T Nation

Enteric Coated Fish Oil Caps

Is anyone using enteric coated fish oil caps? I have heard that the enteric coating protects the softgel until it reaches the lower intestine where more complete absorption occurs. Is it worth spending the extra money for the enteric coating?

Right now I am using Walmart’s brand - Spring Valley enteric coated fish oil caps (3 with each meal). I was wondering if this was a quality brand or just garbage.

Could anyone reccomend a quality enteric coated fish oil cap?

I’d probably give the Wal-Mart brand a thumbs-up. One of the most reputable (and inexpensive) brands is the Member’s Mark line, which is put out by Sam’s Club, a Wal-Mart affiliate. The products likely come from the same source. I’ll check my Member’s Mark bottle when I get home and give you the manufacturing address, and you can compare.

~Terumo

Here comes a half-hijack… On a related topic, how does one avoid the gawdawful fish belches that seem to strike about an hour after consuming fish oil caps? Mine aren’t enteric coated, just no-name salmon oil.

I use them. I don’t know if they’re “better” or not, but the claim sounds reasonable. And it definitely reduces the “fish burp” potential.

I use the Costco “Kirkland” brand, which was approved for quality by ConsumerLab.com. Wal-Mart’s was not tested.

Been there done that. I went back to the regular version. Cheaper and all. I think the only benefit being no fish burps at all, but just take em with a meal.

Also on a negative side IMO, is say I figure 6 caps or 60 k/cals into a small snack. Well with the coated ones my snack doesnt actually start to get to my body till hrs later. So I am 60 k/cals short for a bit.

That and I am a bit sceptical on anything coated after hearing about people passing whole vitamins and such.

I just dont think the positive outweigh the negatives.

Just my take,
Hope that helps,
Phill

[quote]michaelv wrote:
I use them. I don’t know if they’re “better” or not, but the claim sounds reasonable. And it definitely reduces the “fish burp” potential.

I use the Costco “Kirkland” brand, which was approved for quality by ConsumerLab.com. Wal-Mart’s was not tested.[/quote]

Actually, Wal-Mart’s brand (Spring Valley) was tested and approved. I was just at the website. It states that the Spring Valley brand is manufactured by Nature’s Bounty. Neat little website, I had never been there before.

[quote]Blaiser wrote:
Is anyone using enteric coated fish oil caps? I have heard that the enteric coating protects the softgel until it reaches the lower intestine where more complete absorption occurs. Is it worth spending the extra money for the enteric coating?

Could anyone reccomend a quality enteric coated fish oil cap?[/quote]

“protects the softgel until it reaches the lower intestine where more complete absorption occurs.”

Protects the oil from what? The fat in McDonalds is absorbed just fine without enteric coating. There is no science behind this. All nutrients except alcohol are absorbed by the small intestine. All fish oil you take eventually makes it to the part of the intestine where it will be absorbed.

If you don’t believe me you can ask the gurus tomorrow…of course the other guru (hi TT) will probably be along before then.

Oh the enteric coating does help the burps but there is another way…something about refridgerating the caps I think…not sure.

Actually, the theoretical science behind enteric coating of EFAs is pretty sound. As you said, an enteric coating prevents the dispersion of the capsule’s contents until it has entered the small intestine (e.g. it doesn’t dissolve in the stomach). The primary advantage to this is that the fatty acid is not bombarded by hydrogen (hydronium, whatever…) ions by the low-pH environment of the stomach. These hydrogen ions are reduction agents which can cause the loss of valuable unsaturated bonding within the molecule.

Unlike the stomach, the intestinal tract has an inherently neutral (or high, if above the duodenum) pH. Hence, by enteric coating, your EFA capsule bypasses some of the agents which may decrease the healthfulness of the acid. Unlike the yummy fats from cheeseburger, bundt cake, or Skippy, EFAs actually have something to lose by being exposed to low pH. It isn’t an absorption issue, but rather a matter of maintaining supplement integrity throughout the digestive process.

Thanks to many studies that have been done with non-enteric coated EFA supplmentation, we have seen that most will certainly reaps benefits from a capsule that is coated normally. Honestly, I haven’t seen a lot of studies done on enteric-coated fish oil caps. Therefore, it isn’t really possible for me to advocate taking one over the other in terms of cost effectiveness. I use the regular stuff from Sam’s Club, and my hormone and lipoprotein panels have since improved, and that is even at the unripe age of 23.

Just take your EFAs. I would stick with the less expensive stuff (non-enteric), so long as it has a reputable assay. Just let me know if you have any follow-ups or comments. I’d kinda be surprised if you did not, as I have been awake for almost 22 hours straight, and I’m likely losing coherent reason. This reply would not have even been possible without my good buddy Spike. Thanks Biotest!

Late.

~Terumo