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How to choose good marine oil for Omega-3

Choosing a Marine Oil Supplement

Introduction to Marine Oils

The reason for supplementing with marine oil is to directly obtain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA which are in short supply in today's typical diet

✔ EPA- For inflammation control, heart protection, plus more.

✔ DHA- For brain and nerve function.


If not eating oily fish about 3 times a week, then supplementation with a marine oil is recommended for EVERYONE, but is a “MUST” for:

–    Prevention /treatment of any inflammatory health problem (nearly all) –E.g. heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis (aching joints/muscle stiffness), depression ;

–    Those having brain-related, neurological problems - For these people, obtaining Omega-3 DHA is crucial, and other Omega-3 parent sources (E.g. Flax seed, walnuts) can not be relied upon.

–    A woman during pregnancy;

–    Growing children

–    The elderly, to prevent osteoporosis;

–    Both a woman and a man prior to conception / A woman in mid-life/menopause


Obtaining a direct source of ready-to-use EPA /DHA requires us to supplement with some type of marine oil:

The current market provides several choices:

✔ Fish Liver oil - E.g. Cod or skate liver oil;

✔ Fish oils from the fish body - E.g. shark, salmon, anchovies, sardines and others;

✔ Krill oil (from tiny shrimp) a more recent Omega-3 supplement, boasting both a high Omega-3 and a high antioxidant content).

Cod Liver and Fish Oils go Rancid Very Easily when exposed to light, heat and/or air

All polyunsaturated oils, but especially the long-chain fatty acids in marine oils (e.g. fish, cod liver), are prone to oxidation and the subsequent production of damaging free radicals, which cause the oil to become rancid.Fish and cod liver oils, which are 5 times more sensitive than seed oils, begin to oxidize as soon as exposed to oxygen, metals, light, and heat, so oil needs to be processed by keeping these offenders away from the oil throughout production. Advanced oxidation will make the cod liver/fish oil smell rancid, although early stage oxidation has almost no aroma, and yet is still damaging.

The Choices

Neptune Krill Oil (NKO)

Krill are “shrimp-like” creatures (called euphausiids) – considered zooplankton, they live in cold waters, primarily the Arctic and Antarctic, feeding mainly on microscopic phytoplankton (plant-life), such as algae;

Patented process prevents oxidation - proprietary cold-extraction process, also protects the oil from light and air, preventing its oxidation, and preserving its valuable nutrients.

Naturally Toxin-free – the krill species, Euphausia superba, used in Neptune Krill Oilâ„¢ lives in the still clean waters of the Antarctic and is tested for toxin-content; this krill species, like many others, moves upwards to the surface at night to feed on phytoplankton, before retreating downward to try to elude predators during the day.

Biblical instruction in the Old Testament warns against consuming “shrimp-like”creatures:

"Whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. And all that have not fins AND scales in the seas . . . they shall be an abomination unto you."--

–   Leviticus 11:9-10

Since Christ's death on the cross, there is no longer a requirement for anyone to obey O.T. law, but it is in our interest to carefully weigh its possible merits.

Today, we are aware that one important function of crustaceans is to remove toxins in the water ecosystem. However, similar to the pork and bacon issue, we need to wisely consider the conditions of the source. Most shellfish are harvested in coastal waters, which supply their diet of industrial deposits, sewerage, and fish excrement. If the krill oil is coming from uncontaminated waters and the oil is appropriately tested for toxins, the risk of consuming toxins should be null and void. Such is the case for Neptune Krill Oil™(NKO).

Has a synergistic balance of fatty acids

In phospholipid form – making fatty acids more bioavailable

Contains “Super” antioxidants - with incredibly high ORAC values (the measuring stick for antioxidant capacity); Contains vitamins A and E, and a high 1.5 mg. of the powerful and prized astaxanthan (an immune-supporting carotenoid);

Rich source of Choline - important in brain development, learning and memory, andparticularly for fetal and infant brain development.

No Fishy Aftertaste, Reflux Or Other Side Effects

Krill Oil is always taken in Capsules – prevents oxygen from damaging its fatty acids; no fishy taste to endure

Stability - extraction process protects omega-3 content from damage; Lasts for 2 years at room temperature (Do not refrigerate), since its own antioxidants acts as natural preservatives.

NKO's main drawback in comparison to high-vitamin Cod Liver Oil, is that NKO does NOT contain Vitamin D - this important antioxidant is best obtained from sun exposure to bare skin, but if your area has insufficient sunshine in winter, you should take a high-vitamin cod liver oil in addition to a slightly reduced dose of krill oil;

Cost of NKO ? - is around $25 / month

For more details on NKO and studies demonstrating its many health benefits, see:

Neptune Krill Oil (NKO)

Fish or Cod liver Oil?

It is essential that the integrity of the easily damageable fatty acids in a marine oil remain intact, for two important reasons:

(1) To retain the health benefit of the fatty acids

(2) To avoid health-damaging oxidized fatty acids (i.e. rancid oil)

MOST FISH OIL and cod liver oil processors damage the oil and deplete its vitamins by using some process to extract and remove toxins from fish and cod liver oils

Typical 5-step high-temperature process

The first 3 steps remove some vitamins, but deodorization removes the most:

1. Alkali refining – to remove free fatty acids and some metals.

2. Bleaching – to remove color substances, metals and dioxins. Uses clay or other natural earth absorbents.

3. Destearination – cooled, then filtered or pressed, to remove stearins (saturated fats), usually to clarify oil.

4. Deodorization - to remove pesticides, PCBs. This cleaning step is necessary to ensure the oil has undetectable, or at least safe, levels of contaminants, since there are so few guaranteed, unpolluted waters. The infamous heavy metal contaminant, methylmercury, is water-soluble and may be present in the flesh of fish, but not so much in its oil. Deodorization also usually removes most of vitamin D and a lot of vitamin A.

One of two deodorization methods is usually employed:

(i) Molecular distillation - pulls the oil over a hot surface in a light-free, high vacuum, allowing the warmed oil molecules to condense on a cooled surface, before re-liquifying by colliding with other molecules. Many processors keep the oils at ~400°F (190°C) or higher for ~2 hours or longer, which introduces trans fats; (Damage starts at about 320 °F, and goes up exponentially as the temperature rises). This method significantly reduces the high levels of vitamins A and D in cod liver oil. The distillation process may interfere with the inherent solar vibrational nature of the fatty acids in the oil (received from the sun-grown plankton eaten by the fish). Thus, heat-damaged fatty acids would lose their resonating ability to harness the sun's energy, when residing in the cell membrane.

(ii) Steam Flushing – Used by only a few companies, this method steam-cleans and flushes out contaminants in the oil in a light-free vacuum. This method employs a temperature of ~ 320°F (180°C), a lower, less damaging temperature than molecular distillation. Steam flushing still removes some of the vitamin A and D content, but not as much as molecular distillation.

5. Fortified- Natural or synthetic vitamins A and D may be added, to meet retailer's standard.


Other PROCESSING methods

Currently researching these - several marine oils with new processes have entered the market


Fish oil is cold-pressed from fish flesh or heads


In Conclusion

–   Do NOT supplement with high-temperature processed Fish Oil - even molecular distillation typically uses a temperature of ~400°F (190°C) or higher for ~2 hours or longer, which introduces trans fats.

–    High vitamin, low-heat processed cod liver oil is an option - fortunately, there ARE a few cod liver oil processors that use low-temperature methods to deodorize (remove toxins from) their oil; a high vitamin oil should be a good source of vitamin A and also vitamin D for those enduring sunless winters;

Low Heat-processed Cod (or other fish) Liver Oil

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