Choosing Fish Oil

Customers tend to fall for the more concentrated omega-3 fish oil capsules instead of the natural fish oil. But what is wrong with these concentrated “pharmaceutical-grade” omega-3 fish oils?

  1. Concentrated omega-3 are chemically modified. In order to make concentrated omega-3 fish oils, manufacturers have to chemically alter the EPA and DHA omega-3 molecules, transforming them into ethyl esters. The ethyl esters do not exist in the human body or in nature. We simply do not know how the body will react to these chemically altered molecules. Pregnant women and children are advised against using ethyl esters for safety concerns.
  2. There are fewer fatty acids in concentrated fish oils. Natural form fish oils contain more than 50 different fatty acids plus metabolites, all of which work together and have specific metabolic effects. Concentrated fish oils however contain only 2 fatty acids: EPA and DHA.
  3. Concentrated fish oils have been stripped of naturally occurring vitamins. Natural fish oils are rich in vitamins A and D, in addition to omega-3s. But the process of concentrating fish oils destroys the vitamins A and D.
  4. Concentrated products are more likely to contain rancid fish oil. In their natural state, the fragile omega-3 molecules are protected from oxidation by vitamins and other occurring fatty acids. Concentrated omega-3s however undergo hefty processing that destroys the oils’ natural protection system.
  5. Concentrated omega-3s are environmentally problematic. The process of refining natural fish oil into concentrated versions poses environmental concerns. Consider, for instance, that for every gram of EPA/DHA created, 60 percent of the oil goes to waste.

People can easily get the same amount of EPA/DHA found in concentrates by increasing their daily dose of natural fish oil. Instead of taking 1 concentrated fish oil per day, the consumer can take 2 natural fish oil.