It’s always handy when your oldest mate is a hot shot dietitian with more knowledge on food, health, wellbeing and vitamins than Oprah on life lessons. Especially when you’re me, with loads of questions that need answering. Now.
So, when I quizzed Robbie (from Elevate. Look him up) on the best fish oil supplement to take, he gave me insight into a little-known factoid about our fishy friend.
The BEST way to take fish oil supplements isn’t in a capsule. Nor as a liquid. Oh no, Happies, it’s all about the ‘enteric-coated’ fish oil.
Hang on, what? I’ve never even heard about enteric-coated fish oil. These days all you really hear about is krill oil vs fish oil and capsules vs liquids. But enteric-coated, this sounds new and fun and shiny.
OK Bobby, tell me more…
The enteric coating ensures the capsule is delivered to the site of maximum absorption of active omega-3 fatty acids in the small intestine before being metabolised, resulting in better tolerance with no reflux and prevents any fishy aftertaste (or burps).
The enteric coat prevents destruction of the active omega-3 fatty acids by stomach acid. Large fish oil capsules may not provide optimal absorption either because these capsules open in the stomach and much of the active constituents of the capsules are destroyed by stomach acid.
So, what about liquid fish oils?
Liquid fish oils are unpleasant to take and they are often spontaneously oxidised as soon as the cap is removed from the bottle (causing them to become rancid). As a result some liquid fish oils are redundant because of their ability to decompose rapidly with the formation of lipid peroxides and potentially toxic fats. Some may even have heavy metal contamination.
Alright, what about fish oil gels then?
Regular fish oil gels produce halitosis, gastrointestinal upset and diarrhoea in high dosages, even if deodorised or high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids are used.
There are many fish oil products on the market. However, there are many that are poorly absorbed (i.e. people may experience that awful “fishy reflux”), the concentration of the fish oil is very low and the fish are ‘farmed’.
Farmed fish as a source of fish oil is something that should be avoided as the fish become high in heavy metal contaminant – particularly lead and mercury.
Farmed fish are often fed grains which completely changes the nature and quality of the fish oils they produce. The omega 3 fatty acids of farmed fish will be significantly lowered -a fact that suppliers may neglect to tell you.
Clearly you’re the King of the Fish Oils, what do you take and recommend to your clients?
My recommendation for a fish oil supplement is BioCeutical’s UltraClean EPA/DHA Plus. This product delivers a highly concentrated dose of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids providing 300mg of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 200mg of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and contains “ultra purified” EPA Concentrated Omega-3 triglycerides - fish oil that uses patented distillation and steam deodourising processes to ensure optimal quality, purity and low odour.
It is enterically coated, meaning that it will pass through the stomach without breaking down prematurely and so be absorbed correctly within the small intestine (as mentioned above). UltraClean EPA/DHA is flavoured with vanillin to minimise aftertaste.
Tell me Happies,
Had you heard of enteric-coated fish oil before?
What fish oil do you take?