Something Fishy: My 90 Day Coromega Challenge and The Health Benefits of Omega-3’s

I did it!

I completed the 90 day challenge…

Guess how many days it took me?

?????

I knew you all were super smart :-)

The 90 day challenge I’m referring to here is the Coromega 90 Day Fish Oil Challenge where I had my omega 3 fatty acid levels tested…took fish oil for 90 days…then had my omega 3 levels re-tested.

Here’s how it all went down…

Last August I was asked if I wanted to participate in the challenge. Having taken fish oil in the past to help with symptoms of my Sjogren’s Syndrome, along with knowing how important it is from a health and nutrition standpoint {much more on this later in my post} to get more omega 3 fatty acids in one’s diet, I decided to participate in the challenge.

{Full disclosure: I received 2 free Holman Omega # Test Kits and a 90 day supply of fish oil from Coromega. My opinions on these products are entirely my own and were in no way influenced by Coromega.}

For those of you unfamiliar with Coromega, here’s a little info…

  • Made from fish oil {from small, deep, cold water fish} that has been molecularly distilled for purity, Coromega Squeeze is a patented emulsified form of omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA.
  • The proprietary formula offers superior bioavailability, providing 300 percent better omega-3 absorption than fish oil capsules. {See study here.}
  • Manufactured in a GMP compliant facility, tested by third party labs and certified by NSF and consumerlab.com
  • Products for adults, kids, and moms-to-be in single serve pouches AND coming soon in The Big Squeeze.

So, what does all this mean, and why are omega-3’s so important?

First, let’s take a look at my before and after Omega 3 lab results…

EA’s Coromega 90 Day Challenge

My results pre -supplementation

My results post- supplementation

Typical USA

Optimal

Total Omega 3 Score (%)

6.0

9.1

4.8

>9

EPA (%)

0.7

1.9

0.6

>3

DHA (%)

2.8

4.6

2.6

>4

% Omega 3 in HUFA

25

41

24

>50

Total Omega 6 Score (%)

40.9

32.3

39.0

<38

Omega 6/Omega 3 Ratio

6.8:1

3.5:1

8.11:1

<5.1:1

Before I go over my results, just a quick little essential fatty acid primer here…

  • Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, are essentially essential fatty acids.  While technically, ALA {see more below} can be converted in the body to EPA and DHA, then conversion rate is very low.  It’s estimated that 5-10 % of ALA is converted to EPA and only 2-5 % to DHA.  Food sources of EPA and DHA are fatty fish such as salmon, herring, cod, sardines, mackerel, lake trout, and tuna. DHA is also supplied by algal sources.
  • ALA is another essential omega 3 fatty acid and is abundant in foods such as flax seeds, chia seed, and walnuts.  These are super healthy foods, and ALA is definitely important in the diet, however from a research perspective, EPA and DHA are the two omega 3 fatty acids thought to be responsible for most of the health benefits I’ll be sharing with you later.
  • Omega 6 fatty acids {found in vegetable oils such as corn, sunflower, safflower, and grape seed} are also considered to be essential to the diet, however, especially with a typical Western diet, we get way more of these than we need which can lead to inflammation in the body.
  • The key to good health, is to get a good balance of these essential fatty acids in the diet, and for most of us this mean s getting more omega 3’s from fish, algal sources, and/or supplements, AND by consuming fewer foods that are high in omega 6’s.

So, getting back to my results, I was disappointed, although not completely surprised, to see my initial results, although better than average, were all below optimal levels.

Disappointed because I eat a pretty healthy diet and try and not eat too much fat in the form of omega 6 fatty acids {as evident by my omega 6 levels which were ALMOST optimal at the start!}, but not surprised because I hadn’t been taking my fish oil supplements for a long while, and I really don’t eat that much fish on a regular basis.

I know…

Bad dietitian!

{In my defense, my kids have not  really developed their tastes for fish, YET, and since I don’t want to be a short order cook at home, i.e. my kids eat pretty much the same meals as us or they don’t eat, fish is not often on the menu for dinner.}

Anyways, back to my results and the interpretation…

After 90 days taking Coromega, I was excited to see my total omega 3’s, DHA, total omega 6’s, and omega 6 to omega 3 ratio all at optimal levels.

And, the great thing about this was that it was achieved by taking only 1 packet of Coromega {350 mg EPA and 230 mg DHA} per day.

There are many high quality sources of fish oil on the market these days, but what I especially like about Coromega is the ability to raise omega 3 levels to desirable ranges, with a relatively low dose, due to the increased absorption over fish oil capsules. {Note: Although convenient, I didn’t care so much for all the packaging involved with the single serve Coromega packets, so I’m very excited to see that the more eco- friendly Big Squeeze will be available soon!}

On the other hand, my % omega 3 in HUFA {aka The Lands Test, which is used to predict coronary heart disease mortality based upon the percentage of omega-3’s in total highly unsaturated fatty acids} was improved, but still below optimal, as was my EPA level.

So, what does this all mean to me, and to you?

Well, as I alluded to earlier, there are a whole host of health benefits conferred by omega 3’s, particularly EPA and DHA.

In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find another nutrient with so much research behind it

Here are just a few…

  • Promotes cardiovascular health via decreasing triglycerides,blood pressure, and possibly cholesterol.  Also acts as a blood thinner.
  • May act as an adjuvant treatment for depression and bipolar disorder.
  • Can help with symptoms of stiffness seen in Rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions.
  • May lower the risk of developing age related macular degeneration.
  • Possible improvement in behavior and thinking skills children with ADHD
  • May aid in weight loss and blood sugar management in overweight people and people with high blood pressure.

I could go on, but instead I will share some links with you at the end of this post on the benefits of omega 3’s to review at your leisure…

As for myself, my goal is to get my EPA and %Omega 3 in HUFA levels up to optimal levels up to optimal by continuing taking Coromega daily ALONG with increasing my intake of fatty fish to a minimum of 1 x per week.

I figure I’ll offer up a few more fishy meals to my kids, but, also plan on getting my omega 3’s in for a lunch when I am eating by myself.

Here are just a few of my ideas…

  • Eating more sardines {on gluten-free crackers with goat cheese-yum!} for a snack. Here’s my post on my Sardine Tasting Adventures!
  • This salmon and veggie stir fry looks fabulous.
  • Love grilled salmon marinated in gluten-free tamari, lime juice, honey and minced garlic.  Make ahead then serve on a salad for lunch.  Super yum!
  • These Salmon Corny Cakes {with gluten-free bread crumbs} from the Meal Makeover Moms might just entice my kiddos to eat some salmon!
  • Make more of these yummy quinoa cakes with smoked fish!

There’s so much great information out there on omega 3’s and health that I can not possibly cover here in one post, so if your interested in learning more about this topic, I urge you to check out the following links:

  • Dietitian Evelyn Tribole has a lot of great information on her website regarding omega 3’s and health and the role of omega 6’s on inflammation.
  • Gretchen Vannice, MS, RD specializes in omega-3 fat research.  You can learn more about omega 3’s via her blog and links here.
  • Web MD has some great information regarding the research, use, dosing, and safety of fish oil supplements.
  • I posted about omega 3’s and mood disorders last September.  See my post here.
  • For which species of fish are the best choices to eat in terms of safety and sustainability check out the Monterrey Bay Seafood Watch website.

And if your curious about finding out what your own omega-3 and omega-6 levels are, click here to learn more about how you can take the 90 Day Challenge!

Do you regularly eat fatty fish?  Do you take fish oil supplements? Do you have a health condition or pre-disposition to a health condition which may benefit from getting more EPA and DHA in your diet?  Do you have a favorite fish recipe to share???

I would LOVE to hear from you! Please click here to leave a comment or ask a question. And, if you enjoyed the post, please share it below. Oh, and to make sure you don’t miss any Spicy food, fun, and adventure, please submit your e-mail address below to be notified on my new posts!

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Comments

  1. I just bought a fish oil supplement and it came in the mail today actually! It was Green Pastures fermented cod liver oil. I was gagging as I sat back down at the computer and saw your post. Coromega sounds much tastier! I’m going to have to find a way to hide this in smoothies or something!

  2. Thanks for sharing such a great post!
    Your results are impressive. I try to remember to take my omega 3’s but occasionally forget. :(
    Reading this reminds me to be better about it!!

    • Thanks Kristen! I often forget to take my supplements too, but I keep the Coromega in the kitchen out on a shelf so I am forced to see it everyday-a girl’s gotta eat, right? :-)

  3. interesting I must say I would rather eat fish

    • Ideally I would eat enough fish too Rebecca, but, realistically speaking, this isn’t going to happen right now,although, like I wrote, I am definitely going to try adding at least 1 fatty fish meal per week. Thanks for your comment!

  4. How cool to see your results improve. I do love fish, but don’t eat it that often due to price and availability. I do take a fish oil supplement and it helped with my mood. I also try to do a lot of canned salmon since it’s usually cheaper and super easy.

    • It really was eye opening to see my initial results, then see the improvement, and it has definitely motivated me to keep taking my fish oil/eat more fish. Canned salmon can be great too-I won some from The Swanky Dieitian last year :-)

  5. I definitely don’t eat enough fish, but I do love it. So I would be a bad nutrition student, LOL! I have been trying to incorporate some healthy changes this year, I will work on it this year:-) Congrats on completing the 90 day challenge, YOU ROCK!!!! Your quinoa cakes…Ummmmm….sound really wonderful! oxox, Terra

  6. i really need to be more mindful of balancing omega3 and omega6! thanks for the post EA. and those quinoa cakes look so good. i remember when u first posted them!

  7. Terrific, highly readable post on a subject that confuses many people. Fantastic ratio improvement! My father is a retired professor of pharmacology who specialised in heart disease. He is always bugging me to remember to take my Omega-3 supps (he’s quite keen on krill just now) so this is a further reminder. I think I would get laughed at here in the UK if I tried to get my levels tested (can’t even get Vitamin D tested without a struggle) but I will assume mine probably need improving. We are lucky that all of us love oily fish and I even have a few such recipes on my site (including quinoa and smoked mackerel cakes). But I will join my teenaged daughter who habitually takes her omega 3 supp every day. Daughter/dad know best. And you too, EA.

    • Thanks so much Kellie! The issue of krill is an interesting one, and from what I’ve read about it, there are those in the “pro” krill camp saying it’s better utilized by cell membranes than fish oil because it is in the phospholipid form, and while there are a few small studies showing the benefits of krill, those in the “anti’ krill camp refer back to the thousands of studies showing the benefits of fish oil, as well as pointing out the cost difference, with krill oil being quite a bit more expensive from what I have seen. I’m not sure I always know best, but you should definitely listen to your dad and daughter! :-)

  8. Lots of good information, what do we think accuracy of the testing for levels is? I love coromega though I am more of a capsule person. This is good info for people who think they get enough omega 3’s.

    • Great question Lauren! I met Dr. Doug Bibus, creator of the test, at FNCE this past fall and will pass along your question to him. I’m usually a capsule person too, but fish oil pills can be pretty big, especially taking larger amounts, so I actually prefer the Coromega in the liquid emulsion form, plus love the fact that you can take less.

  9. Ok, I have a question for you and I am SO GLAD you posted this! I know I should have a better understanding of this, but I was not aware that EPA and DHA were essential fatty acids. I learned in school that only ALA and LA were essential. Since when are DHA and EPA? I mean, I know they are important, and we don’t get enough of them, but…..essential?
    I do take a fish oil supplement, but now I’m wondering if I could lower my dose. You took such a small dose! I see that your levels went up, but what do you think you’ll need to do to increase that EPA? Take more? I take 1000 mg total (as in, total EPA and DHA, not total fish oil, which is what many doctors recommend and I think it’s confusing).

    • Another great question Gina, and glad you asked, because technically you are correct! Most of the information you see these days refers to EPA and DHA being essential fatty acids, but technically speaking ALA is the essential omega 3 fatty acid {and LA is the essential omega 6 fatty acid} because it can be converted to EPA and DHA. I just added a little info to my essential fatty acid primer in thus post to state that EPA and DHA are “essentially” essential fatty acids in that they CAN be made from ALA in the body, but the conversion rate is VERY low, especially for DHA, so it’s best to get them straight from the diet and supplements. Thanks so much for pointing this out! I’m hoping that by adding at least one serving of fatty fish, such as wild salmon or sardines, to my diet every week, I will be able to bring my EPA up to the optimal level. Another consideration is to get more ALA from flax, chia, and walnuts, etc as 5-10 % is converted to EPA in the body. You’re right on about fish oil recommendations being confusing. The thing you want to look for with dosing is the combined amount of EPA and DHA in the supplement, and NOT the total omega 3 content which will be higher.

  10. This a GREAT post! I LOVE all the information…the difference between ALA, DLA, Omega 6’s.. the health benefits …the recipes, the great references. You really went all out, this must of taken some time to compile!
    Are those quinoa cakes the same recipe as the quinoa burgers??
    I want to make some salmon cales soon too. I take a supplement for my DHA/EPA Omegas. We don’t buy lots of fish right now which is unfortunate because we love it. The sardines…well that would be a fun addition!!!
    Thanks for a great post. I love the chart of your results; before, after, optimal ranges,..its really cool. How did you get involved in this challenge?

    • Thanks so much Teri! Glad you enjoyed the information presented, because, yes, it did take awhile to compile :-) These quinoa cakes are different then the ones you just posted about. I made these last summer with a recipe from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals {a fabulous cookbook!} I got involved in the challenge when Coromega, which is based here in San Diego {Vista}, asked me if I wanted to participate :-)

  11. We all take fish oil supplements in this household… not much fish eating going on!!
    I do have to get better at remembering to take it everyday though… =) Great information!!

  12. Did you happen to check your vitamin D status (via 25(OH)D ) beore and after as well? Just curious because this supplement says it is a combination of omegas and D3 and previously worked in a lab that focuses on vitamin D research! Also, how many IUs of vitamin D are in this supplement?

  13. Even though this is well after you posted it, I recently found your 90 day challenge post after I’d purchased some Omega 3 (part cause I needed it, and part I’ve heard it’s good for helping the brain and moods)… as others have said, I simply want to say thank you for posting, and making your blog/results readable to the layperson – given that I’m not a fish eater, this could be just what I need… Thank you again!

    My experience with it is the first few days, I did notice a bit of an oily/fishy aftertaste… but I’m either getting used to it, or swallow it so quick I don’t notice it anymore. I usually take it with food so if the aftertaste is there, I can cover it quickly.. lol.

  14. Caroline Sezionale says:

    Hi EA Stewart, I would like to take the The 90 day Coromega 90 Day Fish Oil Challenge where I would have my omega 3 fatty acid levels tested…take fish oil for 90 days…then had my omega 3 levels re-tested. How could I sign up for this? I consider my diet to be excellent however my oesteopath is recommending that I take fish oil. I am not convinced it’s necessary. However, reading your article, gives me food for thought (or should I say Coromega Fish Oil supplements)!
    Intrigued,
    Caroline

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  17. Congratulations in completing your omega challenge. I wonder if there is Coromega fish oil available in our local market. It seems nice to take it to meet my daily requirements of omega. But I was wondering why there is a decrease of omega 6 in your results? Does the omega 6 convert into other nutrient or something?

    • Thanks for your comment Lynne! Your best bet to find Coromega is to go to the website and check out the store locator. In addition, you can buy it on-line or via Amazon. Regarding the decrease in omega 6, yes, it’s interesting that it decreased since my intake of omega 6 fats remained the same before and while taking the Coromega, and I’m not sure exactly why this happened, but it is actually a good thing, as most research supports a ratio of 4:1 omega 6 to omega 3, as being the most optimal in regards to health. Hope this helps a little. Cheers! EA

  18. My concern is the color and the flavors. Are they artificial? I assume the emulsion involves soy lecithin? While I am tempted by this product, I need to know more about these other ingredients before it will cross my lips.:)

  19. So glad I came across your blog on Coromega! I got my Omega 3 lab results back and was shocked at my 3.6 index…waay below the optimal range!
    I was reading a Dr Blaylock Wellness Report that recommended Coromega , googled it, and came across your own results. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Hi Janet! So glad you found my post too! Would love to hear how your omega-3 levels improved after taking the Coromega or other fish oil. Keep me posted!

      • Hi, I was wondering if you know much about this product and dry eyes.
        The doctor has recommended I use this product for a problem I have
        with my eyes. If I started taking this would I still need to take my Lovaza?
        Doctor says my eyes are not making the healthy tears I need.

        • Hi Cathy! Fish oil, in combination w/ some other oils, i.e. Evening Primrose or Borage Oil, may help w/ dry eyes and tear production, however I would not recommend taking both the Lovaza (prescription form of fish oil) AND the Coromega at the same time, as both supply omega 3’s. If you are interested in trying the Coromega, I recommend talking to your doctor first about possibly switching from the Lovaza to Coromega. Hope this helps!

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