From Alga to Omega; Have We Reached Peak (Fish) Oil?

J R Soc Med. 2015 Sep;108(9):351-7. doi: 10.1177/0141076815599673.


SummaryWhile the Inuit diet was highly cardio-protective and consuming oily fish within a Western diet is to a lesser degree, the case for purified fish oil supplements is less convincing. Purification of fish oil removes lipophilic polyphenols which likely contribute to the health benefits of oily fish; leaving the ω3 highly unsaturated fatty acids exposed and prone to conferring oxidative and inflammatory stress. The authors believe that due to such issues as dietary shift, it may now be inadvisable to prescribe or sell purified ω3 highly unsaturated fatty acids supplements, unless the appropriate co-factors are included.

Keywords: Fish oil; HUFA; Inuit; Mediterranean; phlorotannin; polyphenol; secoiridoid.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet, Western
  • Dietary Supplements* / analysis
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fish Oils* / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Inuits
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fish Oils