To Feed Or Not To Feed: Fish Oils
Updated: May 15
Omega-3s are beneficial for reducing inflammation in the body, decreasing metabolic disease chances. Many studies have shown that incorporating omega-3s into the diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, prevent arthritis, aid in growth and development, and more, which is why Americans easily spend over $1 billion a year on over-the-counter fish oils.
But, low-quality fish oils are highly susceptible to oxidation due to their large number of double bonds and position in the fatty acid chain, making the fish oil market one of the world's most immutable markets. Unfortunately, like the rest of the pet world, fish oil companies can make it hard to specify what makes a "good fish oil."
Oxidative stress is when free radicals take a healthy normal cell, attack it, and damage the cell with oxidative stress, killing the cell. Free radicals can also cause gene mutations, cancer, as well as inflammatory health problems. The fatty acids in fish oils are susceptible to oxidation.
The rate at which the fish oil oxidizes depends on multiple factors such as
How the fish was harvested
The container it is stored in
Fatty acid composition
The presence of water or heavy metals
Once the oil begins oxidizing, there is no reversing the process. It is simply a matter of time before all the beneficial and medicinal properties of the omega-3s are oxidized away.