Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : March 15, 2017 Edition Contents PAGE 20 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15, 2017
Omega 3 fatty acids have long been touted by some health experts as having
significant health benefits and in particular are often recommended to people to
improve cardiac health, arthritis, diabetes and cognition. Indeed there are a
number of ongoing and well designed research studies that are investigating
whether Omega 3 dietary intake has cardiovascular, metabolic, anti-inflammatory
and mental health benefits. The University of Newcastle in co-operation with other
Universities including the University of Auckland and Victoria's Swinburne
University, is at the forefront of this research.
Unfortunately, research studies in the past have often produced mixed results
about the health benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids however new studies may have
thrown some light on why this is the case and it appears to be related to the source
of the dietary intake of Omega 3s. There are several types of Omega 3 fatty acids but
those known as EPA and DHA are considered the most important for therapeutic
benefits. Natural sources for these Omega 3 fatty acids are oily fish (such as
Salmon, Swordfish, Mackerel, Tuna) and non-fish sources such as walnuts, flax oil,
canola oil, eggs and pumpkin seeds. The Cancer Council has a position paper on
their web site which contains a comprehensive list of sources and another good
source of information about Omega rich foods is the Victorian Government's
Better Health Channel. Australians generally do not consume enough of these
Omega 3 fatty acids from natural sources but there are many people who buy and
consume supplements that contain fish oil to make up for this deficit in their diet.
Recent research has shown that these fish oil products are frequently not what the
manufacturers claim them to be.
A study undertaken in 2015 found that of 32 fish oil supplements tested, half of
which came from Australian suppliers, only 3 contained the amounts of the Omega
3 that they claimed to contain. Worse still the Omega 3 fatty acids in the fish oil had
been very severely oxidized so that they had lost most, if not all, of their therapeutic
benefit. A more recent US study has not only confirmed the previous results but has
also highlighted that in the US one third of overall product in these fish oil
supplements was saturated fat! There is no reason to suggest that similar results
would not be found in Australian products.
These results possibly explain why the findings from previous research on the
therapeutic benefits of Omega 3 has been rather mixed; while there may indeed be
a positive effect from fish oil when it is not oxidized, a lot of the people participating
in the research are likely to be taking manufactured fish supplements that are so
degraded as to be literally useless.
The advice from Dr R Preston Mason of Harvard Medical School is not to rely on
manufactured supplements but to go back to the natural sources, i.e the actual fish
and non-fish plant sources. As he commented on the ABC Radio National program
"The Health Report" , it is a case of buyer beware because the level of Omega 3 fatty
acids and their quality in these supplement products as claimed by the
manufacturers simply cannot be relied upon. This is an industry of $200m
annually in Australia and is growing at the rate of 10% a year. Based on the recent
research that is $200m a year wasted by consumers on products that confer little or
no health benefits.
Final comment: a more recent development is the sourcing of Omega 3s from
Algae specifically grown for this purpose, the advantage of this source is that there
is no degradation (oxidization) of the Omega 3s and the added bonus is it is an
ecologically sustainable resource.
Mason, Preston Dr (2016) “Health Report with Norman Swann" ABC Radio
RNZ (2015) "Fishy Claims with fish oil pills" January 22, 2015
Choice Magazine (2015) "Fishy Claims: Most Supplements have false Omega 3
claims says study" https://www.choice.com.au/health-and-body/medicines-and-
NIH ( 2015) "Omega 3 Supplements: In Depth: National Center For
Complementary and Integrative Health,
Victorian Government Better Health Channel (2017) “Health Benefits of Eating
Cancer Council (2010) "Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Fish and Cancer Prevention"
42 Murray Street, Wonthaggi
25 a’Beckett Street, Inverloch
Some very fishy claims for
Omega 3 health food
By John Turner B Soc. Welf.,
Master Intl & Community Development, MAAPM
(Article courtesy of Wonthaggi Medical Group, 42 Murray St, Wonthaggi)
BASS Coast Shire Council’s draft Council
Plan and Municipal Public Health and Wellbe-
ing Plan 2017-21 will be out for community
comment by mid-May this year.
The council is still working on the develop-
ment of the draft plan, having undertaken sig-
nificant community consultation throughout
the month of January.
Whilst it was originally intended to release the
draft plan for comment in March, Bass Coast
Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield, said it is essential
that council doesn’t rush the process.
“It’s an incredibly involved document that will
form the basis of our decisions over the next
four years,” Cr Rothfield said.
“We have to be absolutely sure it accurately rep-
resents the desires of the Bass Coast community.
“A Strategic Resource Plan also needs to be
completed, and we just can’t rush it.”
With less than eight months between council-
lors being elected and developing and adopting
a four year plan, Cr Rothfield said extending the
original June 30 deadline was being reviewed
as an alteration to the Local Government Act
due to be adopted later this year.
“To be able to have the time to find our feet
in our new roles and go out and speak with
as many members of our community as pos-
sible, to then categorise and analyse thousands
of comments to feed into a Council Plan is a
monumental task,” Cr Rothfield said.
“We received an overwhelming amount of in-
formation from our community, and processing
it all takes time.
“We want to meet the expectations of our com-
munity and make sure that when we present
our draft Plan to the community, we get it right.”
More information on the Council Plan 2017-
21 can be found at www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/
Add your final touch
to the Council Plan
THE Korumburra Secondary College’s
close relationship with Burra Foods contin-
ues to benefit both students and staff at the
Last week Burra Foods staff went ‘back
to school’, sitting in class with the college’s
Mandarin teacher Justin Wong.
The lessons involve language and culture,
and are particularly helpful for staff as Burra
Foods strengthens its relationships in China.
The partnership between Burra Foods and
Korumburra Secondary College is set to con-
tinue and enhance education opportunities
and leadership skills.
THE South Gippsland Coeliac Support Group
has been operational now for 12 months.
Being diagnosed with Coeliac disease can be
life changing, and the group plays a vital role
in providing support for anyone who has been
diagnosed with Coeliac disease or is gluten in-
This support is particularly important in ru-
ral and remote areas where people can often
Currently the only recommended treatment
for Coeliac disease is a life-long gluten free diet.
The group is to provide local information to
members on restaurants, stockists and suppli-
ers, new products, help with reading labels, the
latest information on coeliac disease and most
The group aims to promote awareness of co-
eliac disease in the community and encourage
testing by GPs, as 80 per cent of affected Aus-
tralians remain undiagnosed.
If you are interested in learning more or are
concerned that you may have symptoms of this
disease, feel free to come along to the meetings
which are held quarterly.
The next meeting is on Thursday, March 16 at
Milpara Community House, 21 Shelcotts Road,
Korumburra from 10am to noon.
If you are interested in joining in or would
like more information, phone Diane on 0404
Coeliac Awareness Week is March 13 to 20.
Coeliac support group
Mandarin teacher at Korumburra Secondary College Justin Wong with Burra Foods
staff members Peter Johnson, Lynn Behmer and Ailsa Rajasingham and Korumburra
Secondary College students Ellie Stewart and Grace Matser as they hone their culinary
Burra Foods staff go back to school
THE introduced European rabbit is recog-
nised as Australia’s most destructive pest,
threatening biodiversity and revegetation, and
estimated to cost up to $200 million annually.
A new strain of Calicivirus (RHDV1 K5) has
been developed as a new biological control
agent to help in the fight against rabbits.
Phillip Island has been selected as one of
around 600 sites across Australia where a
coordinated release of this new strain of RHD
Phillip Island Nature Parks, with support
from Bass Coast Shire Council and Bass Coast
Landcare Network, is facilitating the release
and conducting monitoring on Phillip Island
Phillip Island’s cool climate is expected
to provide optimum conditions for this new
strain of RHD to work most effectively.
A benign form of the virus currently exists
on the island which provides immunity to the
strain released in 1996, an obstacle which will
hopefully be overcome by the new RHDV1 K5
Carrots inoculated with the virus have been
laid at several sites on Phillip Island to intro -
duce it to the rabbit population and once in-
fected, insects such as flies will spread it to
rabbits in other areas of Phillip Island and the
RHDV1 K5 is specific to rabbits and will not
affect any other animals or humans. Pet rab -
bits can be immunised against RHD at local
When used with other conventional control
methods such as baiting in rural areas and
warren destruction it is hoped the release of
this new strain of Calicivirus will provide an-
other tool in the rabbit control toolbox to re-
duce the rabbit population.
Plot to wipe out Island rabbits
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