NPNZ clarifies effective supplementation rate of Omega-3 in fish oil

10 March 2010

Natural Products New Zealand is surprised at media claims that a single serving of salmon or other fatty fish has the same level of efficacy of taking 40 fish oil capsules.

As the industry collective for manufacturers, exporters and marketers of Natural Products in New Zealand, NPNZ can comment objectively on this claim.

Salmon has a basic fat component of around 1.75 per cent oil so a 150 gram serving of salmon would contain around 2.63 grams of standard fish oil.  One standard fish oil capsule contains one gram of oil.
 “It is completely erroneous to equate one standard serving of salmon with 40 fish oil capsules,” says Michelle Palmer, Executive Director Natural Products New Zealand.  “One 150 gram serving of salmon equates to just over 2.5 standard fish oil capsules, not 40. 

As well as the standard fish oil capsules commonly sold, there are concentrates available which further reduce the number of capsules you need to take” says Ms Palmer.

Professor Shaun Holt, Medical Advisor and Researcher states “Eating fresh fish is the best way to obtain omega-3, however research has shown that the level of omega-3 that can benefit your health is often above what most people wish to consume from fish alone, and for these people omega-3 capsules are recommended.

You would have to eat around six 400 gram portions of salmon to get the same amount of fish oil as 40 standard fish oil capsules; and around 12 portions to get the same amount of fish oil as 40 concentrated fish oil capsules.”

A diet high in fish supplemented with fish oil capsules is the best approach and the number of capsules required to achieve this is 2-3 standard fish oil capsules per day –  nowhere near 40 per day.


Note: Natural Products New Zealand (NPNZ) represents over 80% of the Natural Products industry.  Based on a survey of wholesale and retail sales information, export data and industry surveys, NPNZ’s members make up the overwhelming majority of the natural products industry in terms of product lines, turnover, employment and exports

For more information contact:

Michelle Palmer, Executive Director of Natural Products New Zealand
P:    +64 3 577 8676
F:    +64 3 577 8626
E:    [email protected]

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