Fish Oil Sales Flat
Friday, December 02, 2011
Could there possibly be a hidden reason?
The Biosyntrx science team is in agreement that reasonable essential Omega-3 fatty-acid consumption from fish or fish oil is a beautiful and healthy thing. All the year-round fresh-fish-deprived mothers who lined little ones up every winter morning in the 1940s and 50s for a tiny spoon of Cod Liver Oil intuitively understood this, without thousands of industry-supported-studies and no commercial advertising.
Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) Science
Omega-3 EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are directly derived from oily fish. DHA is particularly important for both eye and brain health. EPA is an effective natural anti-inflammatory.
Omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is derived from plant sources such as flax and flax seed oil. The short chain Omega-3 fatty acid ALA is a precursor to EPA / DHA, but it has to be metabolically converted by the body before it can be used.
EPA and DHA are 20- and 22- chain carbon respectively, but ALA is an
18-chain carbon. The metabolic conversion process that
elongates the ALA short carbon chains to EPA / DHA long carbon chains naturally lessens if EPA / DHA intake is high from daily consumption of fish oil.
This explains why plant-based ALA fatty acids like flax seeds or flax seed oil is not quickly metabolized to EPA / DHA when fish or fish oil is part of the daily diet. The body does not need to spend metabolic energy converting short-chain fatty acids to long-chain fatty acids if the long chain Omega-3 are adequate.
Aggressive marketers are now recommending daily consumption of 3
grams of concentrated EPA / DHA from fish oil for disease
prevention. This is in spite of 16 health organizations making disease
prevention recommendations for a daily intake of no more than 560 mg,
or less than 4 grams of EPA /DHA per week (one can of sardines includes
2,000 mg of EPA /DHA).
The Environmental Impact
Some dispute this, but I immediately flashed on how very few years it took to deplete the seas of my beloved redfish once every New Orleans wantabe restauranteur introduced his clientele to the blackened form.
Bill Landis, PhD, retired professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, University of Michigan Medical School and University of Illinois Medical School, had this to say about David Jenkins' article, "Attention should be paid to ignorance of harmful imbalanced pressures on resources wherever they exist in our environment. If we just lowered the current flood of Omega-6 fats from junk food, sustainable amounts of Omega-3 fats could manage our health."
Fish oil marketers did a fabulous job of educating the consumer about the health benefits of long chain Omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil was the fastest growing supplement between 2007-2010. Those days seem to be over, as predicted by industry old-timers. Single nutrient supplements tend to be fad driven. They come on strong for a few years and and lose their marketing legs when they began to reach market penetration.
The folks who are interested in taking fish oil capsules every day have probably been successfully targeted and have made their choice about what form of fish oil and what they are willing to pay for this supplement. Fish oil supplements are available in every big box store in this country, as well as chain grocery stores, corner markets, health food stores and medical offices that focus on nutrition and disease prevention.
FYI: The debate over the TG and the EE form of fish oil rages on with the very latest study out of Stanford University suggesting the EE form lowered serum triglycerides better than the TG form. On the other hand, theTG form won the absorption race as far as I'm concerned. Here's the logical question: Does absorption speed matter once we have achieved an adequate blood level of Omega-3 EPA / DHA from either plant based ALA, fish, fish oil or other forms of marine-based Omega-3s?
A very recent press release on a specific TG fish oil suggests this particular fish oil is the first product proven to penetrate the meibum and achieve a 70% dry eye success rate.
Interesting study and great marketing press release. I hope it will increase their flat fish oil sales but the truth is, other systemic dry eye products including far less EPA/DHA from fish oil have been on the market for years with a 70% or better success rate. In the case of BioTears, well over 20 million doses have been purchased by satisfied repeat customers.
Clinical references available in the Biosyntrx office.