WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK — DECEMBER 10, 2007 — A new report on the quality of omega-3 and -6 fatty acid supplements made from seed oils was released by ConsumerLab.com today. Two products were slightly low in one fatty acid, but this is an improvement over results from ConsumerLab.com's studies in 2002 and 2005 in which, respectively, six and four products failed testing. None of the current products showed evidence of spoilage, which has been found in the past.
ConsumerLab.com focused on supplements claiming to contain alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) or gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). ALA is an essential omega-3 fatty acid which can be converted, to a limited extent, into DHA and EPA — the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil. Flaxseed oil is extremely rich in ALA and is the dominant source for supplements. GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid that may be useful in treating diseases that involve pain and inflammation, including rheumatoid arthritis and cyclic mastalgia — breast pain associated with the menstrual cycle. Evening primrose, borage, and black currant oils are popular sources of GLA. Many of the products contained additional fatty acids, particularly linoleic acid (LA), which is an essential fatty acid found in many vegetable oils and generally abundant in the diet.
The study included supplements for pets as well as for people. Pet owners use omega-3 and-6 fatty acids for skin and coat maintenance.
Among the two products that failed testing, one was a softgel that contained only 79.8% of its labeled amount of oleic acid — a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. The other was a bottled oil that contained only 84.2% of its labeled amount of omega-9 fatty acids. Both products, however, contained the claimed amounts of omega-3 and/or omega-6 fatty acids.
The ConsumerLab.com report is available at www.consumerlab.com/results/flaxseed.asp. It includes findings for thirteen products selected by ConsumerLab.com (including two specifically for pets) as well as nine that passed ConsumerLab.com's Voluntary Certification Program. Brands included are Barlean's, CVS, DaVinci Laboratories of Vermont, Flora, Jarrow Formulas, LifeWise Naturals, Nature's Bounty, NatureVet, Paradise Essentials, Puritan's Pride, Smart Basics (Vitacost), Solaray, Solgar, Spectrum Essentials, Sundown, Swanson, The Missing Link (Designing Health), Udo's Choice (Flora), Vitamin World, and Weil. The report also provides information about the use of these supplements and additional clinical information.
ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. Reviews of popular types of vitamins, supplements, and generic drugs are available at www.consumerlab.com. New Product Reviews to be released in early 2008 include Fish/Marine Oils (EPA and DHA), Potassium, Turmeric, and Vitamin C. Subscription to ConsumerLab.com is available online. The company is privately held and based in Westchester, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products.
For further information, contact Tod Cooperman, MD, at email@example.com.