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Microwaving Fish Oil


I got my hands on some lemon scented fish oil and was wondering whether I could put it on my daily lunch at work which I heat up with a microwave. Would the heat change the fish oil properties alot?


Yes, heat will totally ruin fish oil. Never heat it. In fact, best to keep it refrigerated and away from light and air.




Couldn't you just nuke your food then put the fish oil on it?


People who eat fish tend to cook it...they generally have health benefits.

It would be suprising if the damage to the oil was significant.



I thought the less saturated the fat, the more susceptable it was to heat.

And fish oil being unsaturated.


it wont TOTALLY ruin, it will ruin some, as does cooking. I definitely would rather not nuke it.

It will increase the trans fat ratio, but whatever.


on the label it says avoid excessive heat


Basically, cooking (microwave or over) has little effets it seems on n-3 content.

So cook away.


Nahrung. 2002 Dec;46(6):383-8. Related Articles, Links

Comparison of the effects of microwave cooking and conventional cooking methods on the composition of fatty acids and fat quality indicators in herring.

Regulska-llow B, Ilow R.

Wroclaw Medical University, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, pl. Nankiera 1, 50-140 Wroclaw, Poland. regulska@bf.uni.wroc.pl

The aim of this study was to examine the changes which occur under the influence of different heating methods in the compositions of fatty acids and selected fat quality indicators in fillets of herring.

The results that are compared herein were obtained via conventional culinary techniques and using microwave radiation. Culinary processes like boiling, grilling and frying, whether done conventionally or with a microwave oven, did not lead to a reduction in the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) fraction of the total fatty acids, indicating that these fatty acids have a high durability and a low susceptibility to thermal oxidative processes.

The culinary processes used in this study also had an insignificant influence on the fat quality indicators--the peroxide and anisidine value. The fat quality indicators in herring, both after conventional and microwave heating, differ little, and indicate a low content of primary and secondary products of oxidation.

PMID: 12577584 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


but this doesn't compare heated omega-3s to raw ones, just one cooking method to another. And there's no reason to believe that cooking fish doesn't damage the omega-3s, though the meat itself may offer some protection. For crying out loud, why spend all that money to degrade the oil's health benefits? Just don't cook it.


I take it you haven't actually tried putting lemon flavored fish oil in any food/drink? Because it completely ruins the taste of whatever you put it in. I suggest you just swallow a spoonful and eat your food separately.


Actually, the study does mention that culinary processes such as boiling, grilling, frying with conventional or microwave oven has no effect on n-3 fraction and that there is insignificant primary or secondary oxidation products.

While n-3 fatty acids may be less heat resistant than other fatty acids, this does not imply that they are not able to resist significant heat.

This is that study's conclusion that these fatty acids have a high durability and low susceptibility to thermal oxidative stress.



Alex, I admit, I'm very hesitant to trust one single study's conclusions. That said, it would make my month if you're right. I'd be thrilled if omega-3s can be heated safely. I'd just rather play it safe, especially when I'm spending a lot of money on a specific supplement like fish oil.


Thats so Weird, because I just got my hands on some fish scented lemon oil...



acids(as well as heat) can catalyze cis:trans isomerization.

Ofcourse, like previously mentioned, the effects are probably minor.


Yeah, that's understandable,

I myself don't even understand why one would just take the capsules, its fast easy, tasteless, doesn't cost all that much (for me anyways, cost price baby!)

eat up the n-3's



I'll stick to putting it into my shakes. To be honest I quite like the flavour it adds to my shakes. And for people who hate cottage cheese, it will mask that flavour too.


For the most information on fish oil go to the Cooperwellness site. On the left side of the page go to 'radio show', then 'Liston to past shows', then 'May 20th, 2nd hour'. This Dr. Maroon takes care of the Pittsburg Steelers, and works at the Univeristy of Cincinnati. You will be impressed and have a whole new base of information on fish oil. It is a 2 hr radio show, you only have to listen to that one hour. After you do, you may find yourself listening to many of the back shows, as you are getting some of the best info that is available. Good luck to you.