A common question most qualified practitioners will hear is, ‘Why can’t I take this fish oil.. it’s cheaper?’.

My answer is usually one that includes an explanation of filtration and rancidity of essential fatty acids. With years spent studying nutritional biochemistry, choosing the best quality nutrients are at the technical core of what we do.

Earlier in the year, the University of Auckland’s Liggins Institute evaluated the quality and content of fish oils sold in New Zealand and Australia. The conclusion was that a number did not meet label claims ( including the EPA and DHA component). This may be due to the rancidity and oxidative damage to the oil as they measured the free radical components.

A fish oil is used for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. When an oil is rancid due to oxidative damage, it becomes unhelpful and inflammatory. For example if you take rancid fish oils for your arthritis, then long term, you are causing yourself more harm than good.

Keeping it simple. If you cut open your fish oil tablets and they smell ‘fishy’, they are rancid and the oils are oxidising. When you catch a fresh fish it does not smell ‘fishy’, as it decays there is an increase in odour or the ‘fishy’ smell which is in part due to the oils of the fish oxidising and going rancid.

There are only two fish oils ( and a thousand reasons why I choose these two companies) that I am happy to recommend as a practitioner brand in Australia, NZ and Europe that have shown extensive filtration and quality testing processes and manufacturing. Feel free to contact us if you would like to know more.

Further to this, Dale Pinnock from the UK has a great article on the importance of essential fatty acids and why you can’t simply get it all from flaxseeds.

Image by Orange-kun (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

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