Fish Oil vs. Omega-3: What’s The Best Supplement?

Fish oil is the concentrated and purified oil from the tissues of oily fish. There are many forms of this fat that can be obtained depending on how the fish oil is processed. (By “form,” we mean the type or chemical structure of omega-3 fats.)

The main forms are triglycerides, ethyl ester, and phospholipids. The original form of fat is the triglycerides of fish and humans. It is also the most bioavailable form (for example, it is easily absorbed by your cells and easily accessible). *

“For fish oil, the form of the triglyceride is where it is,” Ferreira shares. “The form of triglycerides is how the marine omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are found in fish fat – and how we consume and absorb the fat in our diet. In other words, it is the form that is found in nature and is home to fish.”

Fish oil comes from many types of fish — including salmon, anchovies, tuna, sardines, herring, and mackerel. Cording recommends choosing fish oil derived from delicate fish (such as anchovies or sardines), as they are less likely to contain high levels of mercury and other minerals than larger fish. Ferreira explains, of course, that this isn’t a concern when taking top-grade fish oil, because “high-quality fish oil products are highly purified to achieve minimal levels of contaminants such as heavy metals.”

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