If you take fish oil supplements, check to be sure they’re in the natural “triglyceride” form vs. the “ethyl ester” form. Although it is always best to get your vital omega 3 fats from oily fish like wild salmon, fish oil supplements are a convenient alternative for those who cannot or do not eat oily fish. In a recent study, scientist sought to investigate at the molecular level how the omega 3 fat, DHA, lowers blood pressure. They studied both the natural food-form of DHA and its ethyl ester supplement form. As anticipated, the natural form of DHA lowered blood pressure and did so by triggering relaxation in the muscles of the artery walls. To their surprise, and in striking contrast, the supplement ethyl ester form of DHA had no beneficial effect on reducing blood pressure and even worse, actually antagonized the natural DHA’s positive effects. Unfortunately, most fish oil supplements are in the ethyl ester form. You must carefully look at the fine print on the label to determine whether your fish oil supplement is in the “triglyceride” vs. the “ethyl ester” form. The fish oil brand I recommend, Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega, is in the natural form and is of exceptional quality by all standards.
This report is a poignant reminder of why it will ALWAYS be best to get your nutrients from real food vs. in pills. Mother nature’s wisdom is hard to replicate! (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences DOI:10.1073/pnas.1221997110)