Why Natural-Form Fish Oils are Better for Your Body—and Your Wallet

All About Science

“Triglycerides” are something we talk about a lot at Nordic Naturals. They sound intimidating, but all you really need to know is that they’re the form of omega-3 fats that your body prefers. And, many fish oils on the market today are not triglyceride form. Let me explain.

Triglycerides are a form of molecule. You may hear that “high triglycerides” are bad for the heart, but I’m talking about a different kind that is really important for overall health. That’s because dietary fats are really important for us, and 98% of all fats we eat are triglycerides. None of this would matter beyond the lab if all companies produced fish oil the right way—as natural omega-3s. Sadly, they don’t. But if you know to look for triglyceride form omega-3s—the natural form—it’s easy to find great fish oil.

Natural-form fish oil is better for a handful of reasons. Freshness, effectiveness, and value topthe list. You’d expect this since triglyceride-form fats abound in nature. But what about the alternative?

Natural Form = Fresh

Most fish oils are made of ethyl ester molecules, which are the result of concentrating omega-3s to make a more potent product, and then skipping a final step that recreates the natural molecular form. No big surprise, skipping this step is cheaper for fish oil manufacturers, but the cost-savings don’t translate to you. Ethyl ester fish oils are fragile, so the molecules have a hard time holding together, and are more susceptible to damage by oxygen. That means a lot of spoiled, stinky fish oil—and more free radicals.

Natural Form = Effective

Natural-form fish oil is also more effective than ethyl ester fish oil. A number of studies have documented the body’s improved ability to absorb and use natural form omega-3s. Up to 70% better absorption than ethyl esters.1 This means that the more natural form omega-3s there are in your bottle of fish oil, the greater chance they have to make it where they should—your cells.

The cell membrane is where omega-3s really have the chance to make a difference, influencing heart health, vision, brain development, and the wide-ranging functions of the immune system that benefit so many aspects of everyday health. Of course, poorly absorbed fish oil means fewer omega-3s in the bloodstream, fewer getting to cells, and limited benefits overall. You get the idea.

Natural Form = Value

All this adds up to one big advantage: value. Why spend money on fish oil that spoils quickly, and that doesn’t deliver the benefits you expect? The big picture sometimes gets lost when customers choose products solely on lowest price.

I’m happy to tell you that Nordic Naturals has always had the big picture in mind. From the very beginning we’ve produced our fish oils in their natural form. Every bottle contains at least 90% natural-form omega-3s, and they often reach up to 98%. It takes longer to make triglyceride-form products. And, it costs more. But at the end of the day, it’s the value of our products that matters most.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

1Dyerberg J, et al. Bioavailability of marine n-3 fatty acid formulations. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2010 Sep;83(3):137–141.

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