Fish oil oxidation is a big problem found in many omega 3 supplements. Yes, the minute you open your vitamin bottles, your precious supplements are reacting with Oxygen. Oxidized omega 3’s simply means the product has expired and is no longer as beneficial from when it was first created. So how prevalent is oxidized fatty acids you may ask? A research study conducted by Jackowski et al. researched that 50% of supplements tested had surpassed the oxidation markers levels allowed.

Still not convinced? The study also shows that 73% of South African supplements were considered spoiled having 80% of unsafe peroxide levels. Peroxides are responsible for increasing reactions of oxidation in the product and should not be found in high quality supplements. Even 50% of fish oil supplements in New Zealand and Australia had high peroxide levels, proving all over the world oxidation is a major problem when it comes to fatty acids. In this article we will discuss five of the most sought after questions to help address all of your confusion on the omega-3 oxidation topic.

So what does this fancy word ‘oxidation’ even mean?

Let’s take this back to organic chemistry. However, I’ll skip the long lectures, drooling classmates and dreaded exams. Oxidation is when chemical bonds lose atoms or electrons, therefore creating an unstable structure. In fish oil products exposed to oxidation, omega 3 fatty acid bonds reconfigure and ultimately cause rancidity or spoiling of the product.

How is oxidation tested?

Peroxide values (PV) and para-ansidine values (pAV) are often measured in fish pills to determine oxidation levels to ultimately assess if the product is no longer up to date. In depth, PV’s look at the amounts of peroxide found in omega 3’s, also known as primary oxidation. Secondary oxidation occurs when omega 3’s oxidize further and are measured by pAV’s. TOTOX takes both PV and pAV to further distinguish oxidation by combining both primary and secondary oxidation tests.

What causes oxidation?

Anyway you open your pill bottle or pump, your vitamins are reacting with oxygen. Oxidation is also caused by a whole slew of factors including supplementation storage due to exposure to light and oxygen, antioxidant composition, metals, water and even fatty acid makeup of DHA, EPA and ALA. This process is breaking down your nutritional value!

Why is oxidation bad?

Oxidized fish oil pills are less effective when expired. Therefore, the benefits you are taking them for will no longer exist! A study by R Preston Mason et al. found that oxidation interfered with antioxidants in our body. This is because antioxidants add electrons to stabilize the chemical bonds in our bodies, whereas oxidants destabilize those structures. Although research is still being conducted on the effects of oxidized omega 3’s, oxidized lipids have been linked to atherogenesis resulting in coronary diseases. Stay away from the negative side effects by following the guidelines below to prevent your own omega-3 supplements from oxidizing.

How can oxidation be prevented?

In order to prevent fish oils from oxidizing, it is best to keep them out of direct sunlight, away from oxygen exposure and in dark, cold spaces. Packaging in multiple layers or air tight vacuuming omega 3 products is also best for reducing oxidation. Other ways to reduce oxidation and find recovery is by choosing supplements with antioxidants. Check out Fish Oil: How to Source the Highest Quality Omega-3 for more tips on choosing the best supplements.

Coromega protects the omega-3 fish oil in all of its products from oxygen during every step of the manfacturing process - our proprietary manufacturing processes and safeguards mean that no light and no oxygen can degrade the products. It's why our products are packaged in individual servings in portable, long term shelf stable foil, and it's why Coromega tastes delicious and fresh every time you take it!

These facts on oxidation will keep you from being fooled by supplement companies. Now that you’re well informed, stay away from oxidized omega 3’s to gain the most benefits from your anti-inflammatory fish oil supplements!