With so much confusing advice circulating about our own eating habits – what’s in, what’s out?- it is even trickier to find consistent guidelines on what we should be feeding our children.
Picture a modern woman with a background in marketing & advertisement. Add to that being a mother of three and an interest in nutrition, stemming from the fact that she wants to raise her children healthy and happy. That woman’s name is Melanie Lawson and she is the founder of Bare Biology & creator of Lion Heart Omega 3 Fish oil, an oil a teaspoon of which contains EPA & DHA in a natural triglyceride form that our bodies recognise & absorb, unlike many counterparts on the supplement market.
Every baby book you will read, if you are a mother or are getting ready to become one, will stress the importance of Omega 3 and the need for you to incorporate fish into your child’s diet from very young age. The trouble is that most fish has a strong taste/smell and babies might be reluctant to try it. For this reason we probably don’t eat enough oily fish, hence the need for a good Omega 3 supplement. The question is, how do you find one that is reliably good? In my case, I was initially won by Melanie’s enthusiasm and openness when we met. There were no gimmicks and no wonder promises, she just went over the facts with me, answered my questions and gave me a bottle of the oil to try ( white box & glass bottle, both lemony yellow, got my visual vote even before five seconds were up ). According to Melanie ‘the secret to Lion Heart oil taste is in its freshness and no rancidity with a lemony undertone and nothing else’ and that is exactly how it tastes – a mellow but unmistakable fish oil with a hint of lemon. Now I religiously take a spoonful a day or add it to a seafood pasta dish – just make sure that it isn’t boiling hot when you drizzle the oil lightly over, or you will destroy its nutritional content with heat.
One of the things that makes Lion Heart stand out, in my eyes, is that it has a five-star rating from the International Fish Oil Standards Programme, which guarantees that a particular product is free from heavy metals or environmental contaminants ( like mercury that you might have in your teeth fillings, larger fish, like tuna, salmon or cod, tends to have more of accumulated heavy metals and can possibly cause health issues ). IFOS tests every batch of the bottled product independently, which is an added guarantee that you are getting what is actually promised on the bottle – in our day and age many manufacturers tend to cut corners, in order to maximise their own profit margins, making consumers lose out by definition. In addition, Bare Biology actually provides its certificates of analysis on their website and to me it is quite reassuring to see the numbers for myself – I tend to walk away from brands, if they omit information or ignore questions posed to them. Honesty is key when engaging with your customers, as far as I am concerned !
5 ml spoon of Lion Heart contains 3,500 mg Omega 3 of which 1,995 mg EPA & 1,140 mg DHA and you can decided on the dose, depending on the support that you feel you need at the moment in time. I take one teaspoon a day. This oil can be taken by pregnant women ( unlike fish liver oils it doesn’t contain any vitamin A, with which you need to be careful when expecting ) and you can give one drop a day to your children -mine, after giving me a suspicious look, became more than willing testers and now are like baby penguins, expecting mother penguin to put it directly in their beaks.
Some of you might argue that a bottle of fish oil that lasts you a month, if you take a teaspoon a day, and costs £47.50 is expensive and I won’t argue with you, as it was my original thought as well, but having trialled this oil for a month and actually loving its taste, I will beg to differ. Another argument, if you need convincing, is that for the equivalent amount of EPA and DHA from well-know brands ( I actually saw comparison statistics ) it would cost you significantly more. A while back I tried an Omega 3,6, 7 & 9 supplement from a well-known brand and having never reacted to supplements before, within a week I actually started getting sick – initially I thought I had a stomach flu but within a day or two the coin dropped that I actually felt sick shortly after taking that oil, so to say that I approached trialling this fish oil with caution would be quite accurate.
I believe in treating our skin from inside out and Omega 3 Fish oil plays a big part in our daily health & beauty maintenance routine. Oily fish is known for helping boost our skin membrane ( i.e. having a more plumped up complexion ), improving brain function & maintaining good vision; it can help lower cortisol levels and improve your metabolic rate ( it also helps to increase our body’s response to insulin and burn fat more efficiently, when combined with a sensible diet and regular exercise ), it is beneficial for the normal functioning of the heart & blood triglyceride levels, as well as maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
Omega 3 is also known to have an anti-inflammatory effect on our cells. The two active ingredients in Omega 3, the above mentioned DHA & EPA, assist the cell renewal process that slows down and becomes less efficient as we age ( we all need good fats in our diet, as it sustains our body, as well as our normal brain function – DHA plays a significant part in that ).
As far as Melanie’s approach is concerned , quality of her supplement starts with the fish and Lion Heart oil is made from small, wild oily fish ( wild sardine, anchovy and mackerel that live in clean waters in the deep southern Pacific Ocean. All three of those types of fish are not only naturally high in Omega 3 but are also lower in environmental toxins because they don’t eat other large contaminated fish & have a shorter life span, which gives them less time to build up pollutants in their bodies ).
Q & A with Melanie Lawson, founder of Bare Biology
GAP: Melanie, tell me a little bit about your professional background and what led you to create Bare Biology and Lion Heart?
ML: For ten years I had a career in marketing and advertising client service, working on brands including Sainsbury’s and the BBC. I followed the well-trodden path of giving it all up to have children, moving out of London and trading meeting rooms for cold and windy parks. Being a mother is truly amazing and my children are the centre of my universe, but I was lacking intellectual challenges and had completely lost my sense of self. To be really honest, I was a bit bored as well. I’ve always wanted my own business and was a “wantrepreneur” for years, dreaming up all kinds of ideas and plans.
I felt a bit depressed after having my second child and with a serious history of depression in my family, I didn’t want to go down that road. I’ve always had a keen interest in nutrition and eating for wellbeing, so I started researching and noticed that Omega 3 is repeatedly recommended for mental health. I also wanted a really powerful supplement because the successful clinical trials I read all used high doses. In addition, I wanted a guarantee of purity. Both these things were very hard to find in the UK ( note: Lion Heart is made in Norway but packaged in the UK ) and I felt I’d spotted a gap in the market. I started looking into it and it just went from there.