You see a lot of “concentrated fish oil” advertised in Omega 3 supplements, but do you know what it is?

If you’ve looked around for good quality fish oil supplements you’ll come across the term “concentrated fish oil” pretty quickly. Lets have a look at exactly what “concentrated fish oil”, or what can also be known as “super concentrated fish oil” or even “highly concentrated fish oil”, really is.

If you caught a fish and squeezed it really hard you’d got oil out of it. A different amount depending on how oily the fish was, but you’d get ordinary fish oil.

This oil contains good Omega 3 polyunsaturated fats, particularly DHA, the most important of the Omega 3 fats, and EPA, also important.

But it won’t have a lot of those 2 fatty acids. Some, but not stacks.

And it would have anything else in it that was in the oil in the fish. This includes toxins that would be in the fish itself.

This can sometimes be referred to as standard food grade fish oil. It is in a triglyceride form, because that is how it is in the fish.

But if you made your Omega 3 supplements from that you wouldn’t get a lot of DHA or EPA in each capsule. Well not unless the capsules were really big.

What you need to do is to concentrate the fish oil so that the percentages of the important Omega 3 fats are dramatically increased. And along the way, depending on how you concentrate it, you also achieve some other desirable results, in particular by removing the toxins.Concentrated Fish Oil

A molecular distillation process isĀ  used to concentrate the oils and remove the toxins. Molecular distillation is where the oil is spun very fast and components of the oil are separated out according to their molecular weight.

So toxins are removed by this process.

Now bear with me here, it gets a little complicated. When you concentrate your oil the fish oil concentrate that results is converted from the triglyceride form found in the natural fish oil into and ethyl ester form. This is ok, and doesn’t affect the efficacy of the resulting fish oil concentrate. It still contains higher levels of the important Omega 3 fats and is still “bioavailable”, or in other words can be absorbed into the body from the stomach, an essential step.

If a nutrient cannot be absorbed into the body when eaten it is useless no matter how much you eat.

However some manufacturers reconvert the ethyl ester form back into a triglyceride form, mainly for marketing purposes. They believe that they can then advertise the oil as “natural” because it was originally a triglyceride and still is. However the process used to reconvert it back means that when it is reconverted it is in a different molecular makeup than it was originally, because the structure of the molecules is altered. It is advertised as natural but isn’t because it isn’t in the same molecular form as the original triglyceride form.

As a result it is much less “bioavailable”. There is no need to reconvert it back, it is fine in the ethyl ester form, it’s a marketing tactic.

There is no doubt that concentrated fish oil has more Omega 3 fats in it as a percentage. But there are still very worthwhile amounts of Omega fats in unconcentrated fish oil.

One company has found a way of combining the 2 into what must be the worlds best Omega 3 supplements. It uses a concentrated fish oil sourced from Tuna and combines this with an unconcentrated fish oil from Hoki, a New Zealand fish. And it has produced it’s own process of fish oil purification that is added to the molecular distillation process to ensure that the oils used are totally clean.

This combines a concentrated ethyl ester form of the Omega 3s with an unconcentrated fish oil from the Hoki that is clean, and in the triglyceride form.

Studies have shown that this combination of fish oil concentrate and unconcentrated fish oil as a triglyceride has around 2 1/2 times the effectiveness of “regular” fish oils.

If you’re interested in finding out more about contamination of fish oils we’ve also written an article that you can read aboutĀ fish oil purity.

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