- The latest shocking news about fish oils (I hate to say I told you so)
- The rancid supplement you think is healthy
- Why you cannot see or smell this problem
You go to the fridge one morning to get milk for your tea or coffee.
Off comes the cap and you give it a sniff.
The milk smells horrible – quite clearly, it has gone off.
Would you drink it?
Similarly, if you reached into the fridge for some strawberries and they were covered in a green mould.
I doubt you’d eat them.
That’s because we ALL know that when things go off, they can make us ill.
Off milk can cause stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
And mouldy fruit can cause the same, along with skin rashes and headaches.
Thing is, you can SMELL bad milk and you can SEE mould.
So it’s all very simple.
Not so with fish oils.
They go off too, inside capsules and bottles…
And they can also make you unwell.
But we can’t see the problem or smell it.
The latest shocking news about fish oil
If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I’ve been banging the drum for years about the problem with fish oils.
They are kept on many supermarket and health food shop shelves for so long that the oil goes off.
Regular consumption of rancid oil can raise levels of bad cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease.
And when tested in high doses in animals, these bad oils have been shown to have toxic effects.
So I hate to say “I told you so” but…
Last week, The Guardian revealed that “more than one in 10 fish oil supplements tested from among 60 large retail brands are rancid, while nearly half are just under the recommended maximum limit, according to independent tests.”
As the Guardian reports, a combination of global studies since 2015 have shown that “an average of 20% of fish oil products have excess oxidation.”
In other words, there’s a one in five chance you’re consuming “off” fish oil and doing your health as much harm as good.
That’s a shocking figure – or it would be to many people, but not for many Good Life Letter readers who already know this.
This is why I’ve recommended alternatives like krill oil, which is always popular with Good Lifers – you can read all about that here.
Or for vegans and vegetarians, try this wonderful option from Together, who’ve made a sustainable and environmentally friendly omega-3 supplement from algae – and without using any chemicals at all.
Bear in mind that fish only contain omega-3 because they eat algae!
So why can’t you SMELL when fish oils are off?
It’s because the manufacturers add flavourings to mask the smell and taste.
Dr Ben Albert, from the University of Auckland, has been researching fish oil and says: “Some fish oils will smell more than others, but if they don’t smell bad, that doesn’t tell you it’s not oxidised.”
Which means that, ultimately, you just can’t tell.
In the final line of the Guardian article, Dr Albert warns that fish oil supplements are hard to trust.
Like I say, I’ve been droning on about this for years to anyone willing to listen, so it was good to see it covered by the media.
The best two fish oil alternatives
It is important to ensure you enjoy a regular intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Aside from the widely-reported benefits for your brain, heart and joints, they can help you with many more common niggles like:
- High blood sugar levels
- Prematurely ageing skin
- Poor digestion
- Sexual dysfunction
- Prostate problems
If you cannot get enough natural omega-3s in your daily diet it is wise to take a supplement.
However, the only way to be sure that you’re avoiding rancid oils is to try an alternative that delivers the same omega-3 punch, like our algae-based omega-3 from Together.
Or you could go for the krill capsules, which are a tasteless and odourless product that doesn’t go rancid.
Oh, and by the way, just a reminder about the ethics of this particular krill oil company…
Sanct Bernhard use oil harvested by Aker BioMarine, who work with the World Wildlife Fund in Norway to ensure that their harvesting techniques catch only krill and that all their catches are fully sustainable.
It means that when you take these supplements, you can rest assured you’re not causing havoc to the environment.
So don’t be scared off by articles like the one in the Guardian – there are alternatives out there!