Best Fish Oil Supplement
Avoids PCBs and Other Contaminants
Finding the best fish oil may not be as simple as you think. On March 2, 2010, the world’s largest producer of fish oil products was sued under California Proposition 65 for not revealing to consumers that their supplements contained toxic levels of PCBs.
This may be a surprise to some, but it was not to my husband and I. Fish oil products are produced by the lightly-regulated dietary supplement industry. Fish oil supplements, a leading source of Omega 3 fatty acids useful in joint inflammation and heart disease, are not strictly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA classifies fish oil as food, not as a drug.
In sourcing fish oil there are growing concerns about unsafe levels of contaminants such as mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, dioxins and PCBs now commonly found in many fish.
We've repeatedly cautioned on this website that not all dietary supplements are equally tested for purity and potency. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, not all supplements are equal in quality. That’s why we put our trust in the best fish oil supplement we’ve found (for our heart and arthritis joints) from the leading natural nutrition company in America.
Omega Protein Inc. named in lawsuit
The Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation, along with two other plaintiffs, introduced the lawsuit in California Superior Court in San Francisco. They allege that the defendants are marketing products containing PCB levels that exceed the law's limits for human consumption of these contaminants, and illegally failing to disclose this to consumers on product labels.
The defendants in this lawsuit were the world-leading Omega Protein, a Houston-based corporation, and the many companies that they produced fish oil for – companies like Rite Aid, CVS, GNC, Now Health Group, Pharmavite, Solgar and Twinlab.
The Mateel group alleged it only tested 10 omega-3 supplements manufactured by Omega Protein to date and found PCBs in all of them, ranging from 12 nanograms a day to more than 852 nanograms a day, based on the daily recommended dose written on the labels. Mateel plans to continue testing and to add other companies to the lawsuit if their products are also contaminated. The allegations in the lawsuit have not yet been proven in court.
Consumer Reports "Fish oil pills vs. claims" Jan. 2012
Consumer Reports conducted its own study of a number of fish oil brands (but not all brands) commonly found on the shelves of retail outlets in America, published in its January 2012 issue.
Entitled, Fish Oil Pills versus Claims, their testing revealed discrepancies in quality of 33% of those tested.
According to the article, "Americans are buying more fish-oil supplements than ever, but in industry-standard tests of 15 top-selling brands conducted by an outside lab for Consumer Reports, five fell a bit short."
PCBs, banned in 1979, are now found in food chain
PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) are man-made toxic, colorless and odorless chemicals that were widely used in electrical transformers and other industrial applications before they were banned by Congress in 1979.
Most PCBs in the environment end up in rivers, streams, lakes and, ultimately, the oceans. Once there, PCBs enter the food chain.
California is the only state that requires labeling to warn consumers a product may contain trace amounts of PCBs, which have been tied to cancer and birth defects.
Best fish oil contains full spectrum of seven essential omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are called "essential" because, like vitamins, the body needs them and cannot make them. Thus, we need to be sure we get enough from our diets or from the best fish oil supplements.
In foods, omega-3's are found predominantly in cold-water fish and a few vegetable oils (flaxseed, walnut and canola). Other sources of omega-3s include whole grains, legumes, nuts, and green leafy vegetables.
Fish oil is considered the best source as it contains a full spectrum of seven omega 3 fatty acids, including EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA docosahexaenoic acid), ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid), and more. The average American intake of EPA and DHA is only 0.1 to 0.2 grams daily.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating two servings of fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids each week to provide an intake of about 0.3 to 0.5 grams daily of EPA and DHA.
Over 4,500 research studies on omega-3 fatty acids’ effects on overall health have been conducted in the last 25 years. This research shows that high levels of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids found in the best fish oil promote cardiovascular health, help retain normal blood pressure and triglyceride levels, and support brain, visual and joint function.
Best fish oil from cold water tuna, mackerel, halibut, salmon and cod
The best source of essential omega 3 fatty acids is from cold water fish (tuna, mackerel, halibut, salmon and cod). It’s difficult to get therapeutic amounts of fish oil by eating fish alone.
Coupled with concerns that the food supply is contaminated, dietary supplements are a logical alternative—if they are high quality, high purity and rigidly tested for complete decontamination.
My husband and I use one of the world’s best fish oil supplements because of its superior processing. The manufacturer uses state-of-the-art proprietary triple molecular distillation that concentrates natural beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. The net result is an ultra-pure premium fish oil supplement.
It contains the full spectrum of all seven omega-3s including EPA, DHA and ALA. We take this supplement primarily for heart health, but we feel it also helps reduce joint inflammation from our arthritis conditions, which we really like.
Featured best fish oil supplement
We also like that it's easy to digest.
The pharmaceutical-grade fish oil supplement we take, Omega Guard, has been formulated to minimize odor and fishy aftertaste. It contains higher levels of EPA and DHA than leading brands. It's guaranteed free of impurities and contaminants such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, dioxins and PCBs.
This purest fish oil is made by Shaklee Corporation, founded in 1956, a recognized leader in the natural nutrition industry. The science behind each of their products appears to be second to none. They’ve invested more than $250 million in clinical testing, research and development and have over 90 published studies in peer-reviewed scientific journals—more than any other nutritional company we've found!
I highly recommend what we consider the best fish oil available on the market. The label reads take 2 softgels one or two times daily.
It is 180 capsules, however, also available in a 60-capsule size.
*Best Fish Oil Disclaimer: Health statements on this Best Fish Oil page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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