Did you know that not all fats are bad for you? There are about 20 fatty acids used by our bodies to maintain normal functions, and therefore some of them are called essential fatty acids. Amongst these healthy fats are omega-3 and omega-6. Omega-3 and omega-6 cannot be synthesized by our body. They must be obtained from our diet or in high quality supplement form.
For more information on why it is so important to consume good quality omega oils please read Let’s Talk about Fats.
However purity and quality is truly essential when it comes to omega oils. Did you know that many omega oil or fish oil supplements contain pollutants or are temperature sensitive? The health-promoting fats are surprisingly fragile and are susceptible to rancidity- that bad smell and taste when the oil is oxidized.
Oils absorb many toxins or pollutants from the environment. Omega oils from fish are notorious for containing toxic PCB’s and dioxins. In fact, as just one example, the Australian Health Authorities advise that pregnant women shouldn’t eat fish more than once a week because of possible high mercury levels. Mercury is found in the flesh of large fish. The oil tends to contain fat-soluble pollutants.
Oils derived from plants can also be impure as they absorb many of the active ingredients of pesticides and herbicides. This can be overcome by buying certified organic oils.
IMI only stocks oils that we are confident are pure. This includes the sourcing, how they are manufactured, shipped and stored. Our fish oils undergo triple molecular distillation to a pharmaceutical purity. They are all independently tested and score even better than FDA required standards.
Our plant oils come from Omega Nutrition, a Canadian company that specialises in the manufacture of healthy, organic oils. They were the first company to introduce certified organic Flax seed oil to North America, and their pioneering use of cold-pressing techniques has set the standard for the manufacture of healthy, unrefined oils around the world. Their patented Omegaflo process and their use of FPA-free plastic packaging allows them to supply consistently high quality therapeutic oils that are well protected from the damaging effects that light, heat and oxygen can have delicate essential fatty acids (EFA’s).
There is a wide difference in the prices (and quality) of fish and omega oils out there on the market. Cheap, undistilled fish oils from some street stores are both rancid and polluted. These types of impure, unstable, over-heated oils may do you more harm than good. The lengths manufacturers go to achieve ‘purity’, is one of the main factors that influences the price.
If you are selecting your own omega oil supplements, (either fish or plant based omega oils) from other companies you need to take these considerations into account:
- Purity, safety and cleanliness (PCBs and highly toxic chemicals like dioxins and furans)
- Heavy metal content (mercury, cadmium, lead, arsenic)
- Accurate labelling (actual (DHA & EPA level versus labelled claims)
- Oxidation and stability (peroxide, anisidine levels)
- Omega-3 concentration (needs to be more than 60% omega-3 in the ratio to the total oil)
- How they have been shipped, stored and transported to you.
IMI has taken care of all these factors for you in our selection and transportation of oils.
We advise that you read the labels carefully and do a little bit of research. There are manufacturers that invest heavily into the production process to guarantee purity and quality of their products. Some of them are independently tested and score much better than the FDA and EU standards. Many are uncontrolled products - or even counterfeits – and are sold on the internet by untrusted sellers. If you are buying from major online stores, make sure they are also handling the delivery process properly. In many cases, special packaging and temperature-control in the shipment process is essential to protect the oils from the damaging effect of light, heat and oxidation.
Our clinics in Central and Discovery, as well as our Online Dispensary offer premium organic brands or clinical grade quality omega oils only. Here are three of our practitioner’s favourite quality Omega-3 oils:
- Ultra Pure Fish Oil 700 (Capsules). This is a triple strength pharmaceutical grade oil. It comes in easy to take 60 capsules and 120 capsules
- Ultra Pure Fish Oil 1400 (Liquid). This is great for kids as it does not have the strong smell/flavour that many fish oils have. Many kids will even take it directly from the teaspoon or it can easily be added to common foods, such as yoghurt.
- Flax seed Oil Organic 355ml. This is a great quality product suitable for vegetarians.
Though not an omega oil, Organic Coconut Oil and Organic Virgin Coconut Oil are also worth a mention. Coconut oil, if manufactured properly has some health benefits, particularly to help manage yeast infections by supporting immunity. It is excellent for high heat cooking, as it remains safe under high temperature and is available in both odourless and original coconut smelling varieties to choose from, depending upon which type of dish you are cooking!