I bought a large batch of fish-oil-based Omega 3 from London Drugs more than a year ago, and I am wondering if it is still safe to use. I took it out of its original container and put it in plastic bags (because I was transporting it and I wanted to reduce the bulk), and different batches are mixed. I believe some of it might be expired, most is not.
This is a molecularly distilled fish oil product produced under contract for London Drugs by Ocean Nutrition (some of you might recognize this, they produce for a variety of brands and the products are often labelled with Ocean's logo). These are fatty acid ethyl esters. Though this is some distance from the totally natural stuff, I appreciate the fact that it is essentially free of heavy metals and is minimally oxidized. If I recall correctly, there is dl-alpha-tocopherol in the solution as well, presumably to prevent exactly the kind of oxidation I am worried about (though again, I cannot be sure).
My main questions are:
how can I determine whether the stuff is still safe to consume? At the moment, it does not smell strange, in fact it hardly smells at all.
how air-tight is a gelcap, and how long does a gelcap typically retain its integrity?
asked byStephen_5 (1327)
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on July 05, 2012
at 08:36 PM
You can't determine how old or safe a fish oil capsule is. In most studies, just eating the fish is a lot better than taking fish capsules.
Check out http://chriskresser.com/the-fish-vs-fish-oil-smackdown for more info.
on July 06, 2012
at 03:00 AM
The above are good points. However, it is also important to know how those capsules have been stored. If they have been exposed to heat I would assume that they will not be as fresh. Generally, manufacturers have a five year or less expiration date window. If you bought these a year ago and they have not been stored under adverse conditions then they should be ok.
on July 05, 2012
at 08:59 PM
Break open a capsule and taste. Rancid oil leaves an unpleasant 'hot' sensation on tip of tongue. Oil that is going off also has a distinctive smell.