What Supp

A new weekly feature…….What Supp. As in What Supplement.  Sooner or later you will be faced with a need to reach for nutritional supplements to do exactly that….supplement your diet. As a competitive bodybuilder for 8 years I seldom, on … Continue reading

Fish Oil and the Cup Thing

If you had mentioned fish oils to me a year ago, my thoughts would have gone back to my childhood.  I have fond memories of a steaming bowl of Red River cereal and cod liver oil capsules.  I would place the capsule gently in the middle and with the same gentleness, swirl it around, watching it dissolve.

fish oils

That was a time when there wasn’t a concern of toxicity or purity.  I do believe that years ago food and even my cod liver oil was manufactured with the intent to support and nourish the body.  Times have changed.  That was a time as well when as kids we just did what we were told.  “Take your cod liver oil” and we did.  We have the same “rule” in our home.  My kids can participate and choose which veggie they want with a meal, BUT taking daily supplements is not a choice.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.  How many winters has your home spent with the continual and back and forth of illness?   That was our reality a few short years ago.  Now not making any health claims here, BUT all I know and observe is that our winter illness are minimal if non existent.

I have talked in previous posts about fish oils and simple tests you can do to check on the quality of the current product your taking.  This morning however I got very excited about another “test”.  The fish oil and Styrofoam cup test.  I get excited about this sort of thing because, heck, don’t take my word, try it yourself.  All you need is a couple of various fish oils and Styrofoam cups.

“Fish oils contain Omega-3 fatty acids which help to maintain overall cardiovascular health, normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels, improve mood, manage stress and supply other health benefits, according to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. When it comes to nutritional supplements, it is important to take the best quality products for maximum benefits. Not all supplements contain adequate ingredients for maximum potency. Apart from checking the label of the fish oil bottle for the potent ingredients, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosanexaenoic acid (DHA), both known for maintaining normal plasma triglycerides, you can conduct a fish oil assessment. The short test will instantly show you the potency of your fish oil.”……………..


        Highly purified concentrated Omega-3 fish oils are one of the things that dissolve polystyrene.
While your at experiments, here is another one:
*pour 8 oz of water into a clear jar
*take your current multi vitamin that “claims” to have all you need from a-z on the label
*place the tablet in the water
*now take an apple.  Wash it well, cut it into wedges.  Take the peel off a small wedge and place this skinless apple wedge into the jar with the water and tablet.
*just watch.  Give it a good 4 or 5 days.  My apologies, it will start to smell.  While you watch the transformation, imagine the apple wedge as your cells.
Both of these fun and easy to do “tests” will show the level of quality in whats out there for supplements.  Remember the supplement industry is unregulated and ANYONE can make them.
You see the differences, now come experience them.

One fish, two fish, good fish (oil), bad fish (oil)

Because Bad Fish Oil looks the same as Good Fish Oil…..there is always the fish oil freezer test……….

I’d like to put the urgency of vit D aside for just a moment and talk about fish oils.  I can remember as a kid that even consuming a Mediterranean Diet we were routinely treated to the ceremonial dropping of a cod liver oil capsule into our bowl of oatmeal.  It was a fun thing to watch it disintegrate as we swirled it around the hot warming comfort food.

In supplementing our diet with BiOmega’s for the last couple of years we did so simply because I trusted that it was “good for us”.  My teenagers turned to it to manage their troubling skin.  In being open and candid, I turned to taking it regularly to head off stress, anxiety that was leading me ultimately to depression.

One of the simplest concepts that hit me more recently about the value of taking fish oils is about the cell.  We all remember drawing that little amoeba when we were in school.  Imagine that tiny cell, that rather than being pliable and soft to allow flow, is more like an egg, with a hard shell that surrounds it limiting the entrance of any nutrition.  When we consume a high level of fish or supplement with quality fish oils the nutrition (good or bad) allows this outer “shell” or membrane to stay soft and penetrateable.  Thus allowing the nutrition to get where it needs to, the belly of the cell, to the mitochondria and even our DNA can be influenced by our nutrition.

Omega when it is the highest quality can help our health in easing depression, lowers cholesterol, reduces inflammation in the body, ease joint pain, improve skin, promote weight loss, may prevent schizophrenia, improves brain function in babies when taken by pregnant woman, increases mental focus, reduce post-partum depression, improve vision, reduce post workout soreness, reduce risk of heart disease, may slow breast tumor growth, provide relief from Crohn’s Disease and Colitis, ease the effects of Alzheimer’s, help treat ulcers, stabilizes mood.  Not to forget “mans best friend”, Omegas can improve puppies brain function, vision, trainability, which leads to a happier more well-balance and good tempered dog.

PHEW, do you need another reason!?

Now as being an uninformed consumer once, I know how hard it can be to tell what’s real?  If you are currently taking Omega’s you might want to try this test.  I just performed it on USANA’s BiOmega and am not surprised as to the quality I saw.

The Freezer test

Troubled by the low grade of many supermarket products worldwide, Dr Vlad Coric of Yale University a specialist in Essential Fatty Acids devised a simple test to enable consumers to discover whether they have purchased refined Omega 3 fish oil or a variation of Lard.

The test he devised can be tried in your kitchen and easily distinguishes the good from the bad.

Since omega-3 fatty acids are unsaturated (“good”) fats, they remain liquid even when the temperature is below room temperature. However, saturated fats solidify below room temperature and consequently, lower purity omega-3 products (lower levels of omega-3s and higher saturated or “unwanted” or “bad” fats) will solidify in a like fashion.

Simply place your Omega 3 capsules in the freezer for 24 hours and if they turn white and cloudy you are consuming lard or at least a lower quality product.

The fish oil might be fine, but do you really want to feed yourself yet more chemicals.

Regular (retail grade) fish oil contains only 30% Omega-3. The other 70% is a mixture of various saturated and unsaturated fats. There is a lot of saturated fats in regular fish oil. And these saturated fats solidify when put in the freezer. Omega-3 fats do not freeze solid easily because they have extremely low freezing points.

Saturated Fats Solidify Easily

When the saturated fats solidify, it makes the pill look opaque like butter (right)..

Low-Omega-3 fish oils will turn opaque in the freezer. High-Omega-3 fish oil pills won’t.

Fish oil is derived from fatty fish such as sardines, salmon and herring. It is primarily an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Fish oil may help you lower your tryglycerides, prevent heart disease and heart attacks and lower blood pressure. It is commonly sold in softgel form and may include added nutrients, such as iron or vitamin C.

Step 1: Put a few softgels of fish oil into a resealable bag.

Step 2: Put the bag in the freezer for at least three hours.

Step 3: Take the bag out of the freezer. Prick the softgels with a toothpick. If the softgels are congealed, it is a sign that there is a high saturated fat content in the fish oil. Fish oil that is high in saturated-fat is deficient in EPA.

Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of      opportunity   –       Hippocrates.