For years, fish oil has been hailed as the ‘holy grail’ of omega-3 supplements. More recently, Calamari Oil has burst onto the scene claiming to be a superior product. Whilst the health benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids found in both oils have been known since the 1970’s (when scientists first discovered that a diet heavy in fish resulted in lower incidence of heart disease in Greenland), there is now some confusion as to how to best get your daily dose of omega-3. We take a look at which is better – fish oil vs calamari oil.
What is Calamari Oil
Calamari Oil is a new source of omega-3 fatty acid which supports your heart, brain and eyes. Calamari Oil also contains more omega-3 than fish oil and krill oil combined, and is ecologically sustainable. It is extremely high in omega-3 DHA, which has benefits for many parts of the body including brain, eye, heart, nervous system and more.
There is little debate that calamari oil is richer in omega-3 DHA than fish oil or krill oil. And there is a growing body of research that confirms omega-3 fatty acids as essential for numerous aspects of human health. Several established facts are already well known include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids can’t be synthesised by the human body and must be provided from the diet
- Omega-3 fatty acids are a structural element in all tissues of the body
- Omega 3-fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain, eyes, nervous system and other vital organs
- Several molecules from omega-3 alleviate inflammation
Researchers have been able to identify the specific action of these fatty acids and have proven that DHA or docosahexaenoic acid is the preferred omega-3 for:
- growth and development (Approximately 60% of the human brain is made up of fats, of this 40% of it is DHA.)
- prevention of cardiovascular disease (The Australian Heart Foundation recommends 500mg daily of combined DHA & EPA)
- prevention of an eye disease called age-related macular degeneration
- improving communication between brain cells and making cell membranes more fluid
- development and proper maintenance of the brain
- development of the brain and retina membranes of developing fetus when taken during pregnancy
They also believe that DHA might be the preferred omega-3 for eye health and the prevention of brain decline in the elderly.
No Fishy aftertaste
The calamari oil from the trimmings of squid is further refined and purified using patent pending, gentle processing technology in a state-of -the-art production facility. The technology and processes involved include cold filtration, organic filtration, detoxification and concentration methods.
Calamari Are Resilient
Calamari have short life spans of approximately 450 days, a low reproductive age and are inherently resilient to fishing pressure. The individual growth rates for calamari are also very high. It is believed that calamari can acquire one unit of body weight for each two units of food consumed.
Even with current fishing levels, the available biomass of calamari continues to grow. Rather than being trawled or harvested by industrial means, the calamari used to produce calamari oil is fished by hookline, by small vessels which means:
- Highly selective hooklines that primarily target adult specimens
- Virtually zero collateral damage to other species
- No negative impact to the ocean floor or coral reefs.
When compared with other species, it is clear that calamari oil is a better choice for sustainable harvesting.
Should you switch from Fish Oil to Calamari Oil?
Taking one single calamari oil capsule each day certainly does seem an attractive alternative to taking a handful of fish oil capsules. If you are looking for the most DHA available in a supplement, then calamari oil is it. The upsides of switching to calamari from fish oil include:
- Take less tablets
- More DHA benefit
- More sustainable option fish oil
As for the age-old debate as to whether you should focus on eating fresh fish vs taking a fish oil or calmari oil supplement, the jury is still out. We always advocate healthy lifestyle and diet before taking pills and tablets, but increasingly fresh fish contains trace levels of heavy metals which can be harmful to health and development. There is still a shortage of longitudinal studies studying whether the heavy metals found in some fresh fish is harmful to health. We know this much – unless you are currently consuming the recommended amount of fish in your diet, chances are you are not receiving enough omega-3, and your brain, heart, eyes and overall health may be suffering. As such, you should still consider supplementing your diet with calamari oil (or fish oil). The recommendation is the same for adults, pregnant and breastfeeding women and children.
The Australian Heart Foundation recommends 500mg daily of combined omega-3s EPA & DHA which means eating two to three serves of oily fish (such as salmon or tuna) each week. People with a history of heart disease / cardiovascular problems should aim for more.
As a quick guideline here is how you can eat your recommended dose of DHA:
- 150gms of salmon, mackerel or trevalla three times a week
- 150gms of squid or oysters three times a week
- 300gms of dory, flounder, snapper, cod or bass three times a week
- 1 calamari oil tablet daily
Are there any side effects?
Both fish oil and calamari oil supplements are generally regarded as being well tolerated, although a small percentage of people may experience mild side effects such as diarrhoea or fishy-smelling breath.
If you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood-thinning medication, talk to your doctor before taking fish or calamari oil supplements.
Neither supplement is suitable for people with seafood allergies
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