$180 Fish Oil? Sounds Fishy.

“Very high triglycerides is a medical term for something serious: TOO MUCH FAT IN YOUR BLOOD.”

This large-print, bold-faced type caught my attention in one of the many full page pharmaceutical advertisements in the most recent Newsweek.  Under this bold heading offset in large print and different color font was the infamous direct-to-consumer catch, “Ask your doctor about the FDA-approved medication made from the omega-3 fish oil: LOVAZA.”

High triglycerides are a very common problem associated with our obese, diabetic, cardiovascular disease-ridden, chronic pain, and toxic society.  We often see patients with high triglycerides that we are able to lower very quickly (in most cases in one week) to a normal level.  One of the most referenced ways to decreased high triglycerides is the use of omega-3 fatty acids.

Lovaza is a prescription omega-3 fatty acid support that comes in 1 gram capsules and treatment dosing is 4 capsules (4 grams) fish oil daily.  Sounds like a great deal right?  Wrong.  A 120 capsule prescription (one month supply) is $179.67!  With unprecedented health care costs, high insurance premiums and denial of care for so many services there is a fish oil that is being used at the cost of $180 per month!

There is a better solution.  I use EPA-DHA Extra Strength omega-3 fatty acids from Metagenics at a monthly cost of only $30.75!  Metagenics is a triple-GMP certifed company that manufactures an ultra-pure and ultra-refined fish oil that is purity certified.  Consider the comments below from the website.

Do you conduct third-party (independent) testing for verifying marine oil purity?
EVERY batch of our marine oil concentrates is assayed by one of the top independent testing labs in the world and currently the world market leader in testing for dioxins. Testing every batch of concentrated oil prior to bottling or encapsulation is highly unusual and Metagenics may be the only professional nutraceutical company to practice this added safety measure. Checks for numerous contaminants are conducted including:

  • 220 pesticides
  • 6 heavy metals
  • 7 markers of PCBs
  • 15 dioxins & furans
  • 12 dioxin-like PCBs

Does Metagenics fish oil contain mercury or other contaminants?
We use fish oil from fresh, clean, deep-sea, wild-caught, cold-water fish with lower risk of contamination. In addition, our purity-certified fish oils undergo a proprietary refinement process to remove heavy metals and other environmental pollutants. An advanced molecular distillation process of every batch ensures the highest purity and batch consistency. And every batch is thoroughly tested for impurities at every step, from raw material to packaging. Our dedication to exhaustive third-party and in-house testing enable us to make the following guarantees:

  • Mercury—less than 5 ppb (below detection limit)
  • Lead—less than 20 ppb (below detection limit)
  • Dioxins and Furans TEQ—less than 0.5 ppt
  • PCBs TEQ—less than 1 ppt
  • Also tested for yeasts, molds, and bacteria

Is the Metagenics marine oil pharmaceutical grade, ultra pure, and/or ultra refined?
There is no unified definition for these terms. To date, the only internationally recognized, minimal quality standards are based on the EU CRN monograph. “Pharmaceutical grade” is a marketing term often used to imply a higher standard of purity. While there are pharmaceutical grades established for some chemicals, there is no such grade for marine oils. However, our fish oils are produced in Norway and the manufacturing plant is licensed for pharmaceuticals by the Norwegian Medicines Agency, Norway’s equivalent to the Food and Drug Administration. (There are only 3 pharmaceutical licensed omega-3 manufacturing facilities in the world.) Under the accepted market definitions, Metagenics offers “ultra pure” and “ultra refined” marine oil formulas that meet a higher standard of quality.

Quality does matter.  Quality is important.  You can maintain heart health with high-quality fish oils and not pay the $180/month for the prescription.  And for all those that comment, “Well my insurance pays for that,” consider who is really paying for that coverage.  Consider your out-of-pocket expenses on denied services that truly are medically necessary, consider the fact that your premiums go up each year while your overall coverage is constantly reducing, consider you have no choice to see the doctor you would prefer and consider that when you see your doctor they are working for the insurance company…not you.  Who is paying for that?

And I am supposed to have a disclaimer attached when mentioning any product from books, to nutrition, to cooking supplies.  So here goes…I do use Metagenics in my office.  I made a commitment when I started my practice to provide my patients with only the highest-quality, safest and most effective nutrients on the market.  We renew that commitment every day and Metagenics stays on our shelves.  There are lawsuits pending for contaminated fish oils that contained cancer-promoting PCB’s from 10 major fish oil supplements including Twinlab, Now, Solgar, Pharmavite, and GNC.  I trust the health of my family and my patients with the guaranteed quality and purity of these fish oils.

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