Fish Oil Trend – Do We Waste Our Money?

Good Products Need Good Science

Fish oil is a big business. In USA nearly half of adults take supplements. And among supplements fish oil is the most popular. In USA 8% of adults (19 million) take fish oil, and it is worth over 1 billion dollars. In Europe it is not much different. But there is a problem. Although earlier studies showed beneficial effect of fish oil on heart health, for brain and sight, some of the latest clinical trials show that fish oil has no health impact at all. And there are some possible reasons for that, which will be explained in this article.

Some cardiologists have said that one of the reasons why fish oil worked in some of earlier studies, but not now, is that we are so good at treating patients with heart disease that the influence of the fish oil has become insignificant. That’s not true.

The Effect of Traditional Fish Oil Has Become Less

Statistics of Omega 6 / Omega 3 ratio in human blood, USA and Europe

Another reason that is actually more likely the one, is that the effect of fish oil has become less. Some of earlier studies did show positive results, then why do they all go negative? All is because of the food industry, which is filling you up with Omega 6 fatty acids – with plant oils and all the processed foods. So now you get so much more Omega 6s that, unfortunately, the same dose of Omega 3 has much less effect. You have probably read some statistics that say that Omega 6 / Omega 3 ratio has got worse, and worse, and worse. Whenever we look – because of modern processed foods. So people are so full of Omega 6s now, that small amount of Omega 3 is no longer effective.

Other Possible Reasons

Photo – Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license from Gratisography

And there are three other possible reasons. Maybe because we are eating such a terrible diet (and it really is a terrible diet) that we have become so pro-oxidative, that when we do eat fish oils, they oxidize – in stomach, in intestines. When fish oil is oxidized, it forms metabolites that are not very healthy for you.

And there is another problem. When you actually look at quality of the fish oils and commercial supplements, quality of fish oils is really bad. If you open a bottle of fish oil or prick the capsule, release the oil and smell it… if it smells fishy, that oil has already oxidized. It is already rancid. That is the smell of damaged and perhaps dangerous product. Those are products you should not take.

Wrong Antioxidants

Another possible reason. The most supplement industry has used wrong antioxidants. They often use Vitamin E. Vitamin E will keep fish oil sweet when it is in capsule or in bottle, but what happens after you swallow it? A very important new paper has just shown that if you take fish oil with Vitamin E, and you take that with the meal, the Vitamin E increases the oxidation of fish oil in your stomach. Vitamin E can be pro oxidative! So the problem with all the supplements out there is that they’ve been extremely badly and naively designed. Many of them are doing more harm than good.

The Inuit – That’s Where the Story Starts

The Inuit spearing seals. (Picture via Wikimedia Commons)

We have to go back to the Inuit (the Eskimos), where the story starts that if you eat oily fish, you don’t get degenerative disease. The fact is that their main food traditionally was marine mammals – seals, sea lions and whales. That is a very complicated nutritional blend; it’s not just Omega 3. It has nothing to do with this kind of sanitized, deodorized, purified and dangerous product, which supplement industry now sells.

Omega 3 fatty acids are not produced by the fish, it is produced by marine cold water algae. And there is a food chain and ecosystem inside the dark cold waters of the Atlantic and the Arctic. So it starts as it does on land with plants. These marine algae produce Omega 3s, and they produce polyphenols – antioxidants designed specifically by nature over thousands of years to keep Omega 3s from being oxidized. And the plankton goes through krill, the small fish, the large fish, marine mammals, and then finally to men. Those Omega 3s getting to the Inuit have traveled a long way to get there.

Algae containing phlorotannins. (Picture by Erasmo Macaya via Wikimedia Commons)

How is it possible that Omega 3s have survived that long and difficult journey without oxidizing? Because they are accompanied through the food chain by the same polyphenols that come from the algae, so you find the same mix of Omega 3s and polyphenols in krill, in fish, in mammals and in the Inuit. These particular polyphenols are oil soluble. And they are the best and the only appropriate antioxidant to use for preventing fish oil from oxidizing.

The Polyphenols Vs. Vitamin E

This is where it all starts. And when we measure the ability of these oil soluble polyphenols (and in case of BalanceOil they come from olives) to prevent Omega 3s from oxidizing, we have already found that they are already by far superior to Vitamin E. This is the only way to guarantee that fish oils will remain sweet trough the stomach, trough the liver, trough the blood stream and into the tissues, where they are needed.

And they are needed because they play a key role in dumping the inflammation. If you are exposing your tissues to damage, it triggers inflammasome. And the BalanceOil switches off the inflammasome.

Polyphenols have two roles. Firstly, they are the only way to keep Omega 3 fatty acids sweet. And the other thing what they do is that they switch off the inflammasome, and this is the only way how to switch it off.

Polyphenols are an ideal antioxidant. The phlorotannins, which come from marine algae, give us lipid soluble polyphenol which fits the LDL cholesterol in our blood, it travels with the Omega 3s in our blood. It’s a strong antioxidant, very strong anti-inflammatory. The olive polyphenols that Zinzino uses have very similar properties.

Oil Soluble Polyphenols – Make the Inuit and Mediterranean Diet So Healthy

Fish containing Omega 3 fatty acids. (Picture by CSIRO via Wikimedia Commons)

And if we think about it, how important these lipid soluble polyphenols are, they are the only thing that you find in common in both – the Mediterranean and the Inuit diet. These are two healthiest diets on the planet. Mediterraneans do not eat much Omega 3s because waters are warm and the fish does not contain Omega 3. The Inuit don’t eat any fruits and vegetables, not traditionally, because it is hard to grow olives and grapes on an ice land. The only thing they have in common are these lipid soluble polyphenols. The Inuits have these from the sea weeds, indirectly through marine mammals they eat, and the Mediterraneans – from olives and olive oil in their diet. Now you are beginning to see why we have fish oil and high polyphenol olive oil in BalanceOil. Does it work? It does.

So my answer is – BalanceOil is not just another fish oil, it is a very special blend – fish oil and standardized high polyphenol Omega 3. You put 1 and 1 together, and you get 11. It is a key to switch off inflammasome, it is a key to improving public health and your personal health.


The Article is a shortened summary of Paul Clayton’s lecture in conference, Stockholm, October 2015. Author of this Article keeps rights for transcription errors. All the scientific facts are to be found in publication of P.R.Clayton and S.Ladi “From alga to omega; have we reached peak (fish) oil?” published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, September 2015.

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