Omega-3 Content Confuses Consumers, Says GOED

November 20, 2008

Consumers knows omega-3s are good for them, but that’s about all they know on the topic, says the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED; Salt Lake City).

SALT LAKE CITY-Consumers knows omega-3s are good for them, but that’s about all they know on the topic, says the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED; Salt Lake City).

"Omega-3" is too broad to a term, GOED said, because it refers to three separate fatty acids -- EPA, DHA and ALA -- which do not perform in the same way.

"Consumers don't understand what it is," said Vivian Tysse, sales manager of Denomega (Norway).

ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), derived from plant sources such as flaxseed, can be labeled "omega-3", although it does not have the same nutritional content as EPA and DHA.

"Consumers don't really get the difference...it's EPA and DHA that your body really needs," said Ian Lucas, vice president of innovation and strategy at Ocean Nutrition Canada (Nova Scotia).

"Consumers need to be informed and make their own choice," said Philip Fass, executive director of industry and commercial relations at Martek Biosciences (Columbia, MD).