Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Salmon - and hidden studies

So I was talking to someone in the industry this week who mentioned that they used to work for one of the big cosmetic companies. The company shall remain nameless but their NPD team (new product development) commissioned a lab study with a view to developing the best anti-ageing cream available.
This is a major player - found in every high end department store - you will have something of this range in your house - guaranteed.

The lab were instructed to take a selection of best selling high-end anti-ageing creams from all the big brands and test them on two groups.
One group would be given the creams to use for a specified period and the other group were instructed to eat salmon 3 x day for the same period.
Salmon for breakfast, lunch and dinner in any form they chose.

The aim was to find out what creams actually worked, replicate that themselves and have 'clinically proven to' written all over the packaging.


Houston we have a problem.

Not one cream matched the effects of the salmon on the skin in the time frame given.

Not one.

The study was locked away and the product was shelved.

Take your fish oil people.


  1. Ah, Astaxanthin. I'm using the Krill Oil supplement (what salmon eat naturally to get that red colour) and I swear my skin has never looked better.

    I've actually bought a back up bottle because I don't ever want to be without it.

    1. Hi Grace and Caroline, could you please share with us the supplements you chose(brand etc) and how much you are taking daily? I'm taking fish oil but would like to add this too! Thanks

    2. oops I should learn to READ. LOL I just checked out Grace's blog and realised WELL WELL WELL is the brand name. I was comparing it to the one I was thinking of purchasing and it seemed better and cheaper? Below is the link if anyone is interested. :)

    3. Hi - I think it's the same source (Neptune Krill Oil) as the Well Well Well. It's pretty much the same product and is less expensive to buy from the US brand, but do factor in the cost of shipping and (potentially) any custom charges too, unless you can find a UK stockist.

      I absolutely swear by this stuff. I took 2 capsules a day for the first month, now I take one a day or two if it's really sunny.

    4. Hi Grace. Is Krill oil better than high strength omega 3 fish oil? I've had a look at some krill oil supplements and none of them have capsule shells made of bovine gelatine. I can't eat bovine/porcine gelatine.

  2. I'm getting that this week. I'll look like Nemo at this rate.

    1. Be careful that it's okay for you though! - Krill are like tiny shrimp, so perhaps technically seafood? Woman behind Well Well Well is fabulous, and the Black Rice also excellent.

    2. OHMYGOD that's right! Can you imagine? Here's a lady with beautiful skin - unfortunately she's dead.

    3. LMAO I'm getting it too!

  3. I'm getting that this week. I'll look like Nemo at this rate.

  4. Ha ha - this is awesome. I admit I don't eat nearly enough of oily fish, but have just started taking fish oils and plan to continue...though, I found that since I started taking them, my skin has become a little rougher than normal. Not drastically, just a touch flaky. Is this normal in the beginning?

    1. P.S. What was the time period of the study?

    2. Not sure - sorry - but most studies are done for between 1 week and 4 weeks.

  5. If it weren't for mercury poisoning I'd eat salmon every meal for the rest of my life - even more so now! So yeah, fish oil tablets are probs the way to go, haha.

  6. I now take fish oils daily as a result of reading your blog and my skin is looking better than ever!!
    Thank you xxx

  7. I'm a vegan, fish oil is not an option for me...

  8. I love all your information!! ive tried that one in fact i ate salmon 3 times per day for 1 week. I had nighmares about Salmon but my face absolutely adored it. Now i know MR Perricone said eat salmon but it has to be Wild and Red salmon and im sure he said Alaskan. I think this is because the Salmon has lots of the Astaxanthin in it. Do you know if this is true and does the salmon have to be a specific type to get the best results. Thank you for being so amazing.

  9. has any tried the holland and barrett or boots fish oils? The Well Well Well seems to be out of stock at the mo :( xx

  10. I can vouch for the amazing skin-restoring powers of eating salmon 3 times daily. I did this a few years ago and within a couple of weeks people at work were commenting on my 'glow' (even people who would normally say nothing complimentary!). However, I did get sick of tinned wild Alaskan salmon and even now, the sight of all the tins of mackerel, salmon etc. in my kitchen cupboard make me feel a little queasy :-( However, still love a bit of fresh fish, but it was too impractical and pricy to do that every day. I've been taking Perricone and Lamberts Omega 3s for the last 3 months and I do feel and look better it (I bumped into someone I'd not seen since just after Christmas, at an evening lecture, and the first thing she commented on was my 'glowing skin'). While I was researching Omega 3 supplements a while back, I came across Krill Oil and the online site 'Victoria Health' sells a Krill Oil called 'The Power of Krill' (!) by a company called Lifeflo, and there is quite a bit of useful info about Krill Oil. They are £24.95 for 60.

    I use Victoria Health a lot, it's a brilliant site with lots of interesting health/beauty/wellbeing articles from experts and health-industry insiders - and they do stock top quality and niche products. However, there are no product reviews next to the products (important for some people), and Gill, one of the VH founders does tend to go really over-the-top when talking about new products on the site, to the extend that you'd think she'd found the holy grail!

  11. PS - I've just compared the levels of Esterified Astaxanthin in both the LifeFlo and the Neptune supps (on the wellwellwell site). LifeFlo contains 1.50mg per 2 soft gel capsules, and Neptune is 0.6mg per 2 soft gels. Neptune product is slightly cheaper at £23.95 for 60 capsules.

    1. Hi - the nutritional info for Well Well Well Inc is for one capsule (according to my bottle) - one capsule contains 0.6mg of Astaxanthin.

  12. Hi, ah confusing! I'm sure the packaging on the bottle is correct, but on the website it says:

    Nutritional Info

    Serving Size: 1 soft gel - Contains: 60 Soft gels per bottle
    Amount per 2 Soft gels
    Calories 5 cal
    Cholesterol 5mg
    Omega 3 Fatty Acids
    EPA 74mg †
    DHA 45mg †
    Phospholipids 222mg
    Astaxanthin (esterified) 0.6mg
    Choline 28mg

    1. God, you're absolutely right, how confusing! Anyway, I like the Well Well Well, but it does look the VH has more Astaxanthin ;)

  13. Thanks for all your comments everyone.

    Just to clarify from my point of view. Krill is indeed a shellfish and thus not suitable for me. Krill is an omega 3, a carotenoid and thus a massive antioxidant. As such, it is specifically useful for heart, nervous system,healthy joints and regulating blood sugar. It does obviously, aid skin as Grace testifies above.

    Even if I wasn't allergic to shellfish (krill) I would continue to take fish oil as in my experience if it is sourced and stored correctly, the effects on the skin are unmatchable. It stabilises eczema, psoriasis and acne and I swear my hair is growing faster.


  14. This is really interesting. It makes you wonder how many other studies have been done where the results haven't been liked and subsequently have been locked away!!

  15. Hi Caroline & Grace, during my 'research' into Omega 3s, I also came across a product that wasn't Krill oil (so no shellfish for those who are allergic), but it has added Astaxanthin and high amounts of DHA (which apparently is more important than the amount of EPA/DPA in an Omega 3 product)- it's called Omega 3 / DHA Fish Oil Premium and the brand is American - 'xtend life'. There is a UK web retailer,

    They are £16.99 for 60 tabs. Here is some blurb about them - I think they sound v. interesting - if the company's claims/research are to be believed. Hope it's interesting anyway, Best wishes Niki

    "This product has all the same ingredients and amounts per soft gel as the regular Omega 3 / DHA but with the additional benefits of an added antioxidant (Astaxanthin) and Lyc-O-Mato...
    it’s widely known that our Omega 3 / DHA Fish Oil is good for your skin, hair and nails… BUT it doesn't go far enough when it comes to reversing the effects of photo-aging and protecting the skin from sun damage...the very foundation on which healthy young-looking skin depends...Our researchers worked through 2009 to develop a viable solution. Early in 2010 they made a significant breakthrough...incorporating two potent natural ingredients that have been proven to help address the main causes of premature aging to the skin! These two ingredients are:

    •Lyc-O-Mato® (a complex lycopene extract from tomato oil)…
    •Natural astaxanthin (from algae)…
    Astaxanthin is the powerful antioxidant that is found in small quantities in krill oil. Our Omega 3 / DHA Fish Oil Premium provides more of this substance in a daily dose than krill oil. Natural lycopene is now being widely recognized in medical circles as a having a broad range of health and skin benefits.Unlike some ingredients that are promoted for various health benefits with weak evidence, these two ingredients have STRONG clinical data supporting their efficacy. " etc etc...

    XTEND-LIFE OMEGA / DHA Fish Oil Premium
    60 soft gels per bottle
    Daily serving:
    Adults: 2 soft gels/day
    Each soft gel contains:
    Fish Oil 1000mg
    Contained within each soft gel there are:
    Omega 3 Fatty Acids >500mg
    Which includes:
    DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)) >280mg
    EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) >120mg
    DPA (Docosapentaenoic acid) >50mg
    Natural Astaxanthin
    (Providing 300mcg Astaxanthin) 3mg
    (Providing 1000mcg natural Lycopene) 16.7mg
    Omega 6 <40 mg
    Omega 9 >180mg
    Natural Mixed Tocopherols and
    Rosemary Extract 7.5mg