2

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How Do I Keep My Fish Oil from Going Rancid or Being Oxidized?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 28, 2011 at 12:37 AM

I bought some bottles of Carlson fish oil. But I bought way too many. What's the best way to ensure that they will not go rancid or become oxidized?

Supposedly, if you store fish oil (especially fish oil capsules) at room temperature, they can go rancid. Damaged fish oil can induce oxidation and incur oxidative stress in your body, supposedly ... one of the biggest argument against taking fish oil in the first place.

So store in the fridge? Freeze them? Store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight like you would store your EVOO?

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on November 03, 2011
at 10:11 PM

Macadamemia ftw

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2 Answers

6
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on April 28, 2011
at 12:40 AM

Always refrigerate It.....I asked patients to freeze them too. And remember always keep away from light. That is why olive oil avocado oil and macadamemia nut oil comes in dark containers. Coconut oil does not need any of that.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on November 03, 2011
at 10:11 PM

Macadamemia ftw

2
Cf626d3fba66c18297b3f1116a920e58

(3417)

on April 28, 2011
at 01:04 AM

Light and heat can radicalize -- the most common form of damaging oxidation in PUFAs -- anything with double bonds... more double bonds = more chance for radical oxidation. PUFAs are as double-bondy as fatty acids get, especially omega 3 and 6. No double bonds = negligible risk for radicalization which is why, as Dr. K said, coconut oil isn't a big worry just tossing on a shelf. It's mostly saturated (all single bond) fat.

Minimizing light and heat will minimize PUFA radical oxidation damage.

You are correct in thinking that oxidized (science-talk for rancidified) fatty acids are dangerous. Radicalized molecules in the body have the natural tendency to react with just about whatever they collide with in the cell because their energy is so high that just about any chemical reaction will favorably lower its energy -- nature tends towards energy distribution across chemicals in a system, not energy concentration within a few chemicals. So with that sort of omni-reactivity in mind, consider that your chromosomes, your DNA, are the largest molecules in the cell. It isn't too much of a leap to realize that DNA is the most likely molecule to react with (to be mutated) the oxidized PUFAs.

For this reason, I'm not sure about PUFA supplementation in the first place because PUFAs in their storage state in the cell membrane can radicalize, detach from phospholipids, and zap your DNA. Although you may have balanced your 3's and 6's (favorable), you may have had to intake a ton of supplemental 3's to do so, just more PUFAs to rancidify within your body and attack your DNA (unfavorable). Again, I'm not sure where I stand on fish oil supplementation, but I think the 3:6 balance is more important than avoiding some unknown amount of oxidative damage from excessive PUFA supplementation.

Anyway, always refrigerate, always buy from a company that stores it in an opaque container, always buy from a company that minimally processes the oil. You can freeze the unused pills as well. There shouldn't be any water in them, so you don't have to worry about them expanding and destroying the pill housing. Personally, I use the Blue Ice fermented cod liver oil because the fermentation helps preservation and the company doesn't do any processing besides the fermentation. Yep, it tastes like hell, but it's worth the peace of mind.

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