Emerging research continues to support the benefits of omega-3s, particularly upon cardiovascular health and cognition. The industry is not without challenges, however, whether disputing flawed well-publicized data, or continuing to navigate decades-old hindrances such as outdated safety policy. "State of the Science," a free Digital Issue from Omega-3 Insights Magazine, explores the scientific advances spurring optimism as new discoveries boost credibility.
Poorly designed studies and the over-extrapolation of related data, whether by scientists or reporters, have put the omega-3 industry on the defense. Overlooked in the process are many reputable studies that are adding to the pool of scientific literature supporting the health benefits of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Harry B. Rice, Ph.D., vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs for the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED), examines the facts and flaws within the findings of omega-3 studies targeting cardiovascular, cognitive and prostate health, as well as matters of safety and public policy.
Also in the issue, William S. Harris, Ph.D.president of OmegaQuant, professor and senior research scientistexplains how researchers are broadening the scope of their investigations beyond the composite health effects of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs). Some of the more specific areas of study include the function of each individual omega-3, the metabolites produced from each, and what each one does.
A final article introduces the True Anisidine Value (TAV) Test, a collaborative development from Nutrasource Diagnostics Inc. (NDI) and Nordic Naturals, which is used to assess the freshness of raw omega oils. The new methodology overcomes the disadvantages that have confounded conventional testing methodsand which often lead to false positives for rancidity in flavored omega-3 formulations. Sharing the technological advance are William Rowe, president and CEO of NDI, and Keri Marshall, N.D., chief medical officer at Nordic Naturals.