Fish oil – what’s fishy about it?
There is an increasing awareness around the wide-ranging benefits of fish oil. Chances are, either you or someone close to you is taking a fish oil product. The therapeutic effects of fish oil are widely accepted by health and medical communities and it is readily available to purchase in health food stores, pharmacies and even supermarkets. Nevertheless, are you getting precisely what you bargained for in terms of both efficacy and purity when you purchase that mega-tub of fish oil from your local supermarket?
What should be in your fish oil?
A high quality fish oil supplement is the ideal source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. However, not all fish oils provide the same benefits. The active constituents in fish oil, known as EPA and DHA, are used in varying therapeutic amounts for different health concerns. For example, EPA assists in relieving the pain and inflammation of mild arthritis, helps maintain cardiovascular health and plays a role in mood regulation. DHA supports normal healthy brain development, improves memory and cognition, and is important for the health of your nervous system. A high quality, high strength fish oil may also help you maintain a normal ratio between the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ types of cholesterol as well as help maintain normal triglyceride levels.
The label on your tub may claim each fish oil capsule contains ‘1000 mg of fish oil’ but ask your Practitioner how much of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are you actually getting? Your Practitioner can recommend a prescription fish oil with high concentrations of EPA (up to 2000 mg per dose) and DHA (up to 800 mg per dose) to help with your specific health needs, and can advise you which fish oil is most appropriate for your particular health concern.
What shouldn’t be in your fish oil?
Ask yourself, ‘What else could be lurking in that budget brand fish oil that may be bad for my health?’ ‘Is there anything in there that could be harmful, such as toxins and impurities?’ Larger fish found higher up the aquatic food chain can harbour environmental pollutants such as lead, cadmium, mercury, and pesticides, which may accumulate in your body over time. The resultant toxicity may actually contribute to health complaints.
The fish oils prescribed by your Practitioner guarantee superior levels of purity and quality by using only small pelagic fish, such as sardines and anchovies, which do not accumulate the same levels of environmental toxins that the much larger fish tend to store over their lifespan. Furthermore, the fish oils that your Practitioner recommends undergo a process called ‘molecular distillation’, which removes impurities and pollutants that may potentially be present. The resulting purity levels exceed the Australian manufacturing standards.
Maintaining quality of fish oil – reducing the ‘fishiness’
When fish oils are exposed to heat, air or light they can become oxidised or ‘turn rancid’. Oxidised fish oils not only smell and taste unpleasant, but also have reduced health benefits and may even be harmful in some cases. The fish oils recommended by your Practitioner are manufactured using a process called ‘nitrogen flushing’, which protects the oils from oxidation. The finished product is then tested for the indicators of oxidation or ‘freshness’, again resulting in levels exceeding Australian manufacturing standards. By choosing a fish oil with the lowest indicators of oxidation our practitioners are ensuring you gain the greatest health benefits from your fish oil.
Sustainability of fish oil
Today most consumers are aware that fish need to be sourced sustainably to protect our marine environment. The fish oils we recommend are certified by Friend of the Sea, an independent organisation that tests and certifies products made with ingredients sourced using sustainable fishing practices that minimise environmental impact.
The right fish oil for you
Whether you need help to relieve the pain of mild arthritis, are wanting to improve your memory and cognitive function, or would like to maintain normal cholesterol levels and a healthy cardiovascular system, a high quality fish oil supplement can help. Our practitioners can prescribe you a fish oil of the highest quality and purity so you can be confident that you are getting the best therapeutic results and most value for money from your fish oil.