There is a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to enteric coated fish oil capsules. Some manufacturers claim it to be the ideal way of delivering fish oil to your body, and some say a soft gel format is better. What’s the truth?
The logic behind Enteric coating
First off, let’s get it straight what this coating actually is. This is a covering that can resist the acids in your stomach and doesn’t get dissolved while in there. Instead, the coating gets dissolved in the small intestine which has an alkaline environment. Now let’s find out why this is used.
Broadly speaking, there are three reasons for delivering a supplement in an enteric coating –
One – Protecting the stomach
Some ingredients in a supplement may irritate the stomach and cause problems like indigestion. So it’s best in these cases to release the nutrients of the supplement in the intestine, to avoid any problems.
Two – Protecting the supplement
It may happen that a supplement contains ingredients that get damaged by the acidic environment of the stomach. Resveratrol and enzymes usually fall in this category. If these nutrients are released in the stomach, they wouldn’t cause any problem but their efficacy would be greatly reduced.
Three – To hide the rancid nature of the supplement
This is especially applicable in case of an enteric coated fish oil. You may already be aware that some fish oil capsules cause a reflux and a fishy aftertaste in the mouth. This is because the capsules contain rancid and oxidized oil. Not only does this oil cause a reflux, but its nutritional value is also lowered because of it being oxidized. So you’re really not getting your money’s worth with such a sub-par oil.
A simple way to hide this is to package the oil in an enteric coating. The oil will then be released in your intestine, wouldn’t cause any reflux and you’ll never know that it was rancid and low quality.
Soft gel capsules are where it’s at
Fact is – fish oil doesn’t contain any ingredients that can’t be released in your stomach. In fact, it’s best that the DHA and EPA fatty acids in the oil be released there so that they can be absorbed to the highest possible degree. This would greatly increase the benefits you are able to get out of your supplement.
So there’s really no need to choose an enteric coated fish oil when there are plenty of quality fish oils that come in an effective soft gel format. Just make sure you choose one with a thoroughly purified oil and high levels of omega 3.