Nearly all fish oil supplements marketed in New Zealand contain much less of the brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids than their labels claim, an eye-opening study has found.
When researchers at the University of Auckland’s Liggins Institute tested 36 different brands of fish oil capsules, just three contained the same concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids as listed on the label.
Their analysis revealed that the products contained an average of just 68 per cent of the claimed content – and more than two thirds of supplements tested contained less than 67 per cent.
Two products only included only a third of what was on the label.
The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) and Medsafe are now investigating the findings, while the industry body for producers of omega-3 supplements has reacted with surprise.
Fish oil supplements are commonly used in New Zealand.
Oil supplements – although not just omega-3 – were the most frequently used (16 per cent).
The tested products cost between 7c and $1 per gram; bottles of 60 capsules of the supplement