Fish Oil Specifications
Standards for fish oil specifications concerning allowable limits of contaminants vary from one government agency to the next. The least stringent standards allow higher levels of contaminants. When it comes to fish oil products, therefore, buyer beware!
The standard set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are some of the least stringent. Standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are more stringent. The Council for Responsible Nutrition, a self-regulatory trade association of manufacturers of fish oil products and other nutritional supplements, has established standards for fish oil specifications that are equal to or more stringent than those set by the EPA.
Studies done as recently as 2004 indicate that some fish oil products are unpurified and contain unsafe levels of contaminants. Mercury being the contaminant that poses the greatest health risk to human consumption.
It is possible for companies to use molecular distillation technology to purify their fish oil products and comply with the highest standards for fish oil specifications, but some companies do not since it saves them money and increases their profit margins if they manage to dupe unwary consumers.
Consumers should do their due diligence when they purchase extremely low priced fish oil products and unless verification of molecular distillation can be verified, these products should not be purchased at all.
It is not mandatory that manufacturers of fish oil products provide fish oil specifications relating to omega-3 content, but the better companies do. The highest quality fish oil products contain both EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. The highest quality fish oil products will list the amount of EPA and DHA in their fish oil specifications and the source fish of the oil.
Some fish are not as high in omega-3 content as others. Some fish are more likely to be contaminated with mercury and other by-products of industrial pollution. Some fish should probably not be used at all because their populations are dwindling and fishing practices do not protect them as a sustainable resource.
Some of the highest quality fish oil products come from New Zealand and use the Hoki fish species as their source. Evaluation of Hoki fish oil specifications indicates naturally high levels of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids.
Evaluations of Hoki fish oil indicate naturally minuscule levels of pollutants because the waters in the Southern Ocean region of New Zealand are so pristine.
And the best Hoki fish oil products are purified using molecular distillation processes guaranteeing the consumer receives a safe product free of contaminants. Consumers concerned about their health and safety should make sure that their fish oil specifications are “up to par”.
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