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Why Does Fish Oil Have Such a Bad Rap?

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Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Looking for an Omega-3 supplement? Then you’ve probably come across fish oil—but is it really all it’s cracked up to be? Learn why people are ditching fish oil for green-lipped mussel oil!

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for your overall health and wellness. Seriously! They help with cognitive function, metabolism, they help reduce joint pain and inflammation, repair muscles, and SO much more. 

So clearly, getting as many Omega-3s into your diet as possible is the goal…right? Well, not quite. Surprisingly, it’s more about quality and effectiveness. That’s why many are now ditching fish oil in favor of green-lipped mussel oil.

Plus, it’s not just about us! Green-lipped mussel oil is even better for the planet. So, before you rush out and snag the first Omega-3 supplement you can find, discover why fish oil has such a bad rap and why GLX3 is a more effective, more sustainable choice. 

What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

To understand the key differences between fish oil and green-lipped mussel oil, it helps to know a bit more about omega-3s. 

Omega-3 fatty acids occur naturally in a wide variety of organisms throughout the world. However, the human body cannot produce them – in fact, no mammal can. Because we need to be healthy, we must look for outside sources of these fatty acids. Some common food items rich in Omega-3s include:

  • Seeds (flax, chia, hemp, etc.)
  • Nuts (walnuts, peanuts, etc.)
  • Beans (soybeans, kidney beans, Great Northern beans, and navy beans)
  • Cold-water fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, etc.)

An Omega-3 deficiency can result in inflammation of the skin and joints, excessive thirst, excess ear wax, dandruff, mood swings, and more. Obviously, getting enough Omega-3s is pretty important. However, there are different types of omega-3s and they’re ALL important. 

ALA is converted in the body to longer-chain n-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA. However, this is an inefficient process and the conversion rate is very low. Therefore, consuming high amounts of ALA will not significantly increase DHA levels in the body, although it will increase (though only slightly) EPA in red blood cells.

EPA helps prevent heart disease or prevent complications after a heart attack. It is also useful for depression and memory, and to ease the side effects of chemotherapy. EPA is believed to have the ability to help prevent the blood from clotting too quickly; it can also help reduce inflammation and the pain it causes.

DHA makes up over 90% of your brain’s omega-3s and up to a quarter of its fat content. DHA makes cell membranes, and the spaces between cells, more fluid. This allows nerve cells to transmit electrical signals more efficiently. Low levels of DHA in your eyes or brain can cause these signals to slow, which will have a negative impact on brain function and eyesight.

ETA is not only anti-inflammatory, but it can also restrict your body’s release of one of the root causes of your pain — the inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid known as arachidonic acid (ARA). In fact, ETA redirects the enzyme that normally creates ARA to convert it to EPA instead, in a sort of full-circle cycle of anti-inflammatory awesomeness. 

PLUS, this phenomenal Omega-3 also blocks both pain pathways that cause inflammation (specifically for joint inflammation). According to Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, ETA can block both the COX-3 and LOX inflammatory pathways at the same time. This allows it to minimize inflammation more effectively than other Omega-3s and over-the-counter NSAIDs. What’s even better? It doesn’t cause harm to guts and kidneys! 

For those with inflammatory joint pain, ETA is a complete game-changer. Unfortunately, it’s particularly rare in nature, and getting enough ETA through your diet is quite difficult. 

Why Does Fish Oil Have Such a Bad Rap?

Ok, so Omega-3s are important and fish oil has Omega-3s…right? Technically, yes. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds.

Fish oil is often made up of only 30% Omega-3s from the tissue of oily fish. The rest of it is comprised of other fats and often has some Vitamin A and D. When it comes to Omega-3s, however, it’s mainly rich in EPA and DHA. That means you’re not getting ALA or ETA omega-3s from fish oil. That’s a problem, especially when you consider how the western diet has replaced many omega-3 rich foods with foods rich in inflammatory omega-6.

That’s not the only reason why people are swapping fish oil for green-lipped mussel oil. Here are a few more reasons why fish oil has such a bad rap:

  • Negative Environmental Impact

Harvesting the fish necessary for manufacturing fish oil is having a negative impact on the health of our oceans and the animals that live there. Fish oil comes from the critical layer of small pelagic fish (anchovies, herring, etc.). These fish eat plankton and then bigger fish eat THOSE fish. 

Without enough of these small pelagic fish, the larger fish (whales, dolphins, tuna, etc.) don’t get enough food. Once a food chain is impacted like this, the surrounding plant life is also negatively affected. 

  • Sustainability Issues

Overharvesting of these keystone species means we’re beginning to see fewer larger fish. Even krill oil is harvested in areas where it’s the primary food source of whales and larger fish, putting a strain on many other marine inhabitants.

Sustainable aquaculture farms are the best way to ensure products like these are sustainable, but few products are sourced from such farms (and not all aquaculture farms are ethically managed).

  • Questionable Effectiveness

Since fish oil only provides two of the three main omega-3s—plus no ETA at all—it requires larger doses to be as effective as green-lipped mussel oil. More on that later!

What is Green-Lipped Mussel Oil?

Admittedly, fish oil is still one of the most widely purchased supplements. However, as people learn about the benefits of green-lipped mussel oil, more and more people are making the switch!

Green-lipped mussels are also known as the New Zealand green-lipped mussel because they’re native to the New Zealand region and found all around the mainland. They have a unique appearance, with a dark brown or dark green shell with green “lips” around the edges. This species is one of the largest varieties of mussels, reaching nearly 10 inches in length.

The oil extracted from green-lipped mussels is a purified marine lipid extract, which experts obtain through a unique, solvent-free process. Green-lipped mussels contain a combination of dozens of natural oils, sterols, esters, and omega-3 fatty acids—of course!

What Makes Green-Lipped Mussel Oil So Great?

If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably anxious for the fish oil vs. green-lipped mussel oil comparison. So, let’s get to it!

  • Ethical Environmental Practices

Green-lipped mussel oil is harvested using a method that does not harm any other marine life. The International Conservation Organization Blue Ocean Institute ranked green-lipped mussels as one of the world’s top two eco-friendly seafoods, and GLMs have earned the USA Blue Ocean Award for sustainability. 

  • Sustainably Harvested

Speaking of sustainability, green-lipped mussels are “wild-farmed.”  They’re raised specifically for food and supplements and they’re raised completely naturally, never being “fed” by man nor given harmful antibiotics.

  • Maximum Effectiveness

In the case of fish oil, the fatty acids need to be broken down in the gut using enzymes and acids to convert them into a bioavailable form. Our bodies convert this at only about 10% efficiency. Green-lipped mussel oil is immediately available, without conversion. This is why the advertising council has approved GLM producers saying it is “158 times as effective” as fish oil. Roughly that means it takes 150x of ‘the other stuff’ to get the same benefit given by the green-lipped mussels.  

Nutraingredients even reported on a study published in the journal Rheumatologia that found a daily 1.2-ounce dose of Green Lipped Mussel supplement reduces joint pain and inflammation in each of the study’s participants.

However, a 1.2-ounce daily dose of fish oil (taken over a twelve-week timeframe just like the Green Lipped Mussel) showed no noticeable benefit. A general conclusion from the study was that getting similar effects as lower doses of Green Lipped Mussel requires very high doses of fish oil.

  • More Omega-3s and It’s Even Considered a Superfood!

The green-lipped mussel has earned superfood status because it contains a wide range of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, and much more. On top of that, green-lipped mussels are one of the only sources of ETA omega-3 fatty acids! That means you’ll get EPA, DHA, and ETA just from a green-lipped mussel supplement (Pssst! We’ve also fortified our GLX3 with ALA as well!).

Because of how nutrient-dense green-lipped mussels are, they also provide additional benefits like gut health, eye health, cognitive health, bone health, and MORE

  • Fewer Risks of Pollution and Toxins

The green-lipped mussel lives in the waters of the New Zealand coast—some of the purest water in the world because of its distance from any densely populated areas. GLMs thrive far away from pollution and its harmful effects. They feed on nutrient-rich plankton, making them a purer and safer product to ingest than oil from fish that live their lives in potentially polluted water. 

We Use Green-Lipped Mussels for a Reason!

When it comes to our supplements, we want the best. That’s why we choose to use sustainably harvested, high potency green-lipped mussels in our GLX3. This allows us to create small, easy-to-swallow capsules that are more effective at smaller doses compared to fish oil supplements. Plus, you can rest assured knowing exactly what’s inside our supplements.

We use 100 mg of pure, natural New Zealand green-lipped mussel oil. Additionally, we’ve added 200 mg of pure New Zealand sourced olive oil and 45 mg of natural Vitamin E oil. We believe in leaving the “fluff” out of our blends and delivering only the highest quality, efficaciously dosed ingredients that are scientifically proven to fight against joint pain and inflammation

Fish oil may have been the most popular Omega-3 supplement in the past, but today we know better. Contact us today with questions and consider giving GLX3 a try today with our 90-day 100% satisfaction guarantee. You deserve to feel your best, and we want our supplement to help you on your wellness journey. 

Every body may be different, but everybody deserves health and wellness.


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