Have you ever done, or even heard of the fish oil test?
Myth or Truth?
The fish oil test has been labeled as one of those urban myths used to test the purity of fish oil capsules. I first heard about this method while taking a nutrition class for my certification renewal in 2012, but never felt the urge to waste a couple pills on testing….I’m just saying….supplements aren’t free.
It’s a very basic test in which you place a couple fish oil capsules in the freezer for at least 5 minutes, and if the capsules turn cloudy then the purity of the fish oil….well, no bueno 😞. If it stays clear of course it means that you’ve chosen the right fish oil 😀.
So here I am, 5 years later, and I decided to test this urban legend for myself. A time in my life where I’m focusing less on supplementation, but hey better late than never right?
The two brands I decided to test were:
1. Harris Teeter Essentials Brand Omega-3 Fish Oil
2. Carlson Laboratories Super Omega 3 Fish Oil
As you can see from the results depicted above, they both froze after 5 minutes in the freezer. Does that mean both brands are bad? Not necessary.
The origin of this claim began years ago as a marketing claim through an infomercial promoting their fish oil claiming it has the highest amount of omega 3’s than all competitors. In the infomercial their fish oil did not turn cloudy when freezing. Well that must mean it’s the best fish oil right? Not necessarily, the reason it didn’t freeze is their product was rendered artificially high in omega-3s by high temperature distillation.
Advertisement done by false pretense.
Think of it like this, the reason why the brands I tested turned cloudy is the presence of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids within the oil. ALL FISH contain saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Smaller amounts than meat, but it’s still present.
So which would you choose?
A. A product artificially altered by the use of high temperature distillation?
B. Fish oil with a little saturated fat that’s actually good for you?
I choose B. But, nothing better than getting your omega 3’s directly from the source. I follow the American Heart Association recommendation of consuming 12 oz, or 2 serving of fish per week.