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Sunday, 29 July 2012

REVIEW: Nuique DHA/EPA pills

The brand new algae-based DHA/EPA pill on the market is from Nuique.  But before I get into that lets talk about DHA/EPA in general terms.  DHA & EPA are the oils that gained fame through fish oil products.  You can actually create DHA & EPA yourself from oils found in walnuts, flax seed (linseed), hemp seeds or chia seeds.  I suspect a lot of you are taking at least one of these regularly so why do you need a DHA/EPA pill at all if you can make it yourself?
For those in training (whether for health, competition, muscle gain or fat-loss) it is a matter of getting 'optimal' amounts.  Everything from gut health, stress, enzyme limitations & even activity levels can affect the transition of the omega 3 fatty acid ALA into DHA or EPA.  These fats are actually vital to health & for anyone in training you could think of these fats as great for repair & creation of cells, for maximising hormones & they are also used by the brain for nerve repair & synapse function.
Assuming you eat something like walnuts, flax seeds or hemp you probably won't become deficient in DHA/EPA, but you may not reach optimal levels, so you may be training your butt off, resting enough, cutting down on stress, but still not getting all the gains you are after.  Having enough DHA/EPA also seems to affect fat storage this is because when you are short the body switches up fat storage to try & grab every ounce of omega-3 fatty acids it can find & any other fat is just stored away as a by-product of that process, so if fat-loss is a goal you could be short changing yourself by not taking DHA/EPA pill.
So, with that in mind I prefer everyone I train to be taking DHA/EPA whatever their goal is, unless they a specific issue like excessive bleeding or similar as DHA/EPA can thin the blood, so consult your doctor before starting this supplement if that is the case.
Now you have some idea why you may want to take a DHA/EPA pill, but why take an algae-based pill as there are so many fish-based ones out there?  Well, first of all there is the obvious ethical issue.  Fish are animals, so avoiding killing them for a pill is always a good idea!  Secondly fish actually get the DHA/EPA from algae in the first place, but whereas algae are at the bottom of the food chain, krill & fish are both much higher up that chain & so toxins can build up in fats the higher up the food chain it goes, so whereas DHA/EPA from algae is ultra pure & free from virtually all contamination, you cannot guarantee the same sort of purity in any of the krill or fish based oils out there, so getting an algae-based oil makes total sense whatever dietary choice you make.  Finally you have to remember that DHA/EPA makes up only some parts of krill or fish oil which also contains saturated fats & other non-vital fats in their make-up & so some of the product is just extra fat in your diet.
There are several brands of algae-based DHA/EPA on the market right now, so let's look at the differences.  Most of the pills have around the same amount of DHA & EPA in them, but a couple of advantages with the Nuique brand are:
1/  They contain nothing but DHA & EPA - no other oils are added to bulk the product, so you get zero unnecessary added fat in your diet, you only get the Essential Fatty Acids you are after with nothing added, nothing taken away.  Some of the other brands have things like added omega-6 fatty acids, which are an essential fatty also, but everyone easily gets enough of them already.

2/ The second point relates to the first.  Due to the pills being only filled with DHA & EPA, with nothing else, they are also the smallest & easiest pills to swallow in this class that I have seen, so if you have any issues swallowing pills, then this could be vital to you.  I must admit I did a test of biting one open & it did kind of taste of the sea, that is about the best description I can give.  It was not horrible by any means, so if you really cannot swallow any pill then you can always pop it & either squeeze it into your mouth, add to a shake or similar.

Taking DHA/EPA could help achy joints, could help brain function, could help the immune system & could  help cells repair or replace as necessary.  Any one of these reasons should be enough for a person to consider adding this supplement to their list of regularly taken.  Adding a couple of pills costs pennies & could save a person so much that it hardly seems worth considering 'not' doing it!  So, if you are looking for a pill that contains only DHA & EPA & doesn't contain any fillers or other products you may not want, then this should product should definitely be one on your list to check out.
For more details check out & at the time of writing they are offering a 3 for the price of 2 offer, so it really is dirt cheap to try out!

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