Canada, Norway And The UK Have *Banned* Most Fish Oil Supplements From The US!
Canada might have the most strict health supplement regulations in the world, and so naturally their fish oil regulations are very strict. In fact, Canada has outlawed the sale of most fish oil products that are created in the US! Canada is in good company with Sweden and Denmark, who have also banned these omega 3s.
Why? The answer has to do with how bio-available the omega 3 fatty acids are, or how easily your body absorbs them and makes use of them. The reasoning is somewhat scientific, but I will simplify it to make it easier to understand.
The reason fish oil pills are so beneficial for our bodies is because they contain omega 3 fats. Omega 3s are good fats that are essential for health. Naturally, the omega 3s found in fish exist in the form of a triglyceride (TG). Each and every molecule consists of glycerol, an alcohol base, with three omega 3 fatty acids attached. These are definitely not the same kind of triglycerides that you are concerned about in your blood, so don't worry.
It's necessary to purify most fish oil because, unfortunately, the majority of fish contain excessive levels of toxins.
Most fish oil manufacturers employ a purifying process called molecular distillation to make their fish oils highly pure. But, omega 3s that naturally appear as triglycerides then are converted into a new formula called an ethyl ester (or EE). The glycerol alcohol base in the triglyceride (or TG) is exchanged for a molecule of ethanol.
What is the concern? It doesn't matter what alcohol base -glycerol or ethanol - is used, right?
Wrong, there is a huge difference that has prompted many countries to make it illegal! It ends up being the case that EE fish oil is much more difficult for the body to absorb than natural TG fish oil.
In fact, research has shown that TG fish oil has a 300% higher rate of absorption by the body, which means that EE oils are only 1/3 as absorbable as TG! But that is not where the problems end. Triglyceride (TG) omega 3 is absorbed by the body up to 50 times faster than ethyl ester (EE) omega 3, which as you can tell is significantly inferior!
EE fish oil is prohibited in Canada due to the problems that I've discussed. However, it is completely legal to sell EE in the US.
What a predicament. If we don't want to consume the poisonous toxins that are present in fish oil, then we must settle for a fish oil that barely gets absorbed and that s difficult for your body to make use of... Or do we?
Canadian fish oils that are purified are actually converted back to TG from their original EE form.
You're probably wondering: If TG based omega 3 is better in many ways than EE based omega 3, why do US producers of fish oil only usually produce EE oils?
Higher costs, of course! The manufacturers of fish oil must pay an additional 30 to convert their EE oils back into TG, but since consumers of fish oil aren't privy to the difference, these producers don't bother.
Furthermore, only a small percentage of them actually disclose that their fish oils are EE oils, so it s frustratingly hard to figure out what they contain.
However, since the large majority of fish oil supplements in the US are EE products, you can assume that a product is an EE unless it's labeled otherwise.
There exists only 2 brands made in the US that are TG based that are also tested by the third party International Fish Oil Standards: See Yourself Well and Nordic Naturals.
The research is pretty convincing that omega 3 products in triglyceride form are far superior to those that aren't (which is the majority of omega 3 products currently on the market).
If you re taking fish oil and want to ensure that you re getting the best product for your health, make sure yours is TG based.
Author Resource:-> Brittany Q. Wallace is a health and nutrition expert, with particular expertise with Omega-3 Fish Oil. You can read more on her site: http://www.fishoilblog.com/
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