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Latest Test on Fish Oil Supplements

Well according to Yahoo Health News, Consumer Lab, a third-party evaluator of supplements, tested 38 omega-3 supplements, including softgels and liquid, and products for adults, children, and pets. They tested for harmful contaminants often found in some fish (mercury, PCBs, and dioxins) and omega-3 fatty acid levels, particularly the beneficial EPA and DHA forms. They found that nearly one-third of the products were rancid and/or did not contain the levels of omega-3 fatty acids indicated.

So it goes without saying, be careful which fish oil supplements you buy.  Consumerlab.com offers the full  report, but you must be purchase a membership to see it. They say according to the Yahoo report that among the brands that got good results and were recommended were New Chapter Wholemega Fish Oil and Swanson EFA's Super EPA . On the other hand NOW Neptune Krill Oil came up rancid in two separate lab tests according to Consumer Lab. They also said it contained just 80 percent of its claimed total omega-3 fatty acids.

Dr. Cooperman from Consumer Lab says that fish supplements that pass testing are better than real fish in terms of getting your omega-3 intake with less contamination. "Nothing is truly contaminant free. It's impossible at this point," he says. But, he adds, some fish contain much higher levels of contaminants than fish oil pills do.

The Doctor recommends reading fish oil supplement labels carefully. "Concentration of omega-3s in the fish oil can vary from 20 percent to 80 percent," he says. He recommends looking at the amount of EPA plus DHA. Add up EPA plus DHA amounts. If it accounts for less than 23 percent of the omega-3s, it's low. The EPA/DHA combo is what packs the inflammation controlling and brain boosting power. He also said don't worry about price. More expensive is not necessarily better. He also said, "Pharmaceutical-grade," "contaminant-free," and "tested in FDA-approved laboratories" do not carry weight."

source: http://health.yahoo.net/rodale/PVN/should-your-fish-oil-pills-be-thrown-back

Some Fish Oil Facts

Fish oils contain the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), precursors to eicosanoids that are known to reduce inflammation throughout the body,[1][2] and are thought to have many health benefits.

Such fatty predatory fish like shark, sword fish, tilefish, and albacore tuna may be high in omega-3 fatty acids, but due to their position at the top of the food chain, these species can accumulate toxic substances (see biomagnification). For this reason, the FDA recommends limiting consumption of certain (predatory) fish species (e.g. albacore tuna, shark, and swordfish) due to high levels of toxic contaminants such as mercury, dioxin, PCBs and chlordane. Fish oil is used as a component in aquaculture feed.

Fish oil has been studied for treating clinical depression, anxiety, and enhancing the benefits from depression medications. Countries with the highest intake of fish in their diets are correlated with the lowest rates of depression among citizens.

Several studies report possible anti-cancer effects of n−3 fatty acids found in fish oil (particularly breast, colon and prostate cancer)

The American Heart Association recommends the consumption of 1g of fish oil daily, preferably by eating fish, for patients with coronary heart disease.

The US National Institutes of Health lists three conditions for which fish oil and other omega-3 sources are most highly recommended: hypertriglyceridemia, secondary cardiovascular disease prevention and high blood pressure. It then lists 27 other conditions for which there is less evidence.

Studies published in 2004 and 2009 have suggested that fish oil may reduce the risk of depression and suicide.

A study from the Orygen Research Centre in Melbourne suggests that omega-3 fatty acids could also help delay or prevent the onset of schizophrenia.

According to a study from Louisiana State University in September 2005, fish oil may help protect the brain from cognitive problems associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Information obtained from wikipedia.

Taking into consideration all the possible benefits of fish oil it's probably not wise to stop taking them. It would be best to shop wisely and read consumer reports and do your research in determining what brands of fish oil supplements to buy.

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