Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.
Q. Dear Terry, “What are your thoughts about the latest research reports which indicate fish oil supplements are useless?” — LaVerne M., Sioux Falls, SD
A. Dear LaVerne, I would not necessarily say fish oil supplements are useless, but I do believe they are not very effective. Fish oil goes through a tremendous amount of processing and refining, which alters the natural position of the fatty acids, as well as destroys the protective factors contained in fish oil. That’s why it takes grams of fish oil to have any effect at all.
Please note that while some recent studies have cast doubt on the effectiveness of fish oil supplements, no study has refuted the value of eating fish rich in omega-3s.
I prefer to get my omega-3 fatty acids from salmon, naturally bound to phospholipids, in a tablet form. This unique form utilizes a patented, gentle, cold water and enzyme process to extract naturally occurring marine phospholipids with the omega-3 fatty acids, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). This process creates a supplement that is much closer to nature and how people were meant to absorb and use these nutrients. This is the way you’d get your omega-3s by eating fish – in the natural sn-2 position, not the sn-1 position into which they are twisted when extracted in fish oil. This means a big difference in stability and ability to transport omega-3s to where they are needed most. Therefore, you only need one or two tablets a day instead of handfuls of fish oil capsules or spoonsful of fishy tasting oils.
Also, all fish oils have some level of rancidity, which causes oxidative damage in the body. Getting your omega-3 fatty acids from the tablet form, which has zero rancidity, is much better for long term use. I suggest taking 1 tablet twice daily.
Terry . . . Naturally