With the hundreds of omega 3 supplements on the market, why should you choose calamari oil? Whenever you are buying omega 3 supplements, you should go through this process:
- Get a Marine Source Omega 3 Supplement
Forget terrestrial-source omega 3 supplements such as flaxseed oil. These contain a type of omega 3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). The body will need to convert ALA into EPA and DHA (eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid) to obtain the health benefits of omega 3. Unfortunately, conversion rates are very low, about 1 to 5 percent. On the other hand, marine-source omega 3 supplements will contain EPA and DHA directly. Calamari oil is a marine-sourced omega-3 supplement.
- Fish/Calamari Oils or Algae Oil Omega 3?
There are two types of marine-source omega 3 supplements – those derived from fish/calamari and those derived from algae. Both are equally good, so how do you choose between them? If you are vegan, vegetarian or allergic to fish protein, then algae based omega 3 supplements are the obvious choose. In addition, algae oil omega 3 supplements are often more concentrated in DHA than fish oils. Other advantages of omega 3 from algae are that there are no contamination issues and they do not cause ‘fish burps’. The downside is that algae based omega 3 supplements are usually slightly more expensive than fish and calamari oils. If you choose to buy fish or calamari omega 3 supplements, the main issue is purity.
Fish and calamari can accumulate industrial toxins in their bodies, such as mercury, dioxins and PCB. These toxins will also be present in the oil. The best fish oil supplement brands will only use fish/calamari from uncontaminated sources; will thoroughly purify their oils; and will carry out extensive testing for purity. The results of these tests should be available on the company’s website. If you are buying fish & calamari oils, only buy from companies which guarantee that their supplements are free from contaminants.
Steer clear of green lipped mussel oil, seal oil and shark oil — these tend to contain high levels of pollutants.
- What About Cod Liver Oil?
Omegas 3s have traditionally been obtained from the livers of cod fish. However cod liver oil is much more prone to contain toxins than fish oils, which are obtained from the flesh of fish. This is because toxins tend to accumulate in the liver. On the other hand, cod liver oils tend to have a higher ratio of DHA to EPA compared to fish oils. While both DHA and EPA are very beneficial for health, research indicates that DHA may be the more potent of the two. Bottom line is, if you choose cod liver oil, it is imperative that you only select brands that publish their testing results. Purity should be your first priority when buying omega 3 supplements.
- Calamari Oil vs. Fish Oil
Calamari oil has some advantages over fish oil; mainly that it is a more sustainable source and is contains a higher ratio of DHA: EPA. However, being a new supplement, there is not enough research to justify a fair comparison with fish oil. It, however, does have a number of advantages over fish oil.
Calamari has short life spans of approximately 450 days, a low reproductive age and is inherently resilient to fishing pressure. The individual growth rates for calamari are also very high. It is believed that calamari can acquire one unit of body weight for each two units of food consumed.
Even with current fishing levels, the available biomass of calamari continues to grow. Rather than being trawled or harvested by industrial means, the calamari used to produce calamari oil is fished by hook line, by small vessels which means:
- Highly selective hook lines that primarily target adult specimens
- Virtually zero collateral damage to other species
- No negative impact to the ocean floor or coral reefs
When compared with other species, it is clear that calamari oil is a better choice for sustainable harvesting.