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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Why Lovaza?

It never ceases to amaze me what BigPharma gets away with. The recently introduced Lovaza (Omacor) which is a Omega-3-Fatty Ethyl Ester compound manufactured and promoted by GlaxoSmithKline is nothing new to nutritionally minded physicians (but new to traditional MDs) and does it come with a price.

The cost is a whopping $150.80 average retail cost for a month supply with a dose of 2-grams daily (double that for the recommended 4-grams per day regiment). Consider similar pharmaceutical grade fish-oil n-3FA products such as Vita Sanus Opti-EFA where a 2-gram/d regiment would only cost $39.00/month.

From the Lovaza Site :

  • LOVAZA uses a 5-step purification process that helps remove mercury and other environmental toxins that can be present in fish oil and ensures reliable concentration of EPA and DHA in every capsule

    FDA Approved Fish-Oil
  • The FDA-approved dose of LOVAZA is 4 capsules per day. It could take up to 14 capsules per day of an omega-3 supplement to provide the same amount of EPA and DHA found in 4 capsules of LOVAZA

    Prescription LOVAZA is different from dietary supplements
Nice illustration of purification process.... so what. Non-FDA approved pharmaceutical grade n-3FA supplements go through pretty much the same process to detox fish oil of heavy metals and increase the EPA and DHA content. As far as GSK's 14 caps vs 4 caps, that is absolutely false.. with Opti-EFA for example, a 4-gram dose you would only need 8-gel caps compared with 4 of the Lovaza.

By definition pharmaceutical grade:

Pharmaceutical grade fish oil has the following characteristics:

Concentration of EPA and DHA > 60%
Ratio of EPA/AA > 25:1
Concentration of PCBs <>


Furthermore given that Lovaza advertises that one gram (one gel cap) has 1 gram of n-3FA and 465 mg of EPA and 375 mg of DHA, the VS Opti-EFA trumps its EFA & DHA content with an equivalent one gram (2-gel caps) equivalent dose having 600 mg of EPA and 400 mg of DHA. All at a much more comfortable cost. You will spend over $150/month for Lovaza when you can spend under $40/month for Opti-EFA or similar brands and get a bigger bang for your buck on DHA/EPA content. Do the math, it is a no brainer.

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