June 20, 2011

119 Fish Oil Quality [20 June 2011]

There are many issues that affect the quality of a fish oil supplement. Here are some factors to consider in choosing yours:

• EPA and DHA content. Higher EPA concentrations work better for improving mood (depression), concentration (ADD) and inflammation (arthritis, skin conditions, allergies); higher DHA formulas work better for pregnancy, brain health (Alzheimer’s) and cardiovascular health (heart & arteries).
• For environmental reasons, the fish should be harvested from sustainable, wild and unthreatened sources. Small short-lived species (anchovies and sardines) are lower in accumulated toxins (eg mercury) than larger fish (tuna) and especially farmed fish (salmon).
• Enteric coating capsules open in the small intestine not the stomach, increasing absorption and preventing fishy after taste.
• Fish oil supplements come in two different forms – triglyceride and alcohol. During the refining and concentrating process the essential fatty acids (EFA) are removed from their natural triglyceride (TG) bases and combined with an ethanol molecule to form an ethyl ester (EE). Most supplement manufacturers leave them in this EE form; only one that I know of (Ascenta) converts the EFAs back to the TG form. This step adds to the cost but the TG form is safer and up to 50% better absorbed. Here’s a simple test to see if your fish oil is EE or TG form: open several capsules in a polystyrene foam cup and wait 10 minutes – the EE oil will leak through the cup.
• A final consideration of course is the cost and the number of capsules required per day.

Drop in and let us help you decide which fish oil is best for you.

This article is intended for educational purposes only; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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