Not all fish oil products on the market today are the same. There are different grades and types of fish oil.
The two main types of fish oil are Natural Triglyceride fish oil and Ethyl Ester.
There is a big difference between the two when it comes to overall quality, and absorption. Ethyl Ester is a cheaper form of fish oil. It is synthetic and has limited bio-availability.
If you are looking to get the most benefit out of taking a fish oil supplement, you will want to avoid the cheaper Ethyl Ester form of fish oil.
If you are looking for the best form of fish oil, start out by seeking a fish oil supplement that comes in a Natural Triglyceride form.
As we'll talk about below, the Natural Triglyceride form of fish oil is the best type you can get. It is the safest, purest, and most potent form of fish oil.
Ethyl Ester Fish Oil Form
The Ethyl Ester form of fish oil has an Ethanol (alcohol) backbone (instead of Glycerol). Ethanol is added to fish oil as a part of the refining process. Among other things, it increases the boiling point and provides the pathway for impurities and other harmful substances to be removed.
While the ethylization process can be helpful for refining fish oil, the problem occurs when manufactures stop their fish oil processing at this point and leave their fish oil in a synthetic Ethyl Esther state. This results in cheaper and less effective form of Fish Oil.
Manufactures committed to producing higher quality fish oil go through a secondary process of re-attaching the oil to a Glycerol backbone, putting it back to the Natural Triglyceride state. This is what you want; pure fish oil that is highly concentrated, purified, containing bountiful levels of EPA, DHA and back to the Triglyceride form as nature intended.
Natural Triglyceride Fish Oil Form
Triglyceride form fish oil is the natural state that fish oil is found in. Triglycerides are made up of three essential fatty acids (e.g. EPA and DHA) attached to a Glycerol backbone. High quality forms of fish oil will come in a Natural Triglyceride form. This is the way nature meant it to be.
Keep in mind, some forms of Natural Triglyceride fish oil will go through an ethylization process to remove impurities and pollutants. Once this oil has been processed, it is then converted back into a Triglyceride form by adding the fish oil to a Glycerol backbone. This type of fish oil is called “Re-Esterified Triglyceride Fish Oil”. Natural Triglyceride Fish Oil is the best type of fish oil you can buy.
Important Facts About Fish Oil:
Below are a few important facts about omega-3 supplements. Taking the right form is crucial for finding a product that will work for you.
•Ethyl Esters are not found in nature, but created in a chemical process that involves Ethanol (a form of alcohol)
•The Natural Triglyceride form of Fish Oil has a much higher absorption rate (48% for EPA and 36% for DHA), and does not require the liver to filter out the Ethanol alcohol (2).
•Cellular levels of Omega Oils EPA and DHA taken in the Triglyceride form are 25% higher after 6 months of supplementation, compared to the Ethyl Ester version
•Ethyl Ester fish oils are less stable and oxidize more quickly, causing the product to spoil much more rapidly
•Consider Utzy’s premium fish oil supplements, which contain highly purified, Natural Triglyceride form fish oil.
Have you wondered why omega fish oils are called essential? It's because the human body cannot synthesize EPA or DHA on its own; omega-3's must come from a food source such as fish or through supplementation.
Omega-3's are essential because every living cell in the body must have them to function properly! So picking the right fish oil is absolute key.
Daniel Powers is a health and fitness enthusiast with a background in the supplement industry. Outside of work, Daniel enjoys Crossfit, reading large books, and drinking coffee.
1) Gross, Michael and Klein, Susan. “Fish Oil Triglycerides vs. Ethyl Esters”. Physician Recommended Nutriceuticals
2) Lawson, L.D. and B.G. Hughes, Human absorption of fish oil fatty acids as triacylglycerols, free acids, or ethyl esters. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 1988. 152(1): p. 328-35.