As the industry emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic into the new “normal,” GOED members reported higher than expected overall demand for EPA and DHA oils. This despite ongoing logistical challenges – similar to those encountered throughout the supplement industry – regarding shipping prices and delivery times, the availability of components such as bottles and caps, and the lack of encapsulation capacities available.
According to the GOED Ingredients Market Report, an annual overview of market figures in the raw materials segment of the supply chain, the market in 2020 (the latest year for which figures are available) for omega ingredients -3 was 110,802 metric tonnes, a 1.0% increase from 2019. It’s important to note that the market was expected to grow by around 3%, so the impact of COVID has certainly been felt throughout. omega-3 space, and questions remain about the impact of ongoing pandemic challenges on future market growth.
Scientific research on omega-3s continued to grow in 2021, with more than 2,700 studies published on EPA and DHA. It should be noted that the ADORE trial advanced the science on omega-3s and pregnancy outcomes, showing that women supplemented with 1000 mg / day of DHA during pregnancy had a lower rate of preterm delivery. compared to women who received 200 mg / day. . For 2022, the industry is eagerly awaiting an updated Cochrane review that incorporates this trial and additional scientific data on the impact of omega-3s on preterm births.
In terms of cardiovascular research, GOED released an update to its 2019 post linking omega-3 dosage to better cardiovascular outcomes. The new publication, in the form of a letter to the editor in Proceedings of the Mayo Clinic, incorporated two more recent studies, STRENGTH and OMEMI, which found no benefit for omega-3 intake. Importantly, the revised analysis continued to support the benefit of EPA and DHA in reducing the risk of myocardial infarction and coronary heart disease.
A later publication in Advances in cardiovascular diseaseAnalyzed the research further, particularly focusing on whether there are more benefits of EPA alone compared to a combination of EPA and DHA. The conclusion: “While more research is needed… the current body of evidence does not support a conclusion that… EPA monotherapy is more or less effective than a combination of EPA and DHA. “
Over the course of 2021, scientific questions have arisen about the possibility that intake of EPA and DHA increases the potential risk of atrial fibrillation (A-Fib), with the publication of two meta-analyzes fueling the fire. The situation is complicated by the fact that not all studies report occurrences of A-Fib, the epidemiological data to date are positive, and more research needs to be done on the absolute risk and the risk-benefit ratio. global. GOED is working to convene a scientific consensus group on this subject in 2022.
GOED also published a letter to the editor in Nutritional adviceRefuting comments from a previous article that questioned omega-3 supplements’ EPA and DHA levels and oxidation issues.
At the US regulatory level, there are several class actions * GOED monitors whether an omega-3 concentrate can be labeled as fish oil. It remains to be seen whether these will gain ground in court.
GOED also monitors a requirement of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a division of the United States Department of Commerce, that all fisheries that sell product to the United States comply with the import provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection. Act (MMPA), which limits “unintentional mortality or serious injury to marine mammals in excess of US standards”. The deadline for submitting compliance data was November 30. NOAA will continue its analysis of fisheries compliance throughout 2022, with the rule taking effect in January 2023. While it appears that global fisheries supplying omega-3 oils have made the necessary preparations for the new ruling, there still remains a question as to what “intermediate nations” – those who buy fish oil from one country, process it in their home country and then sell in the United States – are required to do to prove their worth. compliance. GOED has been in contact with NOAA to try to get more clarity on the matter and has just confirmed that NOAA will be a speaker at the GOED Exchange conference in February.
On a positive note, the National Institutes of Health updated their omega-3 fact sheet earlier this year after GOED pointed out that the daily upper limit of EPA + DHA needs to be increased by 2g / day at 5g / day to match the latest FDA guidelines, released in response to GOED’s blood pressure health claim petition.
2021 also marked the launch of World Omega-3 Day, March 3 (“03-03”), a global effort to promote the importance of EPA and DHA to public health. The first edition was primarily a grassroots effort with social media posts on GOED consumer-focused sites and by GOED members, but we envision a larger effort in 2022 and beyond.
GOED Clinical Studies Database
In February 2022, GOED will launch its long-awaited Clinical Studies Database tool, a comprehensive searchable database that organizes all human clinical trials for EPA and DHA. The database allows users to see all searches for a particular condition or outcome (“pregnancy”, “blood pressure”, “ADHD”) and further filter by dosage, population, gender, and more. The tool will be introduced at the GOED Exchange 2022 event, the industry’s premier omega-3 event, which will take place in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., February 15-17.
* Links to class actions referenced by Ellen Schutt: