Fish Oil: Natural Triglyceride Vs Ethyl Ester

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Dt. Maithili Pashtekar
Dietitian Maithili Pashtekar
Registered Dietician ,P.G.Dip Clinical Nutrition

In today’s world, where people avoid fats in the diet, daily inclusion of Omega 3 fish oil pills or capsules, rich in natural triglycerides, offers immense health benefits. It should be preferred over the ethyl ester version.

The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) recommends that our daily diet should include about 20% of calories in the form of fats. Even though “fat” is an integral element in our traditional Indian diet, however, we increasingly end to completely avoid or restrict it, staying healthy, or losing weight. Dietary fats, however, serve many important functions in our body other than just providing energy.

Our diet comprises of two types of fats, generally called the “good” & “bad” types. Good fats are unsaturated fats that include Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA- eicosapentaenoic acid& DHA- docosahexaenoic acid). These help us to-

  • Reduce body fats (LDL cholesterol & triglyceride levels)
  • Increase good cholesterol (HDL levels)
  • Improve heart health
  • Lessen joint inflammation
  • Improve brain health and memory
  • Boost immunity

To derive these immense health benefits from Omega 3 fatty acids, the National Institute of Health recommends that our daily diet should include about 1 gram of omega 3 fatty acids. Since Omega 3 fatty acids are “dietary essential fats” (implying that these cannot be synthesized within our body), a daily intake through the diet is necessary. However, our daily diet pattern often lacks the recommended consumption of Omega 3 rich foods. Hence, I recommend including a daily dose of Omega 3 capsules as a supplement along with a normal healthy diet.

One of the richest sources of Omega 3 fatty acids is from the fatty tissues of fish such as sardine, mackerel, or herrings. Thus, I recommend Omega 3 capsules made from sardine fish oil, which contain a good concentration of omega 3 fatty acids (EPA & DHA).

Generally, in the market, two forms of Omega 3 fish oil pills or capsules are available -the natural triglycerides and the ethyl ester form. Natural triglycerides are the original form of Omega 3 fatty acids, wherein the three omega 3 fatty acids are linked to a glycerol backbone. The ethyl ester form is the “manufactured form” made by substituting an ethanol bond instead of glycerol to the Omega 3 fatty acids.

Of the numerous Omega 3 capsules & forms available in the market, which one is the best the natural triglycerides or ethyl ester?

As a Dietitian, I recommend Omega 3 fish oil pills by BestSource Nutrition containing 100% purified natural triglycerides. Let me explain to help you understand why these capsules offer the best quality of Omega 3 fish oil:

  • Good digestibility: In our body, normal fat digestion occurs by the action of pancreatic lipase, which breaks (hydrolyze) fats into smaller units. The natural triglycerides form of fish oil pills is better digested, as its form is like that of dietary Omega 3 fats. To digest the ethyl ester form of fish oil pills, the pancreatic lipase has to work 10-50 times harder to hydrolyze the ethyl bonds (Yang LY et al, J Lipid Res., 1990).
  • Improved absorption rate: Since the natural triglycerides form of fish oil pills is digested better, it also has a better absorption rate. A study by Lawson et al (Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 1998) compared the relative absorption of natural triglycerides and ethyl ester forms of Omega 3 fatty acids. The absorption rate of the natural triglycerides form of Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA 68% & DHA 57%) was higher than that of the ethyl ester form (EPA 20% & DHA 21%).
  • Enhanced bio availability: The natural triglycerides form of Omega 3 fish oil pills can help achieve health benefits in a better way than the ethyl ester form, once they enter our body circulation. This means that the natural triglycerides form is highly bio-available to our body. A study by Beckermann et al (Arzneimittelforschung,1990) investigated the compared bioavailability of natural triglycerides and the ethyl ester form of Omega 3 fish oil capsules. The natural triglycerides form had a 40-48% higher bioavailability than that of the ethyl ester form.
  • Impact on body fat levels: The enhanced bioavailability of the natural triglycerides form of Omega 3 fish oil pills also better affects an improving lipid profile. This means these leads to a reduction of the body fat levels than the ethyl ester form. A study by Hedengran et al (Lipids, 2015) investigated the effect of natural triglycerides and the ethyl ester form of Omega 3 fatty acid on blood cholesterol levels of 120 subjects. The natural triglycerides form reduced blood triglyceride levels by 28% as compared to the 22% reduction achieved by the ethyl ester form.

As a Dietitian, considering the above research on improved digestion, absorption& bioavailability of the natural triglyceride form of Omega 3 fatty acids, I recommend only the best- Omega 3 fish oil soft gels by BestSource Nutrition. This product comprises Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA & DHA) obtained from deep-sea sardine fish with a 100% purified natural triglycerides form, which gives you wholesome goodness & improved health benefits. Omega 3 fish oil soft gels by BestSource Nutrition are free from PCBs, dioxins & heavy metals, contain no fishy odor, smell, or burping, making them an ideal health supplement.

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