Daily consumption of omega-3s is one of the most important things that both adults and children can do for optimal health. Yet, the purity of the omega-3s must also be taken into consideration, as not all omega-3s are the same. The quality on different omega-3 brand varies to a large degree, and some omega-3s may even contain toxic or harmful chemicals.
That is why the only smart choice for consumers is an organic omega-3.
Why Organic and Why it is so Important?
The labelling term organic indicates that good has been produced through approved methods fostering cycling of resources, promoting ecological balance, and conserving biodiversity. Compared to conventional products, the level of synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, genetic engineering, or other toxic components would be much lower or even zero (USDA, Victoria State Government, Rodale Institute). Chemicals in synthetic pesticides or artificial fertilizers might be severely harmful in case of repeated exposure and conventional agriculture’s toxic chemicals and wastes also contribute to water and air pollution, soil erosion, deforestation, global warming, and biodiversity threatening.. In a nutshell, it will be beneficial not only for consumers but also for the planet as a whole.
ALA omega-3s are Often Organic but are Not as Effective as DHA
ALA omega-3s often come from plant based sources like seed or nut. There’s no mercury to worry about, but ALA omega-3s like flaxseed oil are not the best kind. The main problem with ALA is that to have the good effects attributed to omega-3s, it must be converted by a limited supply of enzymes into EPA and DHA and only a small fraction of it can perform the task. About 90% of ALA is used as energy and it is not sufficient to maintain good health.
Why Fish Oil is Not Organic?
In the U.S., the biggest market in the world for organic, there is no such thing as certified organic fish. Fish live in the ocean which contains numerous sources of contaminants such as plastic, debris, and oil spills. In 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a recommendation that young children and women who are pregnant or could become pregnant should avoid eating large amounts of fish and shellfish because nearly all fish and shellfish contain mercury, which is especially hazardous for developing children. In recent years, the agency has expanded the warning to note that fish also frequently contain dangerous chemicals called polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a type of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). A corresponding study conducted by San Diego State University has concluded that large fish are now mostly the source of POP contamination for humans. Therefore, fish oil cannot be ensured to be clean enough for the organic definition.
Organic Omega-3 DHA from Algae is the Best and Only Choice
EPA & DHA are long-chain fatty acids that come mainly from marine sources, including fatty fish and algae. However, due to the health and environmental concerns regarding fish oil, algae is a better option. Furthermore, for vegan-diet and people with crustacean allergies, omega-3s from algae is the only viable choice. There is a case reported in the research involving a woman with documented seafood allergy found that she suffered from severe allergy symptoms—swelling, shortness of breath and chest tightness—after having taken prescription fish oil capsules. Even fish oil supplement makers do recommend against consuming the pills for people with fish allergies.