Cod Liver Oil
Health-food grade fish oil, and
Pharmaceutical-grade fish oil
Cod Liver Oil
Cod Liver Oil is the lowest quality fish oil and like the name implies it is manufactured from the livers of Cod fish. It has the lowest concentration of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and contains the highest levels of contaminants such as organic mercury, PCB’s, and DDT. Cod Liver Oil may also contain a high level of Vitamin A.
Cod Liver Oil is not recommended for high dose consumption. A typical serving of Cod Liver Oil contains 500 mg. of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.
Health-food Grade Fish Oils
Most health-food grade fish oils are manufactured from fish body oils. Fish oils can be manufactured from a single fish species or from several fish species.
Fish size and their relative rank in the food chain can help us understand the level of contaminants that may be found in health-food grade fish oils. Small fish, such as sardines and anchovies, don’t live long so are less prone to accumulate environmental pollutants. Larger fish, such as salmon and mackerel, are predatory species that live longer so they could contain higher levels of pollutants. If the label says it comes from a particular species of fish, such as salmon, then you can be sure that it probably is health-food grade fish oil.
A slightly more purified type of health-food grade fish oil is available which includes oils that have been subjected to a limited amount of molecular distillation to remove some of the cholesterol. These types of fish oils are usually labeled as “cholesterol-free”.
“Fish Oil Concentrate” is yet another type of health-food grade fish oil. Fish oil concentrates consist of ethyl esters of the fish oil that have been subjected to fractional cooling. The solidified saturated fats are removed leaving behind a more concentrated solution of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. A typical one-gram capsule of thermally fractionated health-food grade fish oil contains up to 500 mg. of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.
Typical health-food grade fish oils may contain varying amounts of contaminants. In addition, the fractional cooling method does not necessarily remove all the PCB’s or the long-chain monoene fatty acids that may give rise to gastric distress. Due to the varying amounts of contaminants that could still be contained in health-food grade, it is questionable as to whether it is safe at high levels. A typical one-gram capsule of health-food grade fish oil contains approximately 300 mg. of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.
Pharmaceutical-grade Fish Oil — the newest generation of fish oil.
Pharmaceutical-grade fish oils start with thermally fractionated health-food grade fish oils. These oils are then distilled, using a highly complex refining technology, into fractions rich in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. According to manufacturers, it typically takes about 100 gallons of health-food grade fish oil to make one gallon of pharmaceutical-grade fish oil.
Individual fractions are then combined to provide a 2:1 ratio of Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) for the finished fish oil product. Scientific studies conducted with pharmaceutical-grade fish oils that used a 2:1 ratio of EPA and DHA reported significant clinical benefits.
Pharmaceutical-grade fish oils are exceptionally low in long-chain monoenes, PCB’s and other pollutants. Pharmaceutical-grade fish oils are believed to be the safest to take in high doses. A typical one-gram capsule of pharmaceutical-grade fish oil will have a minimum of 600 mg. of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.
Pharmaceutical-grade fish oils are a fairly new product and a good-quality source may be difficult to find. In addition, pharmaceutical-grade fish oils definitely cost more – sometimes twice as much. This increased cost is an outcome of the complex process used to remove impurities. Each step in the refining process adds additional production costs.
For instance, OmegaRx developed by Dr. Barry Sears and recommended in his book, The OmegaRx Zone – The Miracle of the New High Dose Fish Oil, starts with health food grade fish oil which then goes through nine additional steps to make it pharmaceutical grade quality. Pharmaceutical-grade fish oils generally taste better and the amount of long-chain monoenes, which cause gastric distress, are dramatically reduced.
For more information about where to purchase Dr. Barry Sears’ OmegaRx Fish Oil Supplement, please visit http://www.fishoilzone.biz or http://www.omega3zone.biz or call To Your Health at 503-244-5941.