Fish Oil Delivery – Triglycerides vs. Ethyl Esters
While the amount of EPA and DHA provided in a fish oil product is important for efficacy, the type of fish oil delivered is another significant factor in defining fish oil effectiveness. The human body is accustomed to digesting and absorbing EPA and DHA in the triglyceride form. Even though triglyceride-based fish oils are the preferred form for superior fish oil absorption, the vast majority of fish oil products available on the market are in the ethyl ester form. While ethyl esters allow for higher concentrations of EPA and DHA to be achieved, their unusual structure is resistant to the digestive enzymes (lipases) that enable fat breakdown. In a study comparing EPA and DHA digestion in both the triglyceride and ethyl ester form, five common digestive lipase enzymes were shown to more easily digest fish oil in the triglyceride as compared to the ethyl ester substrate. A review of the existing literature has shown that fish oil provided in the triglyceride form is more efficiently digested and is 70% more absorbable than the ethyl ester form.
An accumulating body of research shows that the typical modern diet does not provide a sufficient amount of omega-3 fatty acids for optimal health and insufficient conversion of ALA to the active EPA and DHA may reduce the amount available for use in organs and tissues. Symptoms of omega-3 deficiency are common and often overlooked. These may include dry, itchy or flaky skin, poor sleep quality, poor circulation, eye discomfort, and mood imbalance.
As in adult populations, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to be beneficial to children’s circulatory and cardiovascular health. A case control study on pediatric patients demonstrated how PUFAs support cardiovascular health.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.