by Craig Weatherby
The idea of freezing fish oil to test its purity or potency is a fast-spreading urban myth being fueled by the makers of a particular fish oil… a product rendered artificially high in omega-3s by high-temperature distillation.
Unfortunately, the “freezer test” idea has been swallowed whole by uninformed folks... including some physicians.
Our whole, unrefined Sockeye Salmon Oil contains all of the fatty acids natural to salmon, including naturally occurring levels of omega-3, omega-6, saturated, and monounsaturated fatty acids, so our oil will appear cloudy when frozen.
But the presence of small amounts of saturated, and monounsaturated fatty acids in a fish oil is (pardon the pun) a red herring, for two reasons:
- All fish contain saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, albeit in amounts much smaller than in meats.
- Scientists discovered the healthful effects of omega-3s by studying people with fish-heavy diets, before supplemental fish oil even existed.
- Compared with concentrated fish oils lacking any "cloudy" fats, fish oils with lower—that is, naturally occurring—levels of omega-3s will raise blood levels into the range needed yield the molecules' heart benefits.
Fish oil: The "wholer" the better, we say
The general superiority of whole foods over isolated nutrients for promoting health continues to be affirmed by one study after another.
This is why we take pride in and make no apologies for the true-to-nature profile of our Sockeye Salmon Oil, which healthwise is the next best thing to a fresh salmon fillet.
In addition to omega-3s—and unlike any distilled fish oil—our whole, unrefined Sockeye Salmon Oil offers significant amounts of naturally occurring vitamin D (50 IU or so per 1000 mg capsule) and astaxanthin: a potent antioxidant that colors salmon flesh red-orange and protects the omega-3s in salmon oil from oxygen.
The purity and omega-3 levels of Vital Choice Sockeye Salmon Oil are certified by NSF International... the world’s leading supplement-testing lab, which also sets the official US standard for water filter performance.
Our examination of the “research” section of the freeze-test-touting company’s web site reveals that they must realize that health claims for omega-3s rest do not rest primarily on clinical trials that used artificially concentrated fish oil.
Instead, much of what we know about omega-3s comes from either of two sources:
- Population studies comparing fish-poor diets with fish-rich diets. (Usually low-omega-3 white fishes.) Fish contain substantial amounts of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, in ratios to omega-3s similar to those found in standard, distilled but un-concentrated fish oils.
- Clinical trials using supplemental fish oils that contained widely varying levels of both omega-3s (EPA and DHA) ... not super-high concentrations of either or both.
One thing rarely mentioned about distilled fish oils is the potential that the high-temperature refining process may damage their fragile omega-3s.
This remains a speculative concern, since, as we’ve said, all clinical trials of fish oil have used distilled oils, to good effect.
But the nature of of our Salmon Oil renders this a non-issue, since it never comes even close to the very high temperatures required for standard fish oil refining.
Our whole, unrefined Salmon Oil reflects the fatty acid profile of whole salmon very closely. Nor will any distilled oil contain the vitamin D or bright-orange antioxidants natural to our unrefined Salmon Oil.