Recently, I have found myself painting the office at Precision Chiropractic more than 5 hours per day (it turns out that it takes a long time for one person to paint a large suite with 12 foot walls). While rolling a paint nap back and forth for hours on end is tons of fun, I have found that adding podcasts to the routine turns the “fun factor” up a notch. Today, I listened to Dr. Rhonda Patrick discuss fish oil and factors to consider when deciding on a brand. Did you know that fish oil supplements are not created equal? I certainly didn’t.
Not All Oil Is Created Equal
To begin with, the standard fish oil you stumble across may be oxidized and rancid. Why is this a bad thing? This renders the oil ineffective. This is a big deal since this super nutrient may have whole body health benefits thanks to its contribution of EPA and DHA essential fatty acids to the diet. Buying ineffective fish oil would be like buying a space heater (it is winter after all) that looks nice in a room, but doesn’t actually do anything. Decorations are fantastic, but more than likely you purchased a supplement for the perceived health benefits.
What should we look for when it comes to a quality supplement then? Dr. Patrick recommends purchasing fish oil that is manufactured and distilled in a nitrogen environment rather than an oxygenated environment. After all, oxygen is responsible for the process of oxidation. Have you ever seen rust on a nail before? If you have, you’ve experienced oxidation. One brand that is known for utilizing a nitrogen manufacturing process is Nordic Naturals.
Refrigerating Fish Oil
Also, she recommends refrigerating your supplements. A higher temperature increases chemical activity, which contributes to oxidation as well. By refrigerating the fish oil, you lower the risk of this adverse chemical process and extend the shelf life. Finally, Dr. Patrick recommends buying fish oil in capsules. Liquid fish oil in bottles will be exposed to oxygen when it is open. The same oil in capsules is surrounded by a layer impervious to external conditions.
The majority of Americans do not eat enough fish. Supplementation is a great way to receive the benefits that come with a diet rich in marine life. However, many Americans are potentially buying rancid oil that may do more harm than good. Next time you are looking for fish oil, check and see if it is manufactured in nitrogen, if it is in capsule form, and don’t forget to refrigerate it after you’ve purchased it.
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