By Jennifer Ross
It seems that fish oils are all the rage these days. Most of us are aware that the omega 3 fatty acids present in fish oils are sorely lacking in our Western American diet, and they are very important for our heart, brain, cholesterol, and mood. So being the responsible and health conscious humans we try to be, we pick up a bottle at Trader Joe’s or Costco and choke down the little fishy pill, proud of our efforts.
Now, here are a few things that are really important to know about fish oils. First, much of the fish coming out of our ocean are polluted with heavy metals, radioactive particles, BPAs and other industrial pollutants. Chances are, inexpensive fish oils are contaminated too. And there’s more… Fish oils are low in antioxidant content, and oxidize, or go rancid, very easily. That’s why they often have that off taste and/or smell, and hiding it with a “lemon flavor” isn’t changing the fact that the oil has been oxidized. Even the expensive brands can’t change the fact that fish oil is weak in antioxidants, and ingesting rancid oils can be worse for your health than not taking them at all.
So what do you do? Take krill oil. Krill are the little tiny crustaceans that whales eat, and are enjoyed in Taiwan, Japan and Korea. Krill actually contains less omega 3 fatty acids, but they are in the same form that they are found in our own cells. This means they are more bio-available, or easier for us to assimilate. They also contain their own antioxidants, 48 times more potent than those of fish oils. These antioxidants keep them from becoming rancid, and are a great source for our own bodies.
The brand of krill oil isn’t all that important. The company Neptune has a patent on expelling krill oil, so choosing the brand according to price is actually fine for this supplement.
Jennifer Ross is a licensed acupuncturist who holds a B.S. in Dietetics and a Master’s degree in Chinese Medicine.