given different types of diet. Some groups had a high-fat diet and others had a low-fat diet. And groups were also given some form of Omega 3 fatty acids in their diet either as Omega 3 fish oil supplements, or as extra fish in their diet.

Of the high-fat groups some were given high doses of Omega 3 fatty acids by way of Omega 3 fish oil capsules, some were given fish to eat, some were given a combination of the 2 and some were given a placebo.

And a low-fat group hydrate more fish or were given a placebo.

And of course measurements were taken during the study to measure such things as blood pressure, heart rate, weight and a range of other factors.

And it was observed that there was a large fall in systolic and diastolic blood pressure in subjects who took the fish or the fish oil, particularly in the low-fat groups.

Of course it is always difficult to say when these matters are sufficiently proven, and at what point it has become mainstream medicine that taking fish oil supplements will lower your blood pressure. However it seems from the study that this may be the case.

And there is no doubt that there are a range of other blood and heart benefits as well from increasing the amount of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids DHA and EPA in the diet. For instance it is now recognised that doing this will help lower blood fats called triglycerides. High triglycerides can be associated with diabetes as well as heart disease, and for this reason it is important to keep triglycerides as low as possible.

In fact there is even a fish oil supplement which has been approved by the USFDA specifically to reduce triglycerides.

And it seems that there is also very strong evidence that increasing your intake of the Omega 3 fats may even reduce your risk of death from heart attack.

In the absence of further follow-up work further establishing the link between Omega 3 fatty acids and lowering blood pressure conclusively it is still not totally clear whether in fact this is the case. However what is clear is that there is a wide range of other health benefits from taking high quality Omega 3 fish oil supplements every day, and whether or not lowering blood pressure is one of them it makes complete sense for everyone of us to be increasing our intake of the Omega 3 fats.

Note however that not all fish oil supplements are high quality, and it is important to know exactly what you’re buying when you’re buying fish oil supplements. There are wide variations in the amount of the 2 active ingredients DHA and EPA in different brands of supplements, and it is impossible to compare supplements by price for this reason without doing some complicated mathematics.

And there are also issues with the cleanliness of some brands of fish oil supplements, as some have been found to be contaminated with industrial toxins in the past.

In our view the fish oil supplements of Xtend Life, a niche manufacturer in New Zealand, represent the best value fish oil supplements on the market, as well as being totally free of contamination.

Our intake of the essential fatty acids found in fish oil has dropped dramatically over the last century with changes in our diet. It seems that this is impacting seriously on our health and may well be contributing to the incidence of a range of lifestyle diseases. The good news is that it is possible to reverse this with a daily dose of fish oil found in high quality Omega 3 fish oil supplements.

To read the study referred to above click here.

Written by - Omega 3 Fish Oil