It’s common knowledge that the omega-3 industry has been in a sales slump for the past few years. While the market is now showing signs of recovery, there are definitely some lessons to be learned from the activity over the last three years.
It is easy to forget that science works through a constant process by which researchers replicate and revisit older studies. The assumptions and conclusions are discussed, the experiment is replicated, sometimes in a different population, sometimes using a slightly different dosage or research methods, and our knowledge grows, step by step. This may seem cumbersome, but it is necessary (the inevitable mistakes get corrected over time), and is actually one of the greatest strengths of the scientific process.
This, however, can also produce studies whose results and conclusions can contradict each other. In the omega-3 world examples can be found in the ongoing research on the related questions of:
- Do EPA and DHA reduce the risk of chronic diseases and health events, like cardiovascular disease and strokes?
- How big is this protective effect, and who benefits more and who less from it?
- What is the best way to achieve this protection?
The following blog was submitted by Marie Spano, MS, RD, CSCS, CSSD. Marie is a member of the Always Omega-3s Scientific Advisory Council and one of the country's leading sports nutritionists.
GOED is pleased to include a guest blog from Linda Cornish, Executive Director of Seafood Nutrition Partnership, a GOED member with similar goals to increase seafood (and therefore omega-3) consumption in the U.S. Read on for details on an innovative messaging program Seafood Nutrition Partnership has developed.
The study last week in JAMA Oncology and its subsequent media coverage once again underlines the issues with the media — and its misrepresentation of the facts — all too clearly. This particular study examined whether or not one platinum-induced fatty acid (PIFA), a rare polyunsaturated fatty acid called hexadecatetraenoic acid (C16:4 n-3), is present in fish oils and if it is absorbed in humans when consumed, not whether it has an effect on chemotherapy. Yet media headlines implied that fish oil consumption can make cancer patients resistant to chemotherapy.
On March 31, The New York Times published an article titled, “Fading claims on fish oils.” The article suggests that the majority of clinical trials measuring effects of fish oil have found “no evidence that fish oil lowers risk for heart attack or stroke.” An important question the article did not address is, “What are the heart health benefits of fish oil?” Here is a more complete answer to that question.
As we head into 2015, there’s no shortage of news and new developments around omega-3s. Therefore GOED is excited that we will continue our involvement with the SupplySide Omega-3 Insights web portal to ensure our members have access to new market trends, technology developments and issues of importance to your business. This is the third year of our partnership and GOED feels strongly that we have offered true quality content on omega-3s throughout the past two years.
GOED is pleased to present the following guest blog from Christian Meiniche, chairman of Chr. Holternmann ANS. Chr. Holtermann is an independent commodity brokerage house, based in Oslo, Norway, mainly brokering raw materials for the food- feed- and technical industries and with a particular focus on fish oils.
We learned a lot about the omega-3 market in Australia, where the category enjoys high levels of awareness and usage. GOED consumer research shows that more than 60% of men and women in Australia consume omega-3s, whether in supplement, seafood or fortified food form, and we heard anecdotally that it’s closer to 75-80% for supplement consumers.
I attended the Food Ingredients South America (FISA) conference, which took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, earlier this month. Below are some thoughts on the event.
I read a review recently in The Economist of Clive Finlayson’s The Improbable Primate: How Water Shaped Human Evolution and it prompted me to buy the book. This subject has fascinated me ever since I saw Michael Crawford give a talk on the importance of DHA omega-3 to the human brain and how its dietary availability may be a prime factor in the evolution (and potentially devolution) of the human brain. However, the more I have read about brain evolution, the more controversial every theory in this field seemed to be.
I just returned from the NBJ Summit in California, which Is a great event for networking with leaders in the nutrition industry as well as getting the opportunity to hear from some very unique speakers. Omega-3s were a frequent theme throughout the conference, but not always in the best light. Here are some of my observations from the conference.
We just returned from the Hi China tradeshow and one thing is clear, the Chinese nutrition industry seems to be making major strides forward.
Over the years there has been substantial interest in researching omega-3s and their health benefits for soldiers and veterans in a variety of scenarios. GOED recently talked to one organization, Samueli Institute, that is intimately involved in this work.
The other day I came across a supplement company claiming that 92% of fish oil products on the market are in the ethyl ester form. The company did not cite the source of this statistic, but it is a good example of fear-based marketing that is both misleading and wrong…and the kind of marketing that ultimately confuses consumers!
A few weeks ago GOED had the opportunity to participate with one of our members, Wiley’s Finest, in a Senate health fair that took place “on the hill” in Washington DC. The event was organized by Sister to Sister, a wonderful non-profit organization whose mission is to educate women about protecting their hearts.
In contrast to earlier investigations about the effects of omega-3s on cardiovascular disease, media reports about recent studies have been generally negative. This does not mean, however, that the results were negative. In general, recent results have been either neutral (no effect found) or positive (beneficial effect(s) found). So why the change of heart?
Welcome to the new GOED website. This has been a long time in coming and we are very excited about the new functionality and user-friendliness built in to the site. The big new highlight on the main site is the expanded directory of member companies, which will help our members and the larger industry learn more about GOED members’ capabilities and offerings. Go to the “Find a Member” tab under Our Members to start your search.