Supplementation

Omega-3’s Under Fire

Many people have touted the benefits of taking omega-3 supplements, but a recent study has put them under fire. What exactly are you ingesting when you pop these pills?

Consumer Labs periodically reviews supplements to find out if the quality meets the claims. They have been a boon for the consumer since 2001. If you take a lot of supplements and are serious about your health then they are a site you should definitely visit.

Their independent testing and results can provide useful and sometimes shocking results. Take for example their recent review of omega-3 supplements.

The Omega-3 Reportomega 3 under fire

They tested 35 different omega-3 supplements found on the open market. From that group there was quite the range of problems and issues.

  • 4 of the 35 had 20-30% less of the claimed amount of omega-3
  • 1 supplement had spoiled fish oil
  • 3 of the 35 had 2-3 times the amount of fatty acids
  • 1 supplement listed 1 mg of fat but really had 1,000 mg of fat

That means that 9 of 35 or 26% of these supplements were faulty.  That is a ridiculously high number. You have to become a member to gain access to full reports but you can view the summary report here.

The president of Consumer Lab mentioned that Swanson EFA’s Super EPA was a top choice for Omega-3’s after the review was completed because of quality and price.

Why You Need Omega-3

Even with that bad report, omega-3’s are very important. The Journal of American Medical Association provided a very complete review earlier this year. That study involved analyzing 20 different studies with close to 70,000 people involved in those studies. The overwhelming results were that there was no association of decreased mortality from heart attack, strokes, cardiac arrest, etc from people taking omega-3 supplements.

That reports was blown up in the media to discount the need of omega-3’s, but what wasn’t fully covered was that those studies were mostly done with high-risk patients.

Omega-3’s are not miracle pills. High-risk patients typically have big factors like diabetes and excess weight which a small capsule is not going to counteract. No, the importance of omega-3 is for the people who aren’t over the edge yet. There is still solid evidence that will provide many healthy heart benefits to keep people, especially men, in a better position to be safer from heart attacks.

The bottom line is that you should try and make sure that you have plenty of omega-3 in your system. If you enjoy fish then you might not need the supplement. Eating two servings of fish (3.5 ounces each) per week will provide what you need. However if you aren’t big on fish then adding a quality omega-3 supplement to the mix is a smart move just to make sure you get as much protection from heart problems as possible.

We only get one go-round in life so making the most of it and keeping your body as healthy as possible is critical.