Why You Should Be Concerned About Freshness When Choosing the Best Fish Oil Supplement?
Freshness which ensures product integrity and its effectiveness (biological efficacy) may be the single most important measure of the quality of fish oils. The last thing you need is to spend money and buy adverse effects and bad health.
Good fats by nature highly unstable. Good fats are typically so called unsaturated fatty acids like Omega-3s, some omega-6s, and omega-9s including oleic acid, Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA). On the other hand, bad fats are very stable. The best way to explain this is that bad fats are semi-solid at room temperature — these are saturated fats. and extremely bad for you. Examples include butter, many tropical oils such as coconut oils, and animal fats such as Lard. Remember how your meat gravies become semi-solid at room temperature or completely freeze in the refrigerator even at 40 – 50F.
Fish oil is a good fat and is unsaturated and can easily go rancid. There are scientific studies showing the adverse effects of rancid oil including higher cholesterol levels and actually increasing the risk of heart disease. Think again before you buy that $10 fish oil bottle with 300 capsules. You may be paying your way to bad health.
Most supplements will contain Vitamin E which is an anti-oxidant to prevent the oils from going rancid. However, fish oils can go rancid before they are even formulated with Vitamin E. For example, the manufacturing location may be very far from the fishing source and may not be made into capsules for weeks or months. This is definitely a concern. You may want to check that the manufacturing location is close to the source and that the fish is processed quickly to extract the fresh body oils.
Another common problem is the manufacturing process. Often times, many companies use excessive heat and/ or chemicals in the purification process. Just because a fish oil is molecularly distilled does not guarantee freshness although it guarantees purity with low levels of toxins such as heavy metals, dioxins and PCBs. It is key to check to make sure the manufacturing process uses an oxygen-free process in an inert environment typically with Nitrogen. As a consumer you can check third party testing results which report peroxide values which are indicators of freshness often should be down to absolute 0.0 mEq/Kg or at most 0.75mEq/Kg in addition to other metrics for purity (such as levels of dioxins, PCBs and heavy metals).
Many fish oils in the market are in a synthetic ethyl ester form which are highly unstable and rapidly breakdown during storage. Fish oil is best absorbed by the body in their original triglyceride form. Triglycerides contain what is known as a glycerol backbone which stabilizes the oil molecules in their natural form. An enzymatic molecular distillation process ensures a minimum use of heat and chemicals and a natural triglyceride form for stability, freshness and maximum absorption.
After all the due diligence, what if the fish oil is sitting in the shelf of a supermarket for several months. Always, check the expiry dates and the conditions of storage. If you buy online check to make sure you can receive this product in less than 5 days from the time the product is shipped.