T Nation

Omega-3 Shelf Life

This is actually a two part post. First of all, in the SWIS wrap-up, CP was said to prefer Krill oil for Omega3’s. When I looked it up, I found that Krill were harvested in the Antarctic sea, so I assume that regardless of the brand, it’s coming from the same place. Any specific reason why Krill? The only thing that comes to mind for me is that since it’s coming from one location, you don’t have to worry about levels of heavy metals and other toxins that have infiltrated the area.

The ohter question was how long would it be good for? I found a place which has a pretty good deal if you buy 5 bottles of 30 caps, but I was also wary of how long I should hold onto it before consumption. Any ideas?

Kril (latin name Euphausia superba) usually undergoes low temp extraction compared to say cheap cod liver oil or more expensive marine oil blends. They say (the marketers) it contains unique phospholipids compared to other marine oils too. A friend I know works for a large supplement firm in the UK who make lots of marine oils based in Humberside, so I will ask him and report back because he’ll know and I’m not sure.

krill from the antarctic would be less contaminated from heavy metals, both because of the remote location and because krill is small, with a very short life span (lower on the food chain means less contamination).

I buy large amounts of omega-3 and store it in my fridge. Just freeze it or put it in the fridge, and make sure the gel-caps aren’t exposed to light. You could also buy a bunch and then get friends to go in on them…

Thanks for the answers. As a follow up, Poliquin recommends switching sources every 10 days, but to stay away from flax. Problem is, flax oil, fish oil, and krill oil are the only sources of Omega-3s that I’m aware of. And when you start crossing off various manufacturers because of purity concerns, you’re pretty much left with something like 3 sources. Would this be enough variety, or am I just being too anal about this?

You are being too anal.

Walnuts and hemp seed are also good sources of vegetarian omega-3. It may be a bit much to recommend ‘staying away’ from flax. But it isn’t ideal as a sole or primary source of omega-3s. I wouldn’t ever take flax oil, but freshly ground flax seed contains omega-3 as well as lignans and fibre. Plus, buying whole flax seed (and grinding it yourself, which takes seconds), provides fresher omega-3, and is way cheaper than the oil.