Inaccurate Reporting on Recent Omega-3 DHA Alzheimer's Study Reveals Misrepresentation by Media

By Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd., PRNE
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

DARTMOUTH, Nova Scotia, November 10, 2010 - Several media outlets published articles last week suggesting that
Omega-3 fish oil supplements fail to show positive results for Alzheimer's
patients. This reporting by media outlets came after the Journal of the
American Medical Association (JAMA) published the study "Docosahexaenoic Acid
Supplementation and Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer Disease: A Randomized
Trial", where researchers reported that "Supplementation with DHA compared
with placebo did not slow the rate of cognitive and functional decline in
patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease."

Fish oil was not used in the study and, in fact, the study clearly states
that the research was performed using algal oil (which contains only DHA,
whereas fish oil contains both EPA and DHA). The findings of the study are
being inaccurately reported in the media, with ambiguous, misleading
headlines and incorrect content.

"It is disappointing to see inaccurate misrepresentation of the facts by
the media. As an example, many media outlets are leading with pictures of
fish oil capsules, and using inaccurate and attention-grabbing headlines such
as "Fish oil ingredient doesn't slow Alzheimer's" when it is very clear that
the product used in the study was algal oil," stated Robert Orr, Chairman of
Ocean Nutrition Canada.

It has long been postulated that both Omega-3 EPA and DHA are required to
influence cognitive performance. This new study suggests that DHA alone does
not appear to be the solution. It should be noted that, to date, most
research studies on Alzheimer's and Omega-3 fatty acids with favorable
outcomes have involved fish oil or fish consumption. A well designed study
should have included fish oil products with both high EPA levels and balanced
EPA and DHA content. Although DHA is a major component of the brain, it
should not be automatically concluded that other fatty acids have no
potential role in cognitive performance.

It should also be noted that the new study was conducted in patients with
pre-existing Alzheimer's; therefore improvements would be difficult or
impossible to measure. Unfortunately there is no cure for Alzheimer's. There
is, however, a large body of research investigating fatty fish consumption
and supplementation with fish oil, which supports possible benefits of EPA
and DHA in maintaining a healthy cognitive state. Most research to date
suggests that intervention is most effective at the earliest stages of
cognitive decline or even before impairment is observed.

Of course the real loser in all this is the consumer, who now must
attempt to compare this inaccurate, selectively reported information with the
previous positive research papers published on Omega-3 EPA and DHA from fish

What we do know is that Omega-3 EPA and DHA is perhaps the biggest
dietary deficiency in the western diet. So much so that the EU Health
Authorities recently established a Dietary Reference Value (DRV) of 250mg per
day of EPA and DHA. They have also recently issued positive assessments on
several health claims for EPA and DHA. In addition, it is also expected that
updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans scheduled to be issued in December
will include recommendations for the daily intake of fatty fish equivalent to
250mg EPA plus DHA per day. There is a health care crisis in North America
and we look forward to continued future findings from credible studies
looking at the potential benefits of combined Omega-3 EPA and DHA in
improving health and well being.

About Ocean Nutrition Canada Limited (ONC):

Ocean Nutrition Canada (ONC) is a privately held company, whose major
shareholder is Clearwater Fine Foods Incorporated. Clearwater Fine Foods
Incorporated is a diversified holding/investment company whose significant
holdings include a controlling interest in Clearwater Seafood's Limited
Partnership, the world's largest integrated shellfish harvester and

ONC is the world's largest supplier of Omega-3 EPA and DHA ingredients
from fish oil, marketed into the dietary supplement and food manufacturing
markets. To date MEG-3(R) ingredients have been included in almost 90 billion
servings of food and supplement products worldwide. For more information
about ONC visit, and for information on the
health benefits of MEG-3(R) ingredients please visit

About Omega-3:

Omega-3 is a family of essential fatty acids (EFA), including EPA
(eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and ALA (alpha-linolenic
acid). Oily fish (such as sardines, anchovies, mackerel, and salmon) are the
major known natural sources of Omega-3 EPA and DHA. ALA is found in plants,
such as flax and chia. It is important to note that EPA and DHA are the
primary contributors of the many health benefits associated with Omega-3.
While the body can convert ALA into EPA and DHA, it does so very
inefficiently (typically less than one percent), making it difficult to
derive Omega-3-related health benefits from plant sourced ALA. Furthermore,
although Omega-3 EPA and DHA is important to overall good health, the human
body is not able to produce sufficient quantities on its own, so regular
consumption of these essential nutrients is required and achieved by either
by eating oily fish or foods fortified with Omega-3 EPA and DHA, or by taking
fish oil supplements. Learn more about the health benefits of Omega-3 EPA and
DHA at

    For further information:

    Joanna Lane
    Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd.
    Tel: +1-902-480-3288
    Cell: +1-902-488-0141

For further information: Joanna Lane, Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd., Tel: +1-902-480-3288, Cell: +1-902-488-0141, jlane at

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