Response to fish oil supplement study in New Zealand
A recent study published in the journal of Scientific Reports (Albert et al, 21 Jan 20151) reported that majority of the fish oil supplements in New Zealand are highly oxidized and do not meet label claim for omega-3 contents.
Researchers at the University of Auckland evaluated the quality and content of 32 encapsulated fish oil products sold at retail or online stores in Auckland, New Zealand. All products were tested for total oil content, EPA+DHA content, oxidation status as measured by PV, AV and Totox value. The study found that only 3 out of the 32 fish oil supplements contained quantities of EPA and DHA that were equal or higher than labelled claims, with most products tested (69%) containing less than 67%. The vast majority of products tested also exceeded recommended levels of oxidation markers.
Findings from this study had come as a surprise with such high percentage of products that failed to meet label claim and quality standards. It certainly raised alarms for the New Zealand authorities to conduct further investigation. Testing methodology used in the study should be closely examined and re-testing of these products by independent laboratories may also be necessary to avoid misrepresentation.
USANA wish to advise its customers that results from the Auckland study has no relevance to USANA Biomega fish oil supplement sold in Australia, New Zealand and globally. Although the study authors have not disclosed the brand names of the products tested, they did state the country of origin and label claims. There were only two products that were manufactured in USA and their label claims for EPA+DHA content do not match the label claim of USANA BiOmega. We therefore conclude that USANA BiOmega was not included in the Auckland study.
USANA wish to further assure its customers that, when it comes to choosing a fish oil supplement, they can trust USANA Biomega as a high quality and high potency product.
BiOmega is manufactured according to pharmaceutical-grade GMP – a much more stringent manufacturing standard than food-grade GMP. We adhere to such high manufacturing standards to ensure the quality, safety and efficacy of our products;
Fish oil in BiOmega is extracted from wild, cold water fish species that come from a fishery that uses sustainable practices and renewable resources;
We comply with all relevant regulations in regards to purity and potency, and meet our internal specification to guarantee that heavy metals and other contaminants are well under the allowable limits set by government authorities;
Fish oil in BiOmega is individually encapsulated and manufactured under nitrogen gas to prevent the omega-3 EFAs from being oxidized. Each capsule of BiOmega also contains tocopherol (vitamin E) to further protect the omega-3 EFAs from oxidation to ensure long-term stability. Test results of oxidation markers (PV and AV value) for BiOmega are also well below the level set by government and international guidelines;
Each batch of BiOmega is tested against our strict specification for label claim and purity at time of product release and throughout long-term stability testing program to ensure that the product maintains its quality and potency throughout its shelf life;
Benjamin B Albert et al. Fish oil supplements in New Zealand are highly oxidised and do not meet label content of n-3 PUFA. Scintific Reports 21 January 2015; http://www.nature.com/srep/2015/150121/srep07928/full/srep07928.html