Your omega 3 fish oil pills may be unhealthy
They may be rancid pills, and not healthy as claimed: Study
New York: Are you one of those who daily pop omega-3 fatty acid supplements like fish oil for its health benefits? Beware, they may be rancid pills, and not healthy as claimed, suggests a new study.
Derived from plants (algae) as well as seafood (fish, krill, etc.), omega-3 supplements -- sometimes labelled as fish oil -- are often taken because of research that suggests they may provide health benefits.
Rancidity is measured by the amount of oxidation of the oil in the supplement.
As supplements become more oxidised, the nutritional benefits delivered to the consumer are reduced.
"Our study suggests many of these supplements are not fresh -- and thus may not provide a potential health benefit," said Leigh A Frame, Associate Professor of clinical research and leadership at George Washington University in the US.
Higher levels of omega-3 have been associated with a wide range of benefits to multiple organs, including the brain and eyes, but the most common reason for its popularity with consumers is to help the cardiovascular system.
The researchers conducted six years of tests on 72 of the most popular brands of omega-3 supplements, using the recommended rancidity limits that are voluntarily set by GOED, a global trade group that represents omega-3 manufacturers.