Tagged: omega-3

How can we combat “omega-3 fatigue” in the media?


GOED’s recently-commissioned meta analysis linking omega-3 intake to a reduction in blood pressure was very exciting for us and for our members. Lead author Dominik Alexander, principal epidemiologist at Exponent, said that it’s rare to see such a large body of research (70 studies) with such a consistent result. Additionally, the message that consuming omega-3s can help reduce blood pressure as much as other common lifestyle changes like reducing sodium or alcohol intake and increasing physical activity is an easy one for consumers to understand.

Is the time for eye health coming?

Back in 2010, I remember sitting at a conference listening to Dr. Jeffrey Anshel from the Ocular Nutrition Society talk about the benefits of omega-3s in eye health. The gist of the talk was that omega-3s are an important part of the eye, which is something most ophthalmologists have recognized for years.  However, this position had been developed without any human clinical trials having been published to date. So why exactly is that?

Why the change of heart?

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?

92% of fish oil is ethyl ester???

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!

Omega-3s in the military: ongoing research shows promise

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 Chinese market is changing

We just returned from the Hi China tradeshow and one thing is clear, the Chinese nutrition industry seems to be making major strides forward.

NBJ Summit: The omega-3 recap

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.

DHA and human brain evolution

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.

Quick look at Food Ingredients South America

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.

G'day mate: A look at the Australian market

Healthy Care productWe 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.

Guest Blog: Managing EPA/DHA consumption in a tight supply situation

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.


ISSFAL 2014 recap

GOED just returned from the 11th Biennial Congress of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) held in Stockholm, Sweden. As you might imagine, there was no shortage of presentations and discussions on research related to EPA and DHA.

Omega-3s and prostate cancer risk

As many of you know, a study was published earlier this week linking omega-3s to an increased risk of prostate cancer. GOED has reviewed the study an prepared the analysis of the scientific inaccuracies and study design issues below. In addition, Adam Ismail wrote a more consumer-friendly blog column that was published this morning on Virgo's Omega-3 Insights page. We thought this would be useful for GOED members to share with concerned customers and consumers.

Dr. Jay Udani, SELECT investigator, comments on prostate cancer study

In GOED’s continuing response to the recent study linking omega-3s to prostate cancer risk, we recently interviewed Dr. Jay Udani, CEO and founder of Medicus Research, and an investigator on the original SELECT study upon which this paper was based. Dr. Udani shares his unique perspective and corroborates the many criticisms of the study. See what he had to say:

Omega-3 Insights site going strong with great omega-3 content

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.

52 weeks of data: week 1

I was inspired by Max Roser, an economist who is sharing 100 charts to help you feel like the world is getting better. Those who know me know I love data visualization, so I decided to do something similar for the omega-3 world. I am not as ambitious as Max though, so instead you get 52 weeks of omega-3 visualizations this year and I am already two weeks behind! Regardless, for the first visualization, I developed an infographic with consumption statistics from the Global Burden of Diseases Nutrition and Chronic Diseases Group (NutriCoDE). They estimated EPA & DHA intakes for every country of the world as part of their work. 

1.4 million CHD deaths globally attributable to low omega-3 intakes

This is the second chart in my goal to create 52 visualizations on important omega-3 topics. Last week I used an infographic to tell the story of how EPA and DHA intakes vary from country-to-country. Since this is the first week of Heart Health month, I decided to use another infographic format to deliver one simple clear statistic around the impact of omega-3s and heart disease.

The impact of omega-3s in Europe

In the last two weeks of data visualizations I shared global data on intakes and the burden of coronary heart disease due to low omega-3 intakes, but these two data points taken together tell an important story. For the third installment of my 52 weeks of data project, I looked specifically at Europe and how intakes of EPA and DHA in each country differ and the corresponding death rates attributable to low omega-3 intakes. 

JAMA Oncology: Media sends the wrong message…again

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.

The real story of omega-3s in heart health

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. 

Guest Blog: Healthy heart education campaign crucial for Americans

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 Bias Against Seafood and Omega-3s

The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released last week and predictably, they caused controversy and a media firestorm. I say ‘predictably’ because every time they are updated, it makes various interest groups unhappy. However, from our perspective, they continue to reinforce the important role of seafood and omega-3s in the diet, noting that virtually ALL of the EPA and DHA in the American diet are provided by seafood. However, you really would not know seafood is a critical component of the new guidelines if you looked at the media coverage.

Putting the Grey and Bolland Research Letter into Perspective

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?

6 Takeaways from the Last 3 Years in the Omega-3 Industry

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. 

GOED's New Zealand Oxidation Paper Published

A new scientific paper authored by GOED and some of its members that attempted to replicate the findings from a paper in 2015 by Albert et al has been published in Scientific Reports. The original paper controversially claimed nearly all fish oil supplements in New Zealand did not contain the EPA and DHA stated on the label and were excessively oxidized. The GOED study found that nearly all — 96% — of the products tested complied with regulatory limits for oxidation for edible oils and 91% complied with label claims about EPA and DHA content.