Throughout history, humans have consumed diets heavy in fish, meeting our dietary need for not only omega-3, but specifically EPA and DHA. Western diets, however, have evolved to where fish consumption is at a staggering low.
These physiologically essential nutrients that were once readily available — and consumed often — have become a nutritional deficit for many.
Thus, a supplemental dietary solution was needed. That solution is fish oil.
According to the National Institute of Health, fish oil is the most popular natural supplement used by adults in the United States. Annual sales clock in at about $1.2 billion — three times greater than glucosamine, the number two seller.
With the continued surge in fish oil’s popularity, it’s more important than ever to keep a close eye on quality.
Fifty percent of omega-3 fatty acid supplements recently purchased by researchers in Canada failed tests for freshness and exceeded the limits for oxidation.
What lead to this eye-opening discovery?
Fish oil is sometimes processed continents away from where the fish were originally harvested. When exposed to air and light, fish oil degrades and becomes rancid. Plus, longer transit times exacerbate the risk of oxidation.
Along with that dilemma is the issue of sustainability. Fisheries claim sustainable practices, but oftentimes oils are mixed with concentrates from unsustainable sources.
So what does this mean to you as a consumer of fish oil?
Transit and production times matter if you want to purchase the freshest fish oil available. When possible, purchase fish oil that’s sourced and produced in close proximity to one another.
Also, be conscientious of buying sustainably-sourced products. They’re not only better for you, they’re better for the environment, too.
For more information about Dr. Silverman, please visit drrobertsilverman.com.