The Three P’s of Omega 3 – Potency, Purity and Peroxide
There are over 20,000 peer reviewed published medical studies and reviews studying the usefulness of omega3 oil in prevention and treatment of disease. From ADD to hypertension, pre-mature labor to PMS, heart disease to arthritis, this supplement has had more written about it than any other supplement by far. As anyone who has walked into a pharmacy or health food store knows, there are scores if not hundreds of different brands out there. So how does one choose the best? When evaluating omega3 supplements the most important parameters are its potency, its purity and the peroxide levels. Also, when deciding which to buy you need to compare apples to apples. When it comes to omega3 supplements you generally get what you pay for.
Omega3 oil is purified from fish oil and the two active ingredients are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Because all animals including fish, concentrate the toxins they ingest in their fat stores, and since the oceans are full of dangerous toxins such as mercury and other heavy metals, PCBs and dioxan you definitely want to choose an omega 3 that has undergone the most purification possible so that it is free of these contaminants. The most strenuous form of purification is called “molecular distillation” which is about a 50 fold purification process, that is, 50 gallons purified down to one gallon, essentially discarding about 49 gallons and keeping only one. OmegaHealth, Cornerstone’s omega3, is molecularly distilled 3 separate times resulting in extreme purity with mercury and other contaminants measured in parts per billion rather than parts per million. This is a part of the proprietary process called “Pure Max” represented by the diamond on our label.
The active disease preventing and wellness promoting components of any omega3 supplement are the two specific omega3 molecules EPA and DHA. BOTH are necessary and they serve different functions in the body. Two supplements may have the same amount of fish oil per soft gel BUT very different amounts of EPA and DHA. Add up the EPA and DHA content and the higher the number the higher the purity and typically the higher the price because the costs of production are much higher. However, you wont have to take as many soft gels for a given effect since the potency is that much greater.
Potency and purity are important but peroxide levels are perhaps even most important. EPA and DHA are very “fragile” molecules ie they are very easily oxidized to become lipid peroxides. When this happens the oils have basically become “rancid” and rancid or peroxidized omega 3 SHOULD NOT BE INGESTED. It is the high peroxide levels and the impurities that typically are responsible for the typical “fishy burps” and “heartburn” that many people experience with lower grade omega3 supplements. The problem is no omega3 supplements put peroxide levels on their labels. The other problem is peroxide levels increase over time because there air (oxygen) can slip into the plastic container that most omega 3 supplements are sold in because plastic “breathes” whereas glass doesn’t. That is why we chose to supply our Omega 3 in glass jars. The best way to determine peroxide levels is to pop open a softgel and smell and taste it- if it has even the slightest fishy smell or taste then you simply should not consume it, it is rancid by definition. Would you eat a piece of fishy smelling fish, of course not! Why would you eat fishy smelling fish oil.
OmegaHealth by Cornerstone Wellness starts with oil that is processed under a “nitrogen blanket” so that there is no exposure to the oxygen in air. The oil is shipped in 55-gallon drums to our soft gel manufacturer in Southern California where they specialize in making only omega 3 soft gels. The softgels are immediately bottled in air tight cobalt blue (to prevent UV light damage) glass jars and they are then shipped to doctors offices quite rapidly ie not sitting on health food stores shelves or in their warehouses for long periods.
In summary, if you chose to take omega3 because of the overwhelming medical evidence proving their disease preventing abilities, then you would be wise to choose a product of the highest purity and potency as well as the lowest peroxide level. On these three parameters, Omega Health by Cornerstone Wellness far exceeds all competing brands.