Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fish Oil: Fact or Fiction?

Let's face it, your athletes are taking supplements.  And you might be too.  So it pays to be informed.  I subscribe to Consumer Reports, and highly recommend it to anyone who would like to see what independent, third party inspection thinks of everyday products to use.  Let's face it, sometimes it's hard to be objective, so for a small sum of money each year, I can have access to all sorts of information which help me make more informed decisions, both personally and professionally. (No, I don't receive any compensation for stating this; it's my humble opinion).

That said, fish oil is being consumed fairly readily.  The question is, do your supplements contain what the label states?  In this case, all tested showed the amounts claimed on the label for DHA, EPA and omega 3 fatty acids.  Good news.

A snippet can be found here: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/01/fish-oil-pills-vs-claims.html?EXTKEY=NH1CS00H 
At the bottom, click on the Fish Oil Ratings Chart; it charts out both efficacy and daily cost, which I thought was interesting.
You can read in much more detail if you already subscribe to Consumer Reports.

So what to do?  If you decide to take fish oil supplements, look for a USP label.  USP is a non profit which examines and verified authenticity of supplements.  More info on them here.
You can actually find a list of USP verified supplements here.  Again, it's no guarantee, but hopefully allows you to make a more informed decision/recommendation regarding supplement companies.

One last thought, you can likely obtain needed omega-3 by simply eating fatty fish a couple of times a week (salmon, etc.).  And remember, just because it's on the shelf to be sold, doesn't mean it's safe to consume. 

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