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We, as an entire population, have become increasingly sedentary.
This, in conjunction with the fact that we are typically living a lot longer than the generations that came before us, has created a significant increase in rates of cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, joint and bone issues, and cellular inflammation.
As a result, there has been an increase in the use of omega 3 fatty acid supplements hitting the market. These include fish oils, krill oils, and DHA and EPA supplements.
One of the most recent omega 3 supplements to hit the health food market is Omega XL.
Omega XL is advertised as ‘a highly concentrated omega 3 super oil’.
Ultimately, Omega XL is an omega 3 oil supplement, very similar to both krill and fish oils, that is extracted from the New Zealand green lipped muscle.
Omega XL’s unique formula is suggested to contain over 30 different types of healthy fatty acids, while containing up to 22 times more omega 3 fatty acids than other regular fish oils.
It is suggested that Omega XL has the capacity to cause significant reductions in inflammation and associated inflammatory diseases, while also stimulating the increased production of connective tissue, causing subsequent reductions in joint pain.
Omega XL does set itself from other fish and krill oils by clearly stating the source of its product.
Coming from New Zealand, this does provide a guarantee that the product has had limited exposure to chemicals and free radicals found in abundance other parts of the ocean.
Coming from mussels found in clean water will also significantly lower the mercury content of the omega 3 fatty acids.
This is a big positive, as cheaper fish oils, coming from large fish found in the oceans of some eastern countries, have demonstrated a relatively high mercury content, which can actually have a number of different negative effects on our health.
Omega XL is quite convenient to take, coming in a small tablet (much smaller than most fish oil tablets) that can be taken twice per day.
Now, unfortunately, this is where things get a little bit iffy.
Unfortunately, HealthWorks (the company behind Omega XL) don’t actually provide any detailed information on the ingredient breakdown of the supplement.
While they do say that Omega XL contains both DHA and EPA (while also mentioning that it contains 22 times the amount of regular fish oil supplements), it doesn’t say in what amounts, or in what percentages.
This means that it could contain 5 or 500mg of either DHA or EPA, and we would not know any different.
This is somewhat concerning as it is the DHA and EPA found in fish oil supplements that provide all the health benefits.
Without knowing how much of each DHA and EPA we are consuming, we cannot be sure as to whether the improvements in joint pain and cardiovascular health we are experience are due to the ingredients, or is merely a placebo effect.
Omega XL advertises that its special blend of omega 3 fatty acids has been the subject of over 30 years of clinical research, all of which has supported the supplements use.
And although it is not uncommon for supplement companies to advertise that they are well researched, upon closer inspection it is not always the case.
Fortunately, with Omega XL, there is actually scientific evidence to back its claims.
Now, it is important to note that most of the scientific research supporting Omega XL was funded by HealthWorks, so there is a conflict of interest that may introduce some bias into the studies.
Despite that, it is considerably better than what most companies provide, and should be viewed as a positive.
There is research to suggest that the ingredients included in Omega XL can improve joint pain.
This has been demonstrated a number of times in individuals suffering osteoarthritis of both the hip and knee.
In these individuals, those who took Omega XL for 12 weeks reported significant reductions in osteoarthritic joint pain, while also recording improvements in joint mobility .
This means that for those individuals who have joint arthritis, and the restricted movement that is often associated, taking Omega XL can reduce pain and improve movement considerably.
This is suggested to be through a reduction in joint inflammation, and an increase in connective tissue production within the joint.
Additionally, Omega XL supplementation has also demonstrated improvements in pain in people suffering rheumatoid arthritis . These individuals who begun Omega XL supplementation reported significant reductions in pain after 12 weeks, while also reducing their intake of pain medications.
There has been a number of studies suggesting that the ingredients found within Omega Xl can significantly reduce inflammation of our cells, and the inflammation within our interstitial fluid .
This is actually quite important, as reducing inflammation within the body can go a long way in reducing the risk for developing cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, diabetes, and can reduce the likelihood of becoming overweight or obese.
Pretty simply, by taking Omega XL and reducing the inflammation within our system, we can reduce our risk of developing a number of diseases and illnesses.
This is actually quite an interesting claim.
Omega XL also advertises an ability to improve symptoms of asthma in asthmatics, something that is not commonly discussed with fish oil supplementation.
Interestingly, there is actually some research to back up these claims.
8 week supplementation of the ingredients found in Omega XL was found to significantly reduce the symptoms of exercise induced asthma, in asthmatic individuals .
This was also associated with a reduction in the use of asthma medication, suggesting that Omega XL supplementation can reduce the negative symptoms associated with asthma, helping us exercise and reducing our reliance on medication.
Similarly, using the same 8 week supplementation protocol, there was an observed reduction in asthma symptoms during regular day to day tasks, in individual’s who suffer mild asthma .
This leads to the suggestion that Omega XL supplementation can reduce asthma symptoms both after exercise, and during tasks of daily living, ultimately lowering the overall severity of asthma symptoms in those who suffer asthma.
While some of the health claims made by Omega XL may seem a little unrealistic, there is evidence to back it up.
Omega XL supplementation has demonstrated to improve markers of inflammation, likely reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.
It has also demonstrated a reduction in symptoms of asthma, while also reducing pain and improving joint mobility in individuals who suffer osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Additionally, by providing the information on where its omega 3’s are sourced, Omega XL guarantees low levels of toxins within its product.
This makes Omega XL a positive form of omega 3 supplementation, and a good choice in comparison to your more typical fish and krill oils.
1. Zawadzki, Marek, Claudia Janosch, and Jacek Szechinski. “Perna canaliculus lipid complex PCSO-524™ demonstrated pain relief for osteoarthritis patients benchmarked against fish oil, a randomized trial, without placebo control.” Marine drugs 11.6 (2013): 1920-1935. Viewed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3721214/
2. Gruenwald, Joerg, et al. “Efficacy and tolerability of a combination of Lyprinol® and high concentrations of EPA and DHA in inflammatory rheumatoid disorders.” Advances in Therapy 21.3 (2004): 197-201. Viewed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15509136
3. Malpern, Georges M. “Anti-inflammatory effects of a stabilized lipid extract of Perna canaliculus (Lyprinol®).” Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients(2000): 109-113. Viewed at: http://lyprinoluk.com/pdf/halpern.pdf
4. Mickleborough, Timothy D., et al. “Marine lipid fraction PCSO-524™(lyprinol®/omega XL®) of the New Zealand green lipped mussel attenuates hyperpnea-induced bronchoconstriction in asthma.” Respiratory medicine 107.8 (2013): 1152-1163. Viewed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23660397
5. Emelyanov, A., et al. “Treatment of asthma with lipid extract of New Zealand green-lipped mussel: a randomised clinical trial.” European Respiratory Journal 20.3 (2002): 596-600. Viewed at: http://erj.ersjournals.com/content/20/3/596.long
John has been a fitness enthusiast for over 10 years, starting out while struggling with obesity as a teenager. Over the years he has advised numerous clients on how to transform their physiques and their lives. As a writer on Nutrition Inspector he aims to help others achieve real results by staying clear of the common hype and false claims in the supplement industry! You can contact him via the "About Us" page.