Watch Out For These Fish Oil Myths

November 2011, Xtend-Life Expert

Summary

When it comes to omega 3 fish oil, the internet is riddled with loads of myths and downright nonsense when it comes to the facts about this popular and beneficial supplement. Some of the people are misinformed when they visit sites talking about omega 3 fish oil.

When it comes to omega 3 fish oil, the internet is riddled with loads of myths and downright nonsense when it comes to the facts about this popular and beneficial supplement. Some of the people are misinformed when they visit sites talking about omega 3 fish oil.

They find misinformation in media, from other practitioners, various fish oil suppliers, or in health food stores. Some of the "facts" related to omega 3 are myths based on marketing hype, gossip and misinformation.

You deserve to know the truth and get the facts about what is right and what is just plain rubbish as far as fish oil is concerned! A common argument is from the manufacturers of krill oil who claim that krill oil is far superior to fish oil.

Due to the sheer extent of this argument and space limitations in this newsletter, we thought it would be a good idea to direct you to our website where you can read why fish oil is a better option than krill oil.

Simply type in the search box at the top right of the website "fish oil vs krill oil" and read the various articles that appear on the results page.

Here are some of the other common myths doing the rounds across the internet, so we decided to debunk them and help give you the truth.

Myth 1: If I will eat fish twice a week it will give me all the omega-3 fatty acids that I need.

Fact: Eating at least two servings of fish per week is good for you but it still only provides you with a minimal amount of beneficial omega 3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA. Farmed fish may even have lower quantities of these fatty acids than fish harvested in the open ocean. Also, frying fish can eliminate much of the fish oil benefits. These factors all point to omega 3 fish oil supplements as the preferred means of getting your optimal dose of omega 3 fatty acids.

Myth 2: ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) from flaxseed oil is better than DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) from fish oil.

Fact: Although flax seed oil is a good ingredient and there is nothing wrong with taking it, you must be careful that you don't take it to the exclusion of a good omega 3 fish oil. The reason?

Well, because flax seed oil does not help raise your levels of DHA which is probably the most important of all the essential fatty acids. Sellers of flax seed oil will tell you that the body can convert ALA to DHA. This is simply not true…at least to any meaningful extent.

A minute fraction may be able to be converted but nowhere near enough to meet your body's needs. This is because the DHA molecule is a lot more complex that the ALA molecule.

Consider the following example…EPA only has 20 carbon molecules and 5 double bonds. So, if your body needs more DHA than EPA (which is normally the case) it is very difficult for it to convert the EPA to the DHA as it has to 'manufacture' 2 additional carbon bonds and an extra double bond! On the other hand it is easy for the body to convert DHA to EPA if it is needed. This follows sound logic as it is easier to 'drop' molecules off than 'add' them.

To compound the ALA argument…ALA has even less carbon molecules than EPA at just 18! So, your body would first have to convert it to EPA and then to DHA…a highly unlikely scenario.

Myth 3: The "toothpick poke test" is a good way to test the contamination levels of a fish oil brand.

Fact: Believe it or not but some marketer came up with this ridiculous statement and some people are actually believing it because they don't know the facts. The so-called "toothpick poke test" requires people to puncture several fish oil capsules with a needle or pin, and squeeze the contents into a small cup-shaped container, such as a thimble.

Then they need to place the thimble (or other container) in the freezer for 5 hours. Thereafter if they can easily push the toothpick into the oil that means it does not contain serious levels of contamination.

Whether fish oil will freeze or not has nothing to do with contaminants. Contaminants can only be determined by sophisticated laboratory equipment as some of the measurements are in parts per billion!

Myth 4: The only way to distinguish whether the fish oil is pure is to see if it dissolves a styrofoam cup.

Fact: Another fish oil marketing hoax popularized by a YouTube video. Styrofoam is essentially a non-polar polymer that is unstable most of the time. This means that styrofoam dissolves in most chemicals…including gasoline, industrial glues as well as solvents such as acetone, and hydrocarbons.

Looking at this list of chemicals, I'm sure no one would like to ingest them. One has to wonder why the fish oil in the video helped with the dissolving process. It would seem that there is some other substance in that fish oil which caused the reaction as shown in the video.

There are many fish oil myths out there. As crazy as it seems, some marketers of other omega 3 products even suggest that quality fish oil will dissolve cholesterol.

If fish oil could actually dissolve cholesterol then all fish species would be poisonous as we would surely die if our cholesterol was dissolved because it's essential for life. Fish oil can help with lowering levels of LDL cholesterol but it does not do so by dissolving the cholesterol.

If you have heard or read any claim about fish oil that you would like us to give advice on, please don't hesitate to contact our customer services staff members. They'll be able to set the record straight and help you sift the true fish oil statements on the internet from the blatant marketing hoaxes out there.

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