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When I was a young girl I suffered quite badly from eczema, and at the time my doctor prescribed me high dose evening primrose oil capsules to take, on the basis that they might improve the elasticity of my skin and also help to balance my hormones in the long run, as eczema flare ups can be triggered by hormone changes.
After several years of taking them these capsules were removed from prescriptions as no evidence had been found to link them to improved skin for eczema sufferers. However, research has recently found that certain oils are essential for brain health in older people and brain growth in young children, and for supple joints later in life, and due to the average western diet many of us aren't getting enough of the oils and omegas we need. While eating fish twice a week might be better than nothing for your health, in fact fish does not contain a good balance of the three omega essential fatty acids, which are 3, 6, and 9, and which all serve slightly different functions and must be taken together in a specific ratio in order to work properly.
Other research has found that people who suffer from atopic eczema are usually also deficient in certain oils, which suggests that taking omegas would in theory help someone with naturally dry skin. So, years after giving up on the evening primrose capsules, I decided to try out an omega blend instead, because it could be the evening primrose alone was not provided my body with the balance it needed. The Vertese brand was my first choice as their capsules are gelatine free and the 3-6-9 blend is available in each capsule in exactly the ratio that has been found to help with brain health and even joint health to an extent.
All the ingredients in these Vertese capsules are from natural plant sources. The main oil in them is
flaxseed oil, which has been found to benefit growing baby's brains in exactly the same way as fish oils, but for some reason this has not had much press coverage even though flax is the safer option to taking high dose fish oils. The other benefit of taking these capsules is that high doses of fish oil have been found to contain high levels of toxic chemicals such as mercury, and as of yet capsules are not routinely tested for such nasties before going for sale on the market, so you must be aware of this if you are taking them. The problem is that large fish are used to make the fish oils and the large fish feast on small fish who all contain small amounts of things like mercury, which then become concentrated in the larger fish. Aside from that there is also the havoc the recent mass demand for fish oils is causing to the health of our seas and also to small fishing populations all over the world who need their industry to survive.
The other oils that make up the Vertese 3-6-9 blend are sunflower seed Oil, pumpkinseed Oil, wheatgerm oil, evening primrose oil, rosemary oil, and rice brand oil.
Vertese Omega capsules are very easy to take due to their small size. They have no aroma that I can detect and they are tidy little oval, deep yellow shapes that are easy to swallow. You can take one or two a day depending on your needs - I usually take one a day but when I forget to take one I make up for it by taking two another day. I was able to continue taking them when I had awful pregnancy sickness, which is just as well as growing babies need these oils to develop properly too, and that helped to keep my mind at ease when I wasn't able to eat well or much.
My little girl also takes these every day, but I don't give her the capsule to swallow as it could be a choking hazard for a two year old. Instead I pierce the capsule and squeeze the oil onto a teaspoon, and she happily takes it that way, although a few times when she has said no to it I have simply mixed it in her with her yoghurt or even juice. Due to not having a strong smell or taste this has not bothered her at all.
As with all oil supplements, it takes a while to notice the effects of these capsules, which is also why it is so hard for scientists to prove or disprove that they have an effect on dry skin. Personally I feel they make a huge difference to me, as my skin has improved over the years, but of course I can't provide proof for this. On the other hand, I am getting older and I have a small child and another on the way, and my skin - though still dry - is much better than it used to be, and I have never had any joint problems.
The Vertese Omega capsules are suitable for vegetarians and vegans and none of the ingredients have ever been tested on animals. They also contain no artificial colourings or flavourings or additives.
I usually buy these capsules for £6.49 for a box of 60 from my local Holland and Barrett store, but they also sell a box of 30 capsules for around £3.50. As a pregnant woman and a mother of a toddler I do not think that these cost much for the benefits they give - roughly £7 every two months to help prevent joint problems, ensure brain health for my growing baby, and for my little girl is cheap, in my opinion.
5 stars from a long term user!
Having recently gone for a cholestoral test in Sainsbury's, my good cholestoral was found to be low. As a vegetarian I find it hard to get sources of good cholestoral and so sought out these vitamin tablets. I have used omega 3 from vegetarian sources before but never a vitamin tablet that has 3 6 and 9.
I have found that taking this tablets has improved my skin, however, I cannot say it is completely down to these tablets, though from my point of view, there seems to be a correlation.
One of the best aspects of these tablets is the packaging. In my past experience with vegetarian omega 3, the shell weakens and sometimes pops in the box, covering all the tablets in a smelly sticky glue. These pills are individually packed in a blister pack much like ibuprofen or anything else of that type. This means they are not exposed to the air until you pop the blister giving it no time for the gelatine free capsule to weaken and burst.
The only drawback is the price of about 7 or 8 pounds per box. I tend to stock up when they are on the 3 for 2 offer at boots (which they often are) and I only take one a day so I find they last a reasonable amount of time. They are also available in larger packs online but I've never seen them in stores, so this option may work out a bit cheaper per tablet.
Overall, there are few alternative options for veggie and vegan omega 3 but this seems to be doing a good job.
These Omega Oil capsules can help to keep your heart and joints healthy, and can also help you to maintain healthy looking skin.
They're suitable for vegetarians and vegans as they contain no animal ingredients (no gelatine) and were not tested on animals. They're even approved by The Vegetarian Society.
Each capsule contains 500mg of the Omega Oil blend and they come in boxes of 30 or 60. The box is recyclable cardboard and the capsules are kept fresh inside blister packs of 10.
The recommended dosage is 1-2 capsules a day for adults and children over 6 years old, preferably with a meal.
I find that they're really easy to pop out of the blister pack. They feel quite firm so I'm not worried about them bursting as I do so.
I'm not a fan of swallowing any tablets or capsules so I was glad that these seem to go down really easily and don't leave any taste in my mouth. They also don't 'repeat' on me as some supplements can (ever burped after taking something foul tasting like garlic pills? Then you'll know what I mean!)
You can buy these in some health food shops but I prefer to buy mine online from the Hillside Animal Sanctuary gift shop as this means a donation is made to them. They cost £3.25 for 30 or £5.50 for 60 and this includes the postage. You can pay by credit/debit card or with PayPal.
In terms of their health benefits, I've been taking them every other day for about two months and I've not noticed any hugely significant differences to my joints but they've definitely been aching less, whether this is actually due to the supplements I don't know.
Alpha-Linotenic Acid - 200mg
Linoleic Acid - 100mg
Oleic Acid - 100mg
Palmitic Acid - 15mg
Stearic Acid - 15mg
Vitamin E - 10mg (100% Recommended Daily Allowance)
The box says:
"Help your body help itself.
Your body needs essential Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids to working at its best, but it can't make them on its own. Adding a food supplement to your diet is one of the simplest ways to top up on those essential fats.
Vertese Omega Oils 369 capsules contain a selectively balanced blend of fatty acids from plant sources. Fatty acids may help maintain a healthy heart and supple joints. They are also important for healthy brain and eye function."
The box also warns that if you're pregnant, planning to become pregnant or have epilepsy then you should consult your doctor before taking these.
Helps to maintain a healthy heart and joints.