Something Fishy About Your Fish Oil Supplement?
A study published last week analysed fish oil supplements for their reported content and quality. Of 32 brands of supplements (manufactured in NZ and Australia) examined, only three contained quantities of omega-3 fatty acids near levels stated on the label – and many were potentially contaminated. The vast majority of supplements exceeded recommended levels of oxidation markers. Basically they were already showing evidence of rancidity. All supplements were within their stated shelf life.
At Core, one of the things we are uncompromising about is the quality of the products that we use and recommend. Clients have occasionally mentioned that they can buy similar products on line or they get products from some of the Chemist Warehouses at a lower price. Yes professional products do cost more, however, you truly do get what you pay for and you are paying for products that:
* do contain what they claim on the label
* the raw ingredients have been verified to be of the purest quality (no contamination with heavy metals, pesticides, etc)
* with regard herbal medicines: the correct species of plant, the correct part or the plant, as well as adequate active ingredients (the levels of the active ingredients in a plant depends on the growing conditions and location) are all verified prior to manufacture
* some raw ingredients have been found to be “spiked” with the active ingredient to make it appear to be of a higher quality than they actually are (good manufacturing practices can detect these adulterated products)
* stability testing has been done to show that there is no deterioration of the product over the listed shelf-life period (particularly important for probiotics)
* even probiotics have been found to contain the wrong strains, when checked via DNA “finger printing” and the incorrect amounts in the product
* a material specification is available from the manufacturer that verifies the list and quantities of ingredients in the product (capsule, tablet, liquid)
Often during a typical year we will be unable to source a particular product or herb and more often than not it is because the manufacturer has rejected samples and been unable to source appropriate quality ingredients and those rejected ingredients end up somewhere?
Over the years we come across reports that have looked at over the counter products and found that many do not contain the specified ingredients in the product, with ingredients missing, less of an ingredient or more of an ingredient, or the wrong ingredient has been used. Also significant contamination with heavy metals, especially lead. Moreover, some of the cheap supplements available online have been found to be batches that have been rejected during manufacture or more of a worry, expired product that has been re-labelled.
As with any industry, for best results the trick is to use what the professional themselves use!