ConsumerLab.com is a leading independent testing company focused on nutritional products. At WisdomAndHealth, we subscribe to their publications to help us choose the best dietary supplements available
Recently, an interesting question was posted on their web site:
Lovaza, a prescription omega 3 fish oil, is very expensive. Can I get the same omega 3 oils from a supplement that costs less?
Lovaza is a prescription blend of omega 3 fatty acids derived from fish oil. It is FDA approved, along with diet, to reduce very high triglycerides in adults. However, as noted, it can be quite expensive. Even with insurance and copay, Lovaza can run several hundred dollars per month. So this person’s question is a good one.
At WisdomAndHealth, we carry three very pure, high quality fish oil supplements. The full details are available on our site. But, do any of our products compare with Lovaza? And why would someone want to take omega-3 fatty acids anyway?
Omega 3 fatty acids have a number of health benefits, such as helping to fight inflammation, improve mental health and function, and to help support eye health. But one of the best reasons to take a fish oil supplement is for cardiovascular health and to fight cardiovascular disease. Specifically, the omega 3 fatty acid EPA and DHA have been shown to reduce triglycerides, reduce blood pressure, and perhaps slow the development of atherosclerosis. The evidence generated over several decades has prompted the US FDA to not only approve prescription brand Lovaza, but to also allow fish oil supplements to state “…consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”
So, now back to the question…are there fish oil supplements that available over–counter that can provide similar omega 3 benefits to Lovaza? The short answer is yes, but it really depends on two key factors: product purity and dosage.
Regarding purity, fish oil can accumulate various harmful substances such as mercury, dioxins, and PCBs. Fortunately, manufacturing processes such as supercritical carbon dioxide extraction are quite good at separating the desired fish oils from these substances.
Second, there is dosage. Lovaza (formerly known as Omacor), contains approximately 465 mg EPA and 375 mg DHA per capsule, with a dose of 4 capsules per day. This is an unusually high-dose of EPA and DHA compared to over-the-counter fish oil. However, there are products available , and is where careful label reading is beneficial.
In summary, if you are interested in the health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids for cardiovascular health and cardiovascular disease, prescription Lovaza is a viable option. However, given the cost of this prescription product, over-the-counter supplements may provide a cost-effective alternative. However, careful label reading is important.
- Can Omega 3 Fatty Acids Benefit Kids with ADHD? (wisdomandhealthblog.wordpress.com)
- Why omega-3 oils help at the cellular level (eurekalert.org)