Pharmaceutical grade fish oil
Fish oil has proven to be an effective dietary supplement for so many reasons that the advent of pharmaceutical grade fish oil was a virtual inevitability.
How is Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil Different?
There are significant differences between most fish oil dietary supplements and pharmaceutical grade fish oil products. Differences include: stricter control of foreign substances and contaminants, higher concentrations of healthy EPA/DHA, and more stringent quality control standards.
Specifically, pharmaceutical grade fish oils contain 75% Omega-3 or more. Consumer-grade fish oils contain only 30% Omega-3. Be careful not to fall for clever marketers who sell 50% and 60% Omega-3 products as pharmaceutical grade.
These benefits are all derived from the more complicated manufacturing and preparation process involved with pharmaceutical class fish oil capsules.
Fortunately, you do not need a prescription to buy pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplements!
Key differences in the production of pharmaceutical grade fish oil products tend to include differences in fish selection, distillation, and refining/enriching processes. Choosing the right fish is more important for manufacturers producing pharmaceutical grade fish oil because certain fish actually require substantially more effort to turn into pharmaceutical grade fish oil. Many attribute this fact to not only the omega-3 levels in various fish, but also to the heavy metal content that fish absorb from swimming in polluted waters; the multi-stage distillation process takes longer and is less effective with fish that contain higher concentrations of heavy metals. The refining and enriching techniques used to meet strict quality control standards are also made more difficult when dealing with fish that have lower concentrations of omega- fatty acids.
Worth the Premium
Nothing is without its downsides, and that includes pharmaceutical grade fish oils. It is believed to take manufacturers approximately 100 gallons of dietary supplement-grade fish oil to produce a single gallon of high quality pharmaceutical fish oil. This figure alone is impressive, and may be strongly influenced by the market demand for affordable fish oil. Even if that is the case, it only serves to illustrate just how stringent the quality control standards are with pharmaceutical fish oil products.
Unfortunately, the same selection process and attention to detail causes the price of pharmaceutical grade fish oil to be higher than consumer grade fish oils sold in retail stores.