Saturday, October 22, 2005

Fish Oils - Hidden Dangers

Most of our regular readers already know the background on Goji Juice and why it took Dr. Earl Mindell so long to bring it to the world. The key holdup was a small (read HUGE) thing called: STANDARIZING

In other words, until Dr. Mindell could be 100% certain every single bottle of his Himalayan Goji Juice contained all 4 master molecules in the right balance from the original bloodline of goji berry quoted in Ancient text, he refused to produce the final product.

It took years of research, some very special tools and highly unique manufacturing practices before success resulted in a fully STANDARDIZED juice.

Well, scientists are now reporting how extremely important the little thing called STANDARDIZING can be in manufacturing health supplements -- particularly in the area of fish oil supplements.

Fish oil is easily oxidised -- and when this takes place, potentially toxic oxidation byproducts can be the result.

In other words, some fish oil supplements could be doing more harm than good.

Dr. Carlene McLean, New Zealand's Crop & Food Research institute's oils expert, says that she has tested many fish oil samples from the UK and Asian markets and found them to contain oxidation byproducts, despite being within the sell-by date.

"Oxidised oils and fats of other types have been shown to increase the risk of atherosclerosis and thrombosis in a small number of human trials. These effects have been seen with relatively low levels of oxidised product – similar to a regular dose of fish oil capsules," said scientist Rufus Turner.

Fish oil at a late stage of oxidization will smell rancid but the initial breakdown products, which are still harmful, have little aroma, according to the researcher.

"It is very worrying because nobody has really put this together yet they are doing large trials using high dose supplements," added Dr Carlene McLean, the institute's oils expert. "But they don't consider the level of oxidation in the supplements."

Fish oil is a highly unstable product and as soon as it is extracted from fish, and exposed to oxygen, metals, light and heat, it begins to oxidise. Most fish oil producers remove many of the oxidation products during the purifying process but this is not enough, says McLean.

"Many fish oil supplements have a best-before date of three to four years. But fish oil starts to go off within days," according to McLean.

Additionally, the products are often encapsulated in a gelatine shell making it difficult for the consumer to notice.

Some manufacturers of fish oil supplements may also add vitamin E, an antioxidant, to prevent further oxidation but many producers use the more readily available form, alpha-tocopherol, which is not such a potent antioxidant as another more expensive form, gamma-tocopherol.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Sure -- you can go out there and purchase your supplements based on the lowest cost -- but this example reveals clearly that you could be doing more harm to your health than good.

My advice, make sure you know the quality of all supplements you are taking -- and equally important -- let your health care provider know what you are taking. Not all supplements are created equal, but I'm betting you already know that, right?