Omega XL and VitalChoice use different sources and methods for the manufacture of their omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Because of this, the nutritional values of the supplements are not identical. Other differences exist between these highly marketed and highly priced supplements, too.
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Omega-3 and Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for growth, and they support cardiovascular health. They cannot be produced by the body so must be obtained through diet
Fish are among the best sources of the healthy fat. The American Heart Association recommends that people consume at least two servings of fatty fish each week. Many people take fish oil supplements instead. Fish oil contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is the omega-3 fatty acid most associated with cardiovascular health.
XL Omega Fish Oil is made from the oil of the New Zealand green lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) and other omega fatty acids. Proponents of the green lipped mussel claim that its high concentration of DHA compared with that of regular fish oil makes it superior. XL Omega's information states that its formula is 175 times more powerful than salmon oil.
VitalChoice Salmon Fish Oil is made of salmon oil from the heads of wild Alaskan Sockeye salmon. VitalChoice claims that while its supplement contains a lower amount of DHA (220mg per serving) than many other brands, it is healthier than processed forms and more easily absorbed.
As of Spring 2010, pricing for the two fish oil brands was as follows:
One 30-serving bottle (60 capsules) of XL Omega Fish Oil cost £32.40. One 30-serving bottle (90 capsules) of VitalChoice Salmon Fish Oil cost £15.
Sixty servings of XL Omega Fish Oil cost £58.40, and 60 servings of VitalChoice Salmon Fish Oil cost £26.
XL Omega customers receive one free 30-serving bottle with their first order, and VitalChoice offers liquid, lemon-flavoured and small-capsule varieties at prices similar to those of the regular supplements.
Purchase packages continue to increase in order size and price, with XL Omega charging about double the cost of VitalChoice.
Both XL Omega and VitalChoice take liberties with customers' information. Although these actions are mentioned on the company websites, it might be easy for customers to overlook them.
The fine print on the XL Omega website includes the statement, "After you receive your initial shipment, we will continue to conveniently send you a new supply of the product(s) you have chosen above. This amount will be billed to the same account used today. Free Bottle on first order only. Cancel anytime."
On the Privacy and Security page of the VitalChoice website is the statement, "Like many direct-mail retailers, we sometimes make our mailing lists (physical addresses only) available for rental or exchange with reputable, like-minded companies. If you do NOT want your physical address shared, please complete and submit the form below."
As with any fish oil, these brands can cause gas, bloating, belching and diarrhoea. Additionally, the toxins found in seafood, such as mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), can show up in fish oil supplements. It is generally accepted, though, that the benefits of a fish-heavy diet and fish oil supplements outweigh the risks of consuming the toxins.
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