NOT ALL OMEGA 3 IS EQUAL
SO HOW CAN WE TELL THE DIFFERENCE?
Recent media reports have shown that omega 3 supplements on the UK high street vary significantly in terms of the amount of essential fatty acids they contain. Trying to cut through the confusion for consumers is becoming increasingly paramount, because omega 3 fatty acids have clear benefits for many areas of our health and lifestyle, such as heart, circulation and brain health. But we need to seek the best possible quality and the question remains, how can we tell whats best?
An exciting new development area at the top end of the omega 3 spectrum is in high potency, high purity omega 3 marine-based supplement concentrates, which are creating new opportunities and bringing additional health benefits to consumers. They are enriched in EPA, (Eicosapentaenoic Acid), DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), and in some, the newly emerging DPA (Docosapentaenoic Acid), seen by experts as the next generation in omega 3 for heart health. Concentrates are distilled and refined during several processes, which also reduces the level of saturates and contaminants which may remain in more unrefined 18/12 grades.
But theres a catch
There is currently no globally accepted standard for the omega 3 levels required to define a fish oil product as a concentrate. Most fish oils currently on the market are based on cod liver or 18/12 oils. 18/12 oils are sourced from blended fish body oils and are known as 18/12 because they give an EPA/DHA ratio of 18% and 12% respectively per 1g of oil. In low-cost health supplements, they form the basis of many so-called concentrates.
What am I looking for?
Check the ingredient list on the pack to find out the content and dosage of each fatty acid. Look for more of EPA and DPA if you are taking omega 3 for heart health and DHA for brain health.
In true concentrates, fewer and smaller capsules are needed per omega 3 dose, which means that compliance is enhanced and therefore the therapeutic benefits boosted.
Typical fish oil concentrate label information shows:
Nutritional Information Amount per Softgel % RDA
Fish Oil 1200mg *
Providing Omega 3 fatty acids 720mg *
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) 396mg *
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) 264mg *
Other fatty acids 60mg *
There is no official RDA, but two world-renowned and respected scientific committees have offered advice on this subject:
The UKs JCHI (Joint Health Claims Initiative) recommends that 0.45g of long chain omega 3 fatty acids daily to help maintain a healthy heart
The AHA (American Heart Association) recommends:
o 1-2g per day to help maintain a healthy heart
o 4g EPA + DHA per day for people with coronary heart disease
Stamp of approval
Croda has developed the PureMax sign of quality. Products displaying the PureMax logo have gone through a unique purification and concentration technology process. The process removes heavy metals, environmental pollutants and oxidative impurities to ensure the highest quality oils. The end products have minimal impurities and contain the selectively concentrated fatty acids. Higher concentration offers greater consumer convenience, improved palatability, better dose compliance and greater cost-efficiency.
So look out for the PureMax stamp of approval to ensure you are taking the best omega 3.
Visit www.puremax.info to discover more.
For further information and to receive a comprehensive omega 3 information pack, please contact Claire or Stephen at Fuel PR on 020 7498 8211. Experts available for interview.
o Arterburn LM, Bailey E, Oken H; Distribution, interconversion, and dose response of n-3 fatty acids in human, Am J Clin Nutr, 2006, 83, 1467S-76S
o Barton CL, Next-Generation Nutraceuticals . Food and pharma convergence in disease prevention and personalized nutrition, Business Insights Ltd, 2006
o Calder PC, Grimble RF; Polyunsaturated fatty acids, inflammation and immunity, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2002, 26 Suppl 3, S14-S19.