How pure is your fish oil?
What exactly does a fish oil supplement do?
Over the past 40 years, an enormous body of scientific research has been published confirming the benefits of the omega-3s found in fish oil for the heart, blood vessels, joints, brain, eyes and more.
Here are just a few of the many reasons the omega-3s are considered so important to human health:
- Cardiovascular support: In healthy people, the omega-3s work to protect heart and maintain blood vessel health in numerous ways, including helping to support healthy blood pressure and maintain cholesterol and triglycerides within the normal range
- Joint health: If you’re suffering from the symptoms of mild arthritis or mild joint soreness, taking a fish oil supplement can help by reducing inflammation and relieving mild pain. A fish oil supplement can also support healthy joint function
- Brain and eye function: Omega-3s are required for the normal functioning of the brain and eyes, and help to support healthy vision, balanced moods, and brain function. They’re considered especially important for eye health, as well as for brain and central nervous system development in babies and children
Why are fish oil supplements so popular?
With such strong evidence to validate the importance of these essential fatty acids, you’d expect that most health-conscious people would make sure to eat at least a couple of servings of oily fish a week.
In reality, only two in five Australians are eating the recommended daily amount of 430mg of omega-3 fatty acids for women and 610mg for men.1
Worried about that fishy aftertaste?
If you don’t take fish oil supplements because you don’t like the fishy aftertaste or embarrassing fish-scented burps, you’re not alone! Many people are concerned about their taste and odour – this suggests that while they’re aware of the health benefits of the omega-3s, many are simply not prepared to put up with these unpleasant issues.
Luckily, at Fusion we reduce the likelihood that your fish oil capsules will leave you with a fishy aftertaste or unpleasant burping by adding natural flavourings to the oil itself, as well as the capsule that surrounds it.
Taking your fish oil supplement in an enteric-coated capsule that won’t break down until it reaches the small intestine (where the essential fatty acids are absorbed) also helps minimise these issues.
It’s also important to note that if the taste or smell of your fish oil supplement puts you off taking it, it’s possible that its contents have degraded in some way. Fish oil can be susceptible to a process called oxidation (a form of free radical damage), which most often occurs in the processing and storage of the product.2
When oxidation occurs, the levels of desirable components in the oil, such as the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA decline, and the levels of undesirable compounds such as peroxides increase. This process results in a stronger, fishy odour and taste which is both unpleasant and may affect the efficacy of the product.2
How to make sure your fish oil is pure and high quality
To reduce the potential for oxidation of your fish oil supplement and to help maintain its many therapeutic benefits, Australian quality guidelines set out by the Therapeutic Goods Administration require manufacturers to set limits for the maximum acceptable levels of key oxidation markers in fish oil supplements.3
In fact, at Fusion we hold our fish oil to even higher standards than those required by the Australian guidelines – as illustrated by the graph below.3 This highlights the difference in oxidation markers allowed under the quality guidelines and those used in the production of VivoMega™ TG90, a highly concentrated, premium quality fish oil.
These high levels of purity are obtained by a process that concentrates the fish oil used in VivoMega™ TG90 - this creates a raw material with a more uniform chemical structure, resulting in a supplement that stays fresher and tastes better.
Mercury in fish oil is a real concern – is it still safe to take a supplement?
You’re probably aware that although fish are a wonderful source of omega-3 fatty acids, the heavily polluted state of the world’s oceans means that some species (especially those at the top of the food chain, like sharks, marlin and swordfish) are also a source of mercury and other heavy metals – along with industrial pollutants such as dioxins, furans and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
The good news is that while you can never know the levels of mercury and other contaminants that are present in the fish in your diet, Australian fish oil supplements are required to be thoroughly tested to ensure that they don’t add to the toxic load on your body.3 And again at Fusion we set even more stringent purity standards than those stipulated by Australian health authorities.3
VivoMega™ TG90 is produced from fish species such as anchovies, sardines and chub mackerel – all sourced from the pristine waters off Norway. These small fish are much lower down the food chain than larger, more predatory species such as sharks and marlin. Therefore, they accumulate much lower levels of pollutants in their oil and flesh prior to being harvested. In addition, their short life cycles and the low levels of demand for them for culinary consumption make them a sustainable source of fish oil for use in supplements.4
Sustainably sourced: Fusion’s VivoMega™ fish oil is supplied by GC Rieber (Norway), an IFFO (Marine Ingredients Organisation) and Friend of the Sea (FOS) certified responsible supplier of fish oil from certified sustainable fisheries.
Always read the label and follow the directions for use.
- Meyer, B.J. Nutrients 2016;8(3):111.
- Nutrasource 2021. Accessed 18 Feb 2021 from https://certifications.nutrasource.ca/quality-concerns/omega-3-quality-concerns/stability
- Therapeutic Goods Administration. Accessed 18 Feb 2021 from https://www.tga.gov.au/compositional-guideline/fish-oil-natural
- VivoMega. Last updated April 2020, Accessed 18 Feb 2021 from https://1j9igl31vgu4kcm5f3yeu34o-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/2020-FULL-RANGE-Quality-A4-Email.pdf