Had a fun interchange with one of my favorite nutrition nut the other day about fish oil. Supplements in general can be a murky area for folks such that many don’t venture in for fear they will choose the wrong thing. Mike Kesthely from Dynamic Nutrition is one of the best in the business for defogging the undefoggable world of supplementation.
His summation on fish oil is definitely worth sharing. The discussion started with a comparison of different brands of fish oil. We were heading toward the construct regarding choice and how much the claims of potency, purity, and composition matter.
Mike had this to say:
“Lots of interesting pseudo-science on fish oil—especially from companies pitching it. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that [they] mention the fact it’s in triglyceride form, and the ratio of EPA to DHA. To address these points:
- A vast majority, and all of the initial data was collected on the ethyl ester (EE)form; this is analogous to creatine monohydrate—still the solid standby, and the form all the research was done on. Companies will try and modify forms to have a “cutting edge”. This is not malicious, as they generally are trying to improve a product, but it usually turns out not to affect efficacy.
- EE vs TG: Short term studies do show increased uptake of TG form…BUT, over the course of time, uptake evens out, and parameters measured show equal efficacy. The study the rep might have cited was a two week study on triglyceride versus ethyl ester form…and points like fasting blood trigs won’t budge for 30 days.
- Ratio of EPA to DHA: Lots of opinion on this….what is comes down to is that you can retro-covert DHA to EPA, so basically all ratios are moot. There is some specific application to athletes having more EPA due to increased inflammation, but this is really irrelevant if you are just taking a decent fish oil product, period.”
Mike also writes a pretty sweet BLOG. Check at out at least once for the brilliant Running Man reference on his April 7 post.