What type of fish oil should I take-does it matter?
Did you know that according to the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings fish-oil supplementation will reduce your chances of heart attack or stroke by up to 45%? If that is not reason enough to take fish oil consider the fact that fish oil also is a potent anti-inflammatory which helps for arthritis, improves mood disorders such as anxiety and depression (even postpartum depression), lowers triglycerides, helps with weight loss, and promotes overall health.
Supplementation may be accomplished by increasing your intake of "oily fish" such as tuna, sardines, salmon, mackerel, and herring, or through ingestion of Omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids include two key substances: EPA and DHA.
Currently a debate is raging regarding which form of fish oil you should take-Triglyceride (TG) or Ethyl Ester (EE).
Most fish oil is molecularly distilled to remove contaminants-such as mercury, dioxins, and PCBs. The next step involved in the distillation process involves removing the EPA and DHA from its natural triglyceride backbone. If left in this EE form manufacturers can produce highly concentrated fish oil supplements.
As it turns out, this EE form of fish oil, although less expensive to produce, is 30%-50% less well absorbed than the TG form of fish oil. Additionally, the EE fish oils are less stable and much more likely to cause side effects such as burping and upset stomach.
Manufacturers of TG fish oil reattach the EPA and DHA to its natural triglyceride backbone. The net effect is fish oil that is much less likely to cause side effects, is better absorbed and more likely to produce the health benefits associated with ingestion of omega-3 fatty acids. Simply put-it is more like eating fish.
Beyond diet and exercise, the most effective way to lower triglycerides in the blood is to take Omega 3 fatty acids. In our experience, we consistently see 30%-50% reductions in triglycerides when patients switch from an EE form of fish oil to a TG form. We also see a consistent increase in the HDL (good cholesterol). The majority of clinical evidence showing omega-3 benefits relate to fish consumption. The omega-3 fatty acids found in the fish are in the TG form.
If you're currently taking a fish oil, and experiencing side effects such as belching, or not getting your triglycerides down, then I would suggest switching to a TG form of fish oil. We recommend either New Chapter or Pharmax fish oil, both of which are in the TG form.