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Choosing the Best Fish Oil

Dr. Mehmet Oz and ‘Pharmaceutical Grade’ Fish Oil

written by Vin Kutty

comments 53 comments

best fish oil supplement

Are ‘Pharmaceutical Grade’ Fish Oils just a gimmick?

Recently, Dr. Mehmet Oz’ show featured a segment on fish oil.

In the segment, guest, Dr. Tod Cooperman of, discussed various dietary supplements.

In this bit, Dr. Cooperman mentioned that ‘Pharmaceutical grade Fish Oil‘ was a marketing gimmick and that such a thing does not exist.

Is there any truth to this?

Dr. Cooperman is half right.

He’s right that there is no formal FDA definition of ‘Pharmaceutical grade fish oil‘, and that it is a term coined by fish oil manufacturers.

But a gimmick, it’s not!

As Paul Harvey used to say, here’s the rest of the story:

Back in the dark ages of the fish oil supplementation, say early 1990s, we had cod liver oils and one kind of fish oil.

The fish oil was Anchovy oil with about 20 to 25% Omega-3. At the time, this was amazing progress.

25% Omega-3? Wow! Fantastic!

With those pills, a 1000 mg fish oil pill would give you about 250 mg of Omega-3.

I recall when a scientist friend of mine sat me down and said, ‘You realize that you have to take almost a dozen of those to get any benefit, right?’

I was stunned for a moment.

And then I realized that she was right. So I increased my dosage from one pill per day to 4 or 5. There’s no way I was going to take a dozen a day! I’d go broke! And smell like a fisherman!

So till about the turn of the century, 25% Omega-3 was about all we had.

We didn’t know any better.

Enter Super Omega!

This was a newer, more potent oil with as much as 50% Omega-3.

50% Omega-3? Wow! Fantastic!

All was well. We didn’t know any better.

Then came 60% Omega-3. Whoa! Let’s not get crazy there, fella!

By this time, health food stores were selling a ton of these new oils. But nobody knew what to call them. Certainly these new oils were much better than the old ones.

It was not your father’s Oldsmobile.

Then, the famous Dr. Barry Sears coined the term ‘Pharmaceutical grade fish oil‘ about 20 years ago to help distinguish this new double-strength fish oil from the lowly 25% stuff.

He was fully justified. After all, the same pill had twice the Omega-3 goodies.

Pharmaceutical grade. It had a nice ring to it. So it stuck.

So is calling it ‘pharmaceutical grade’ a gimmick?

Absolutely not!

Here’s what Pharmaceutical Grade means:

  • It means fewer pills.
  • It means twice or three times the amount of Omega-3.
  • It means less of the other stuff that’s not Omega-3.
  • It means feeling the benefits you’re supposed to.*

We don’t call OmegaVia Pharmaceutical Grade any more, but if other brands do, you now know what it means.


So some call it Pharmaceutical grade. We call it Ultra-concentrated.

People who read and understand the supplement facts on a fish oil label ‘get it’.

Call it a marketing gimmick if it makes you happy.

And that’s just fine by me.

COUNTER POINT: A gimmick in plain sight?

Here’s an example of a label I saw at Albertsons this afternoon:

It says PHARMACEUTICAL GRADE in red, all-cap letters.

Here’s the front of the label.
example of pharmaceutical grade fish oil

And here is the back of the label.

pharmaceutical grade fish oil label supplement facts box

This 1200 mg pill has 360 mg of Omega-3. So this fish oil contains only 30% Omega-3.

It’s not 50%, 60%, let alone 85%.

In this case, Dr. Tod Cooperman is right. This one looks like a gimmick.


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


Join the conversation

  1. Hello,
    Can you please tell me if it is better to take fish oil in the form of a tablet vs. straight up? I can stomach the liquid fish oil, and was wondering if it has more benefits, such as absorbtion, compared to the tablets?
    Also, what is your opinion about Innate Choice and Carlson brand of fish oil? Is Nordic Naturals your preferred one over Carlson? How does Innate Choice compare to OmegaVia? (I believe OmegaVia is pharmeceutical grade also.
    Is OmegaVia only available for purchase online?

    Thanks for your help,

    • Hi Sharon – no known difference between liquid fish oil and in gelatin capsules. With liquid fish oil, the Omega-3 concentration is usually low but you can get a lot of Omega-3 into your body quickly and cheaply with a tablespoonful, but there is risk of the oil going rancid if not stored properly and consumed within a month or two of opening. With capsules, you can get much higher concentrations of Omega-3 but you have to take a lot of pills to get to the amount of Omega-3 found in one tablespoon.

      For liquid fish oil, my choice is Nordic Naturals, followed by Carlsons, OmegaRx and may be Barleans. Innate Choice is a 30% pure oil. The quality may be good but the potency is very low. OmegaVia is 85%+ pure. The current lot is well over 90% pure. They are very different products. Yes, OmegaVia is available online and in some doctor’s offices.
      – Vin Kutty

      • I’m not partial to Innate Choice , but I personally take it and think it is a great product. You need to check your facts again. The latest 3rd party testing puts Innate Choice at 860mg EPA, 510mg DHA, with a total of 1690mg. Thats 81% omega 3 not 30%.

        • Hi Dr Atkinson – the Innate Choice Omega Sufficiency product website claims a minimum of 1,200 mg Omega-3 and maximum of 1,375 mg of Omega-3 per teaspoon, which is roughly 4000 ml. That’s between 30% and 34%. At 1,690 mg, it would be just under 43%. This is normal and typical for liquid fish oil supplements.

          If you’re talking about the capsule product, their label claims a maximum of 1,700 mg of Omega-3 in 4,500 mg of oil. That’s 37%. Remember that 1,700 mg is for FOUR capsules.

  2. hello vin, i have two questions….and hope they are not redundant!.
    is fish oil as good as krill oil? which of your products is your best recommendation for me…i am 63, and for my son who is 36 who is
    trying to build some muscles!

    when i was a child ( during the 50’s) my father used to make me and my siblings to have a tbsp of cod liver oil after dinner – but only in the 3 months of winter. i think that it helped build our immunity and basic health though it tasted so nasty that we dreaded finishing up dinner as
    we knew what was to follow. but thankfully….he also provided our favorite candies which we ate immediately after swallowing the oil with our noses pinched closed tightly!
    btw….thanks for your expert advise and info on this blog.

    • Hi bpaul – Krill oil is slightly better absorbed. But there are several disclaimers with krill that nobody talks about. First being the amount of Omega-3 in krill oil pills – it is very low. So unless you’re prepared to take 5, 10 or even a dozen krill oil pills per day at the cost of $5-10 per day, it is not worth it. Stick with fish oil – it gives you the most bang for the buck.

      Cod liver oil was the best we could do in the 1950s. You can have the same benefits without any of the need to pinch your nose in disgust. Again, just get a high potency or pharmaceutical grade fish oil capsule.
      – Vin Kutty

  3. I have a question, in our family we been taking fish oil for many years. The problem we have is that the mayority of the brands we have try we are consistenly burping the fish. The only type we have found is the ones that contain orange oils .
    We are looking to find affordable omega with good quantity of DHA and EPA, DPA with Omega acids.
    Could you help us with some information regarding our issue.
    Thank you in advance

    • Hi E Williams – the next time you try a new fish oil, make sure you get an enteric coated product. This will prevent the fishy burping. And also, make sure it is ‘pharmaceutical grade,’ which will ensure you will have high amounts of EPA, DHA and even some DPA.
      – Vin Kutty

  4. I appreciate your information and I enjoy how you present it with your touch of a friendly personality!

  5. HI Vin,
    What is the process used to concentrate your fish oil? I thought the natural would be better for you than something artificially concentrated or chemically altered? Doesn’t it make sense to consume fish oil in the form and ratio that it is found in nature?


    • Hi Hugh – you have a good point. It is a purist point of view. If you feel strongly this way, then the only way to get your Omega-3 is from wild, fresh-caught fish. Anything else is concentrated, processed or altered. There is no getting around the fact that when you extract ONE SINGLE nutrient from a fish and put it in a pill, you are removed from what is found in nature. I still maintain that getting your Omega-3 directly from fish is the best. There are so many other nutrients in fish that is not present in fish oil that it’s a shame. Having said that, fish oil supplements are for people who admit that they don’t or won’t eat wild, cold-water, fresh-caught fish 3 times a week.

      Once you accept the above statements, then, discussing the natural or artificial nature of Omega-3 supplements becomes irrelevant. Fish = natural. Fish oil = not natural. Fish is best. Fish oil supplements are second. Plant oil supplements are a distant third, when it comes to getting Omege-3 incorporated into your cell membranes.

      To get to the nitty gritty, if you look at just fish oil supplements, then there are several molecular forms, ratios and concentrations. Each has its place and purpose – that’s the idea behind this blog. All fish oil supplements, regardless of these variations, have the same pharmacodynamics – what it does to your body. Regardless of what people will say – they usually confuse pharmacodynamics with pharmacokinetics. Big difference.

      Finally, to answer your question, we purify our oil using molecular distillation and supercritical CO2 extraction.

      • Hugh,
        I feel much the way you do. I am always a bit conflicted between just eating more fish, taking a super-omega-3 fish oil, or just taking wild salmon oil. So, basically, I do all three. I eat wild salmon when I can, take about 800-1000mg of a good high-omega-3 fish oil, and also take Vital Choice’s wild sockeye salmon oil (they get it from the sockeye salmon (heads) they fish in Alaska. Nice family company and super pure, best wild salmon oil you can buy, IMHO. By doing this, I get the natural micro nutrients of the actual fish meat, the level of omega-3s I need from the fish oil gelcaps, plus the full spectrum of omegas that I am not getting if I don’t eat enough fish meat from the Vital Choice salmon oil. Some people might think of this as overkill, but I’m only ingesting about 8grams a week this way, which is not too much or too little. I feel like I have all my bases covered…and my cholesterol ratio is 2:3, triglycerides are 62. (But I eat a pretty clean diet over all as well!) Check out for the wild salmon oil….and some awesome wild salmon steaks, too!

  6. You seem to know quite a lot about fish oil, so I would like to ask you your opinion concerning two different fish oil products that I have been taking off and on for a few years. Both are doctor recommended. The first, which I have been taking the longest, is called Icelandic Formula and is personally recommended by Dr. Garry Gordon. It tends to put me in a good mood, but after a while I often begin to get strange red spots, much like welts, on my skin and whenever this occurs I switch over to Ultra Refined Omega/RX which is a product developed by Dr. Barry Sears, the person who coined the term ‘pharmaceutical’ fish oil. This does not enhance my mood, but I do notice a shift in energy and any negative symptons that I might incur are usually very slight. So I use this as an alternative. Both claim to be the best fish oil around, and yet neither one is ever mentioned on any of the ‘Best Lists’ that I have observed. So I was wondering what you thought of these two products. Here is the information that is printed on the back of each bottle.
    Icelandic Formula.
    Serving Size 3 softgels. Amount per serving.
    Omega-3 1800 mg. EPA 900 mg. DHA 600 mg.
    Ultra Refined Omega/RX. (Zone Labs)
    Serving Size 4 capsules. Amount per serving.
    Fish Oil Concentrate 4000 mg. EPA 1600 mg. DHA 800 mg.
    I would be interested in any comments that you might have about these two products. Because I take fish oil supplements on a daily basis, I may also try out your product on a trial basis and possibly add it to my repetoire, as good quality fish oil is always worth continually taking!
    Best Regards,
    Morgan Paris

    • Hi Morgan – I am much more familiar (and comfortable) with the OmegaRx product. I know Dr. Sears and some of his people. They really do care about the quality of their product. They’ve been at the forefront of fish oil supplementation for a long time. All their products are third-party tested and very pure. Yes, it is expensive but it is a good product and I trust them. Having said that, I would have ranked the OmegaRx product in my ‘best of’ list 5 or so years ago, but advances in fish oil purification has come a long way that enables us to provide more potent oils. OmegaRx is 60% Omega-3, which was considered very high 5 or 10 years ago, but now is average or below-average for a pharma grade fish oil.

      • Hi Vin,
        Thanks for your prompt reply. I was surprised that you were not familiar with Icelandic Fourmula Omega-3 fish oil, as I thought that it was very well known; but perhaps not as well known as I had thought. I will certainly be trying your product on a trail basis in the near future. Right now I have a large stock of fish oil supplements; but if I like your product, I will order a large supply when the time comes for me to reorder, as I take fish oil on a daily basis.
        So thanks again for your information, and also quick response.

  7. Vin,
    I believe that you are 100% correct that natural is better and that eating fish such as Salmon to get your omega 3 is better then a supplement. I was also warned about the mercury content in fish and not to eat it more then once a week. What are your thoughts?
    I was eating Salmon about 4 times a week plus taking OmegaVia supplements for quite some time and I can say that since I have taken that advice and not eating as much fish, my energy level has declined. I really want to go back to the way I use to eat!

    • Hi David! It’s been a while. Hope you’re well.

      Eating fresh, wild, cold water fish is a much better alternative to taking fish oil supplements. It does not compare. There is no reason to stop eating most fish. I have a list of fish to avoid in this blog: If you avoid shark, marlin, some Tuna and King Mackerel, you’ll be fine. But the good thing is that the list of fish that’s OK to eat is quite long. Also, eating fish gives you selenium, which the body needs to get rid of mercury and other toxins. It’s almost as if eating fish has the antidote to the poison.

      Since you were eating salmon 4 times a week, I’d go back to eating it at least twice a week. Take care.

  8. What are some other brands, besides OmegaVia, that contain >80% Omega 3’s concentration? Does OmegaVia have any advantages over them?

    Also, I know Lovaza delivers esterified fish oil, which must be how they can deliver such high concentrations of Omega 3’s. Is OmegaVia also esterified ?

  9. Hi: I have just gone through your webpage and read all the comments. As my husband and I are first timers in researching brands and qualities of omegas and fish oil supplements, we are basically lost when it comes to who, what, etc.
    As my husband is almost 86, a long time Marine, professional deep sea diver with other professions that caused big bad injures, he is not your usual person inquiring about health supplements. He has lingering effects of these injures, mainly lots of pain, probably from the inflamation from these injures. Aside from the constant pain, he is really good health. Oh, another thing, he is allergic to shellfish so I wonder about that being a problem with some product.

    Any advice about which supplement would be for him?? Thank you for your help

    • Hi Sharon – the first thing is to switch to a anti-inflammatory diet. There are several of them that you can search for online. But the key thing they all have in common is the elimination of sugar, refined and processed carbohydrates and all vegetable oils. You can still use olive oil without making inflammation worse.

      Diet change will get you the biggest bang for the buck. Supplements, as the name suggests, are supplemental to diet.

      I would look into concentrated fish oils. These have more Omega-3 than regular fish oils. Take 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day – they will require anywhere from 2 to 4 pills a day. Taking them with a large meal greatly improves absorption. Please check with your doctor if it is OK for him to do all this.

      If you are allergic to shellfish, fish oil will not cause any issues. I would stay away from krill oil since krill is a shellfish…even though the shellfish proteins that he is allergic to are unlikely to be present in the oil itself.

    • Hi Berneice O – the pills will be way to small for kids under 12 for OmegaVia and kids under 10 or so for EPA 500.

  10. Thank you for responding so quickly. I am on a dairy free, gluten free diet. My vitamin d and b12 are in normal range and thyroid is good too. I don’t know about magnesium or some of the other things your article is referencing. As I child I used to get many yeast infections. I take probiotics and have cut down on sugar. I will have to look into some of the other things. I didn’t ask my original question properly. I was told it is important to have epa and dha higher in mg than omega 3 fatty acids. is this true?

    • Hi Donna – not sure I follow – EPA and DHA are both Omega-3 fatty acids. They are the two most prominent Omega-3s in fish oil. But I’ll guess that your source is advising that you take a concentrated EPA and DHA product. I agree with that.

      May want to consider a magnesium glycinate product. It is very difficult to get enough magnesium even with the best diets.

  11. Hi Raji – any liquid fish oil from Nordic Naturals or Zone should be OK. If I were you, I would contact Dr. Barry Sears at Zone, since he is an expert in the field. He’s helped people in similar situations. I have a strong feeling that he will recommend a very high dose of fish oil, but you will have to ask him the details. Good luck.

    • Thank you for your prompt response, appreciate it very much. I was looking at the Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Xtra liquid, seems to have the highest concentration of Omega-3’s compared to even the Zone products. Will definitely touch base with Dr.Sears and follow up. Thanks again….Raji

  12. I am so confused I have just purchased OmegaXL I have 60 days to try it I feel it is very expensive it is made by a company Omegavia or something like that please reply it is very expensive is it worth the money

    • Hi Barbara – OmegaVia does not make OmegaXL. OmegaVia and OmegaXL are very different products. OmegaXL is the product advertised by Larry King on TV.

      Yes, OmegaXL is an expensive product – is it worth it? Well, only you can be the judge of that. If it works in doing what it is supposed to do, then expensive becomes value. If it doesn’t work, you have several other good alternatives, including OmegaVia. Please keep us posted on your experience.

  13. I am trying to determine which omega 3 would be more beneficial….Omega Via or Premium Omega 3 with Vit. D and Astaxanthin by Pure Prescriptions for overall health. It seems the Omega 3 dosage is quite different..? Your opinion please.

  14. I did not read any comments on Omega XL product which has been adv. on t.v. lately. Any comments on this product?

  15. I have moderate to severe dry eyes and am wondering if it makes a difference if I just take omega 3 supplements or do I take omega 3 and omega 6 balanced supplements? I am not sure which has best benefit for my dry eyes (and dry mouth, skin) due to menopause.
    What do you think about Tozal? I love this supplement but you need a prescription for it, why??

    • Hi Cindy – DO NOT buy anything with added Omega-6 in it. Too much Omega-6 is part of the problem that is causing your dry eyes. So adding it into your supplement regimen is crazy. Get a good Omega-3 supplement. Ideally, one with about 1000 mg Omega-3 per pill. And take 3 of those per day. Start with one per day and increase to two after a week. See if this makes a difference after a month. In the meantime, cut out sugar and grains/wheat. Look into a whole-foods-only type diet like paleo that contains no processed ingredients at all.

  16. Hello Vin…..loved this article!

    I was wondering if the Vitamin Shoppe brand liquid fish oil (lemon or orange flavored) is a good choice and meets label claims. I was keeping it simple and just taking one tablespoon a day but if I get more from the softgels I’ll just end up doing that.
    In other words, what percentage is the vitamin shoppe brand liquid vs a pharm grade capsule?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi John – I have not tested the VitaminShoppe liquid fish oil. You will have to call up their customer service number to find out if they have third party testing like IFOS. They make many types of pills – some are pharma grade and other not. Aim for 1000 to 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day.

  17. Hi Kent – Vayarin comes up occasionally in the comments section here. It’s basically phosphatidylserine bound to Omega-3. Both PS and Omega-3 are essential nutrients and, theoretically, can be very helpful in persons deficient in it. There is a lot of correlation overlap between low Omega-3 and ADHD, but just Omega-3 and/or PS cannot be expected to stop, prevent, or reverse ADD/HD. It will have to be part of a much larger solution picture that involves significant changes in diet and lifestyle.

    Do I think it is a valid prescription? I am neither qualified nor authorized to comment on that publicly, but here is what I’ll say: both PS and Omega-3 must be present in generous amount in your diet. If you occasionally fall short on your dietary goals, then it is fair to lean on dietary supplements. But does a poor diet have to be remedied with a prescription medication and all that it entails? That’s a bigger question.

  18. Hi Vin,

    I have been researching essential fatty acids for my daughter who is five years old and has hemiplegic cerebral palsy, a language disorder, and possibly a learning disorder. We have her working with an Ayurvedic doctor who is helping greatly, but feel there is more that could be done. I stumbled across TBI, Dr. Sears and Paul Beatty, all in relation to EFAs and how large amounts helped these injuries. I dug even deeper and found a study done overseas that administered piracetem and omega3s (equal parts EPA/DHA) to children with cerebral palsy with gains seen from providing 10 mg daily. I am trying to do things naturally, so I haven’t gone the route of nootropics for fear of not knowing long term effects. But fish oil seems to be promising and of no real threat of overdose, the TBI patients having received upwards of some 20 grams a day. My question to you is would you recommend OmegaVia for her, and at what dosage? I ve tried emailing Dr. Sears through his site, but haven’t heard back. I tried to reach out to Paul Beatty, but the site I went to is saying the email is not working. Via the Internet, I have heard Beatty recommend Efamol (evening primrose oil) as part of the treatment alongside EFAs as the GLA found in it helps regulate the EFAs. Would you recommend this too? If so, at what dosage for a child? Or if you could possibly direct me to someone who could provide me this information, I would be so grateful. I live in Tampa, FL, if you know of anyone from there. Thank you so much for your time and any help you can provide.

    God bless,

    • Hi Carisa – I don’t know of anyone who’s used OmegaVia for this specific purpose. That’s not to say that Omega-3 won’t make a difference.

      My concern would be the pill size. Omegavia is too large for a 5 year old to swallow and we don’t recommend cutting the pill open or squeezing the oil out. If your child is not taking Omega-3s, start at a mere 500 mg per day. Then, with a doctor’s supervision, titrate up. The US FDA’s upper safe limit is in the 3-4 grams per day. European health bodies have that number at 5 grams…but that’s for adults.

      Regardless, I suggest you start with a liquid Omega-3 item that you can easily dose up or down.

      • Thank you so much for getting back to me. I appreciate it. Did you have any thoughts on the evening primrose oil or Efamol? I’ve read it can help not only because of the GLA but also because of its ability to balance hormones. Thanks again!

        • Hi Carisa – Evening Primrose Oil has been studied for several health benefits, but again, I have not seen any specific studies for application in this condition. My approach with Evening primrose is the same as with fish oil. Try it with your doctor’s assistance, but at a low dose initially. My only concern with Evening primrose is that while it contains GLA, there are other Omega-6 fats like Linoleic acid that could be pro-inflammatory at high levels, especially when combined with a high sugar or starch diet. So, if you decide to do this, find a product with as much GLA as possible, so you can keep the total dose low.

        • Based on work done by Dr. David Frederick Horrobin (RIP) and Professor Brian Scott Peskin, I am taking a fish sourced Omega 3, with an evening primrose oil Omega 6. The fish oil is CARLSON (lightly lemon). No fish burps. The evening primrose oil is EFAMOL. What has been made clear to me is that Omega 3 without Omega 6 is like a tire without air in it. Both must be taken in the correct amount and in the correct ratio. For me it’s 1 CARLSON with 3 EFAMOL. I agree that there is no such thing as pharmaceutical grade fish oil. In the case of CARLSON its where it is sourced and how it’s processed. CARLSON Cod Liver Oil is NORWEGIAN. Its purity is guaranteed insofar as having the least amount possible “heavy metals”. I shouldn’t have to tell anyone here that heavy metal contamination in fish is a big concern. The bigger and older the fish the more concentrated are the heavy metals. I refuse to eat tuna. I’ll eat sardines in water though. I take my Omega 3 and my Omega 6 with a delivery system for maximum effect. I won’t step on anyone’s toes with that. It’s not my area to discuss. For that you should talk to Paul Frederick Beatty. A very smart man.

          • Hi Bruce – Carlson fish oil is good stuff. Efamol Evening Primrose is good, but Designs for Health GLA 240 is better because it has higher GLA levels and it’s a trustworthy brand. GLA is what you’re after in Evening Primrose, so look for products with higher GLA content and lower non-GLA Omega-6.

            I like the ‘Omega 3 without Omega 6 is like a tire without air in it‘ statement, whoever said it. It’s folksy, but it’s only true in a test tube or petri dish (in vitro).

            In reality, our Omega-6 levels are so lopsided with so much Omega-6 that a more realistic statement would be ‘If Omega-3 is a bicycle tire, we are pumping a semi-truck tire’s worth of air into it.‘ Sure, it’s not as catchy or folksy. But it’s the reality. Humanity has never before consumed this much Omega-6.

            It’s absolutely true that we need BOTH Omega-3 and 6. I’ll even admit that science suggests Omega-6s in a slight excess over Omega-3, possibly twice as much Omega-6 as Omega-3. In most modern societies, the ratio is sadly 20 to 50 times as much Omega-6 as Omega-3. Given that, makes you wonder why people and businesses are pushing us to take more Omega-6.

            Our standard recommendation stands: switch your cooking oils from Omega-6-rich seed oils to fruit oils (olive and avocado) that are rich in Omega-9. I would not cut back on eggs or nuts even though they are rich in Omega-6s because they are very nutrient dense.

  19. Linoleic (Omega 6) is not inflammatory itself. GLA which converts rapidly in humans to DGLA to with co-factors produce PGE1 is the most powerful anti-inflammatory we make at the cell level. More GLA is not necessarily better since the stereospecificity and the number of different triglycerides in the oil affect absorption and metabolic pathways. Avoid borage oil since it increases thromboxin B2 and usually has some euricic acid in it.

  20. Vin Kutty, thank you for your reply. Quote: ” I like the ‘Omega 3 without Omega 6 is like a tire without air in it‘ statement, whoever said it. It’s folksy, but it’s only true in a test tube or petri dish (in vitro)”. Unquote. To use an analogy, when I troubleshoot an electrical fault I don’t just check for continuity (ohms). I check for voltage. Can the circuit carry a load? The difference being, one is a “static” test, the other is “dynamic”. Dynamic paints a bigger picture of what’s happening and why. Is that what you mean by “in vitro” as compared to actual ingestion? As I understand it, a complete organism is needed to metabolize this. Not a test tube.

    • Hi Bruce – what I mean is that we need both Omega-3 and Omega-6 to be healthy.

      However, virtually all North Americans are deficient or insufficient in long chain Omega-3 (DHA and EPA) and highly over-dosed on Omega-6. There’s not enough of one and too much of the other. If you put aside the notion of an ideal ratio and look at it mathematically, based on the facts (too little Omega-3 and too much Omega-6), what should we do as a society?

      Eat more of both? Or more of one and less of the other? My vote is unequivocally for the latter.

      Given this clarity, it makes me question the motivation behind pushing greater Omega-6 consumption. Not to mention the mental gymnastics performed to urge people to consumer short chain Omega-3 (ALA) instead of long chain Omega-3 (EPA and DHA). If concerns about sustainability of our oceans and environmental contamination are the issues, there are several algae-based EPA and DHA products that serve as better alternatives.

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