Saturday, 29 January 2011

Is the BP Oil Spill Crisis Affecting Fish Oil Supplements?

The most recent oil disaster off the coast of Louisiana is leading a lot of people to wonder whether it's Alright to eat marine sources of omega-3. Are fish oil supplements in danger?
Are supplements at risk?
Actually, they are. Basically, if it's in the ocean, it's subject to contamination and toxins. Many of the public drug and food agencies aren't involved with supplementation in the same way they are with other products available to the public.
Moreover, OmegaProtein could be the largest producer of fish oil in the U.S., and they produce fish oil products and supplements for many different suppliers and brands. What's scary is that they get nearly 70% of their fish oil from the gulf. That's why it is so important to be a smart consumer! One reuters post says OmegaProtein plans to sue the oil company for damages. BP on the other hand seems to think the disaster is now under control, and has promised to make good on any claims resulting from economic distress caused by the spill.
Perhaps now more than ever, it is exceedingly important to be an educated customer. The truth is, manufacturers DO have the ability to produce fish oil with higher levels of purity and concentration than what's typically sold in nutrition stores. So, how can you find out if you are purchasing the best fish oils? Check out the rating from the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS). IFOS controls the highest standard for fish oils is, and independently tests batches of supplements upon manufacture request.
Is marine derived omega-3 OK?
  • Make sure there's some kind of indication about third-party testing
  • It shouldn't smell bad
  • Check for "freezability"...ultra-refined products shouldn't freeze all the way through
Worried about oily fish like tuna?
As outlined by reporters at AOL News who've spent two weeks tracking down the people doing the testing and trying to understand how they're deciding whether or not it's safe. Here's what they found:
  • The oil company is only concerned with public appearance
  • Fishermen want to keep selling safe seafood so they don't lose customers
  • Health agencies are doing everything necessary to keep contaminated fish off the market
  • All tests for oil contamination have been negative
What is being done to protect consumers?
All the major players in health regulations have joined to make certain all impacted waters are shut down until the threat to marine life dissipates. They do not expect any dangerous products to reach the shelves and want consumers to know they are doing their best to protect the food supply.
While I'm glad these agencies are stepping up to the plate and so are committed to making sure of our security, I have to reveal my concerns are not even close reduced by their measures. Between the recent E.Coli scares and "under-processed" Spaghetti-O's (I didn't even know you could under-process a Spaghetti-O...) all over the news, I find it a little scary to think about eating fish from the Gulf.
Copyright by Marshall Sontag. All Rights Reserved.
Marshall Sontag has been studying nutrition and health for over a decade, and has become an expert on health supplements and omega 3 fish oil in particular. He has operated a omega-3 website for the last 5 years, which features hundreds of studies on the benefits of omega-3 and was selected by Google as the #1 website for their "fish oil" search.

Marshall Sontag - EzineArticles Expert Author