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Molecularly Distilled Fish Oil

by Vin Kutty, MS on August 4, 2010

Molecularly distilled fish oil should be the only kind on your shopping list.

Here’s why:

Molecularly distilled fish oil is pure and concentrated

Crude fish oil has a lot of gunk. Gunk that we don’t like or need.

Molecular distillation is a new technology for getting rid of this gunk.

I spent three years of my life becoming an expert at molecular distillation.

Yep, it’s as boring as it sounds!

But it was my first job out of college and I got to live in sunny Florida. So I really can’t complain. Boring or not, molecular distillation is a powerful technology.

Advantages of Molecularly Distilled Fish Oil

  1. Purity. Molecularly distilled fish oil is the purest.
  2. Concentrated Dose. More Omega-3 per pill.
  3. Less Odor. Less rancidity and oxidation.

Disadvantages of Molecularly Distilled Fish Oil

  1. Cost. It’s more expensive than regular fish oil

Why buy Molecularly Distilled Fish Oil?

Like I said, crude fish oil has a lot of gunk.

It has Omega-3, the good stuff. But it also has a pinch of mercury and a dash of industrial contaminants like PCB and Dioxins.

The best way to remove pollution from fish oil is to use molecular distillation.

Your Grandpa’s Fish Oil

The old technology simply boiled fish oil in a still. Just like moonshine. And as the oil boiled over, it was separated from harder-to-boil materials like waxes and mercury. It was a crude form of purification.

The old technology worked. Sort of.

It literally cooked the oil and the delicate Omega-3 for hours and sometimes days during the process. It removed most, but not all, of the pollutants.

That’s how they made our parent’s and grandparent’s Cod Liver Oil. Ugh!

New Technology: Molecular Distillation of Fish Oil

With molecularly distilled fish oil, the crude oil is placed under extreme vacuum. Under such high vacuum, it is possible to “boil” the oil at very low temperatures. Fish oil boils well under its normal boiling point when placed under vacuum.

And the contents of the oil are boiled off separately based on their molecular weight.

  • EPA Omega-3 boils over first
  • Then DHA Omega-3 is separated
  • Molecules of mercury, PCB, Dioxins have different molecular weight and boiling points, so they are left behind in the “pot”

Molecular distilled fish oil is the only kind safe enough for pregnancy

Everything is purified molecule by molecule. There is very little mingling of molecules. The nasty mercury molecules stay in one place and the healthy Omega-3 in another.

Now you have pure, concentrated fish oil. And no gunk.

This is why molecularly distilled fish oil is safe even for pregnant women.

Matter of fact, it’s the only kind you should take if you’re pregnant.

My wife took two OmegaVia pills and a DHA pill every day when she was pregnant with our twins.

Molecular distillation of fish oil is fast and gentle

The process is very gentle.

So delicate Omega-3 fatty acids are protected from breaking down and going rancid.

Why is fast important?

Well, if fish oil is cooked for a long time, it will not only go rancid, but it will start to form trans fats, which are really bad for you.

Molecular distillation of fish oil produces ultra-pure, refined oil with virtually zero contaminants. So pure that it’s hard to even measure the level of contaminants with modern analytical techniques like gas chromatography or HPLC.

So far, molecular distillation is the only method (to date) that can remove heavy metals, Dioxins, PCBs and other toxins to BELOW detectable levels for human use.

Another Benefit of Molecularly Distilled Fish Oil

Molecularly distilled fish oil has high Omega-3 content.

The only reason to take fish oil is the Omega-3. So why take unrefined fish oil with 30% Omega-3? Why take the other unwanted 70%?

With molecular distillation, you can reach 50%, 60% or even 90% Omega-3 purity.

Yes, it’s a bit more expensive. Purity has its price. But the benefits of a super-concentrated dose of Omega-3 are priceless.

Molecular distillation lets you get all the Omega-3 you need in a single dose.

How to Tell if your Fish Oil is Molecularly Distilled

  1. It’s often mentioned on the label
  2. Ask. Call or email your fish oil company.

Summary

Molecular distillation of fish oil is used to:

  • Concentrate the Omega-3 in fish oil
  • Purify the oil from contaminants and pollutants
  • Reduce the fishy odor of crude fish oils

Now THAT’S progress!


Molecularly Distilled Fish oil expert: Vin Kutty About the Author: Vin Kutty is OmegaVia’s Scientific Advisor and Chief Blogger. He is a nutritionist, author, and Omega-3 expert with over 20 years of experience. When coffee’d up and fully inspired, he shares Omega-3 info-nuggets on Facebook and Twitter. Email him.


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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

fish oil August 5, 2010 at 9:03 am

Fish oil is really very helpful for pregnant women also…it helps to improve the baby’s health and also provides good nutrition to the baby…

Reply

Fariz February 24, 2012 at 1:51 am

Hi Vin Kutty,

Can you explain why most of the product of wild salmon oil no need the
molecular-distilled compare to standar omega 3 fish oil??

Reply

Omegavia February 24, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Hi Fariz – some salmon oils are molecularly distilled or purified using ultra-high vacuum separation, which is basically what molecular distillation is. And other salmon oils are sold in the non-concentrate triglyceride form where you will see very low Omega-3 levels. It’s not a matter of not needing distillation, it’s what each manufacturer wishes to sell. I think salmon oil should be molecularly distilled because salmon tend to have slightly higher levels of heavy metals and impurities since they are large, long-lived fishes higher up the food chain that most fish used in fish oils.
- Vin

Reply

TONY April 1, 2013 at 3:37 pm

could you explain how omega-3 in triglyceride form enrcihes in molecular distillation process. I heard about omega-3 enrichment through ethylester process.

Reply

Vin Kutty April 3, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Hi Tony – by enriches, I assume you mean concentrate. Molecular distillation is a common method of purification and concentration. All fish oil starts off as triglyceride form. To concentrate it, it must be converted to ethyl ester form. Some oils are sold in the ethyl ester concentrate form and others are converted back to triglyceride form using a process called enzymatic reesterification. Lots more about this here: http://www.omegavia.com/ee-fish-oil-vs-tg-fish-oil/

Reply

franco August 2, 2013 at 3:37 am

hello Vin,
Nordic naturals cod liver oil capsules – they claim to use molecular distillation and also no chemicals. They also provide product in tryglyceride form – using enzymatic reactions??

You also describe the distillation and removal of heavy metals without the use of any solvent. Other sites mention either hexane or ethanol.

Could you clarify that a TG product can be made and also not use either chemical solvent. thank you very much.

Reply

Vin Kutty August 2, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Hi Franco – chemical solvents are not integral to fish oil purification. It is for krill oil, but not necessarily for fish oil. Krill usually uses acetone (nail polish remover) or isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alchohol.) During fish oil purification process, any solvent, even if they are used, is ‘boiled’ off, but with krill, you cannot heat the oil and so some very minor levels of the solvents remain.

So yes, TG oil can be made without solvents.

Reply

Peter October 26, 2013 at 11:36 pm

Hi go to:http://www.rejuvenation-science.com/omega-3_fish_oil-specs.html
here they claim the process of molecular distillation uses very high temperatures.In the molecular distillation process, omega-3 fish oils are repeatedly raised in temperature to 200°C (390 °F) to concentrate the EPA and DHA and remove contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals. When the omega-3 fatty acids are exposed to this heat level, they cook and their molecular structure is altered. Something seems out.

Reply

Vin Kutty October 27, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Hi Peter – molecular distillation is not a cool (room temperature) process. Yes, it requires heat. 200 C? Well, that might be taking some creative liberty to make their point. Are the Omega-3s ‘cooked and altered’ as you/they state? No. They are heated but not destroyed. The link you provided is for a company that sells a product that they claim is not heated. So it makes commercial sense for them to instill a little fear. There are three options for heat-free Omega-3 purification:
1. Extraction with solvents. This, unfortunately, does not work very well for concentration and leaves a lot of solvents behind, like in krill oil.
2. CO2 extraction. This works very well. We are introducing a new product that is made this way. Concentrated at room temperature. See this: http://www.amazon.com/OmegaVia-Pharmaceutical-EPA-Only-Burp-Free-Mini-Gels/dp/B00D37S0HC/
3. HPLC. This works really well too. But it is expensive and technology is not widely available.

In the meantime, molecular distillation is the most cost-effective way to get Omega-3 into your body. If the idea doesn’t suit you, I suggest you eat more cold-water fish – about 3 or 4 times a week. Nothing beats eating the real thing!

Reply

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