Not Your Grandmother's Cod Liver Oil
Fish Oil has come a long way since it first made its first official appearance in 1775 as a supplement in London, England. When Cod was brought back from America, the fish livers would be slapped on London's filthy streets, and the oil that would ooze out would be collected and sold as a miracle cure for Arthritis. Obviously, Cod Liver oil has come a long way from this, but I would still consider what is mainly available on today's market to be pretty vile. Though it is no longer contaminated by street sewage, they are still full of industrial contaminants like mercury and PCBs that pollute waters where Cod lives. They still have an unbelievably foul taste that every child from two generations ago or less remembers so vividly. So while it's true that a tablespoon of Cod liver oil supplies 2.5 grams of essential fatty acids - what we consider a maintenance dose - it also has a heavy dose of environmental contaminants and a very high dose of Vitamin A, which is stored in the body's fat tissues and can cause toxic effects like hair loss if too much is taken.
The first innovation in fish oil
In the 1980s, fish oil took a big leap, and manufacturers started to extract the fish oil from the entire body and not just the liver, thus eliminating the issue of Vitamin A toxicity. However, the process was inefficient and left you with a very rancid tasting oil. This problem was rectified by putting it into a soft gel that could be swallowed whole. The oil was often not adequately distilled, and because of this, you still needed to take nearly 30 capsules a day to get a truly therapeutic dose of essential fatty acids. Now that's a lot of oil which is considered food-grade, and still loaded with impurities. These impurities could cause some significant gastric problems. Pretty simple to see why the super hot fish oil craze of the 80's fizzled out so quickly and why we are still fighting some negative stigmas around Omega-3s today.
Health products shouldn’t have health risks
To address the dangerous levels of impurities, some companies began to apply a process in which they could remove most of the toxins or heavy metals left in the fish oils. Molecular distillation started to be applied which made drastic improvements to the purity of the Omega-3s. However the omegas were still not very concentrated, and a significant amount had to be consumed to receive a therapeutic dose.
A few years later, scientists discovered a way to improve the concentration of the oils through fractional distillation. This process allowed for removing impurities while concentrating the EFAs, EPA and DHA. This was a significant improvement which is still practiced by most fish oil producers today.
There are, however, some significant flaws
- Fractional distillation is generally done while heating and/or boiling the oil. As most of us know, oil does not always behave well under extreme heat. When increasing the temperature, you are damaging the essential fatty acids before the harvest as well as increasing the oxidative levels. The heat also causes an enzyme to be released which can make the oil have a stronger fish taste and smell.
- The process often uses heavy industrial solvents which leaves the oil in an Ethyl Ester format. This isn't a problem if the producer reconverts the oil to its natural triglyceride state. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and most will leave it in this unnatural state. (learn more about ethyl esters here) And it's truly unfortunate because the only reason a company would do this is simply that it costs up to 50% less to manufacture this way.
Having recognized that fractional distillation still has so much room for improvement, we begin working with our raw material suppliers to help develop a better method. A method that processes crude oil via COLD molecular distillation and CO2 extraction. This is a much more delicate process, which slows the entire process down, but it leaves you with the absolute best possible raw material. By processing cold, we protect our oil's integrity, maintain low oxidative values, and prevent the oil from having any fishy taste or smell. All of our oils are in a premium triglyceride form in order to have the maximum stability and bioavailability. The quality isn't just seen in the raw numbers and ratios, but you can taste and feel the difference in our oils.
AquaOmega oils are much lighter than our competitors; they taste fantastic, and they cleanse from the palate very easily which means you do not have to wash them down with water.
AquaOmega is setting the new standard for what Omega-3s should be. This is not your grandmother's cod liver oil.