ConsumerLab gives thumbs up to omega supplement quality

New York-based product tester has given a favourable report to a range of plant-based omega-3 and omega-6 supplements, noting that their quality had improved significantly since 2005 and 2002 surveys.

ConsumerLab tested 13 products for both humans and pets that claimed to contain alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) or gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) content sourced from flax (ALA), evening primrose, borage and black currant oils (GLA) as well as combination products. Only two failed:

  • a softgel that contained only 79.8 per cent of its labelled amount of oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid.
  • a bottled oil that contained only 84.2 per cent of its labelled amount of omega-9 fatty acids.

Both products contained the claimed amounts of omega-3 and/or omega-6 fatty acids.

?Because omega-3 and 6 fatty acids are obtained from natural sources, levels in supplements can vary, depending on the source and method of processing,? ConsumerLab?s report stated. ?The freshness of the oil is also an important consideration because rancid oils have an unpleasant taste, odour, can cause gastrointestinal side effects and may not be as effective due to degradation.?

But ConsumerLab noted none of the products displayed ingredient spoiling, which had been a problem in the past.

ConsumerLab noted that while the US Food and Drug Administration does not conduct pre-market testing of supplements, it had passed on its findings to the regulator.

ConsumerLab said it would release a review of marine and fish oil supplements in early 2008 that would also include novel omega-3 foods and beverages.

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