TruTGâ„¢ Fish Oils: The Form Nature Intended

submitted by: admin on 07/14/2024

Health Medicne Essentials


TruTG™ Fish Oils: The Form Natur Intended ®



Designs for Health has consistently embraced the Paleolithic nutritional philosophy upon which it was founded. As such, we are excited to announce our TruTG™ branded fsh oil products which are guar- anteed to contain 90 to 100% triglyceride-bound EPA and DHA fats. Both EPA and DHA are found naturally in fsh in this triglyceride form.


Natures Seal of Potency


Only Designs for Health fsh oil products carry the TruTG™ seal your assurance that our fsh oils are delivered in the form found in nature, and are of unmatched TG potency. Fish oil blends and con- centrates bearing the TruTG™ seal are 90 to 100% triglyceride (TG) bound omega-3 fsh oils, which are 50% higher than industry standard for TG fsh oil concentrate products!


Fish Oil Supplementation: Popularity Breeds Questions


Fish oil is considered by many — if not the majority of nutritionally focused health care practitioners

— to be the single most important dietary supplement. In all probability, no other nutritional product

has as much and varied research demonstrating its many health benefts.



Everyones Hooked…but at What Price?


This fact has lead to a signifcant boom in the popularity of fsh oil products, which has resulted in heightened concern over product purity and quality. Frequently, these concerns are centered on a variety of parameters including peroxidation of the oil, contaminants such as heavy metals, or organic pollutants like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).


The CRN Standards: The Reel Story


Most industry experts associate the aforementioned parameters of quality to levels that comply with a fsh oil monograph developed by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), found here http://www.


Unfortunately, some companies take their marketing approach a step farther by claiming that their products not only meet the CRN standards, but are “Pharmaceutical Grade” fsh oils — a term not regulated by the FDA, and one that can be freely used by any branded fsh oil product.


The reality of the fsh oil industry is that there are a few very large suppliers of this commodity prod- uct…and these suppliers are well aware that if their product doesn’t meet the CRN standard, they will be unable to sell it competitively. Therefore, compliance with the commonly accepted CRN standards yields few instances of signifcant differentiation in terms of purity or quality. In truth, any fnished product supplier that has established brand loyalty based on these standards has done so because of successful marketing, not any uniqueness in product development.


Has a True Measure of Purity and Quality Differentiation Been Overlooked?


Absolutely! One of the most important indicators of purity and quality NOT addressed by the CRN monograph is the fsh oils molecular form – Ethyl Esters (EEs) or Triglycerides (TGs).


Triglycerides are the naturally occurring molecular form of fats typically found in most food sources. For instance, the omega-3 fats in all fsh species are almost exclusively present as TGs1. TGs are fats that are comprised of 3 fatty acids (i.e., EPA and DHA) linked to a glycerol. Since free fatty acids are

rapidly oxidized, the glycerol backbone helps stabilize the fat molecules and prevent breakdown and oxidation2.


Ethyl Esters are an alternate form of fats that are synthetically derived by reacting free fatty acids  with ethanol (alcohol)3. During the production of some fsh oils, the fatty acids are cleaved from their natural glycerol backbone and then esterifed (linked) with a molecule of ethanol. This process, called trans-esterifcation, results in a fsh oil product called Ethyl Ester (EE)…also known as Fatty Acid

Ethyl Esters (FAEE)4.



The production of EE fsh oils is required for the concentration of long chain omega-3s. By heating fsh oil EEs under vacuum in a process referred to as molecular distillation or short path evaporation, manufacturers can selectively concentrate the longer chain polyunsaturates, resulting in an oil with

a higher concentration of both EPA and DHA. This EE concentrate end product is typically sold and

marketed as “omega-3 fsh oil concentrate.”



The correct descriptive term for EE fsh oils is “semi-synthetic,” referring to the fact that both ethanol and fatty acids are natural…however, the esterifcation of these 2 substances is not found in natural  food sources of omega-3 fats.


The TruTG™ Difference


The vast majority of fsh oil concentrate products available on the market today are Ethyl Esters.  Not surprisingly, the reason is cost; additional processing of concentrated fsh oils is required to convert EEs back into their natural TG state. This added process removes the ethanol backbone and re-ester- ifes the omega-3 fatty acids to a glycerol backbone.


Interestingly, most of the companies that choose to take this extra step and expense convert just 60

65% of the oil to TG…leaving a mixture of EE, and mono- and diglyceride oil in the remainder. Why?

Again, the reason lies with expense and profts; they do so because a fsh oil product only requires 

60% conversion to be legally termed as TG.



At Designs for Health, we have always placed quality, effcacy and safety above cost. This is precise- ly why we convert to TG the maximum amount possible, between 90% and 100%. TruTG™ defnes this process, resulting in the highest expense, but also resulting in a fnished product with the highest stability, bioavailability, and that closest to what is found in nature.



TruTG™ Benefits


Absorption and Metabolism of TGs vs. EEs


Dietary fsh oil is digested in the small intestine by the emulsifying action of bile salts and the hydrolyt- ic activity of pancreatic lipase1,5. The hydrolysis of a triglyceride (TG) molecule produces 2 free fatty acids (FFA) and a monoglyceride (one fatty acid combined to glycerol)1,5. These metabolic products are then absorbed by intestinal enterocytes and reassembled as TGs1,5. Then, carrier molecules called chylomicrons transport the TGs into the lymphatic channel and fnally into the blood6.


The digestion of EE fsh oils is slightly different due to the lack of a glycerol backbone1. In the small in- testine, the pancreatic lipase hydrolyzes the fatty acids from the ethanol backbone, however, the fatty acid-ethanol bond is up to 50 times more resistant to pancreatic lipase than the TG molecules7,8. The EEs that get hydrolyzed produce free fatty acids plus ethanol. The FFAs are taken up by the entero- cytes and must then be reconverted to TGs to be transported in the blood1.

The TG form of fsh oil contains its own monoglyceride substrate which facilitates absorption…while EE fsh oils coupled to ethanol do not. To compensate, EE must obtain a monoglyceride substrate from anothersource; without a glycerol or monoglyceride substrate, TG re-synthesis is delayed. This phenomenon suggests that transport to the blood is more effcientin natural TG fsh oils than in EEs. Furthermore, the delayed re-synthesis of TG in EE fsh oils could cause an increase in free fatty ac- ids and subsequent oxidation.


Bioavailability of TG vs. EE Fish Oils


Numerous studies have assessed the absorption and bioavailability of EE fsh oils by measuring the amount of EPA and DHA in blood plasma after ingestion of fatty acids as either TGs or EEs. Al- though a few studies have found the absorption rate to be similar between the 2 types of oils, overall evidence suggests that TG fsh oils are better absorbed in comparison to EEs.


One of the causative factors for the poor bioavail- ability of EE fsh oil is a much greater resistance to digestive enzymes. As previously mentioned, during the digestive process, pancreatic lipase

enzymes hydrolyze (cleave) the oils to liberate the fatty acids, and EE fsh oil is much more resistant to this enzymatic process than the natural TG form7.


A recent study assessed the specifcity of 5 lipas- es towards EPA and DHA in TG and EE forms of fsh oil. All of the investigated lipases hydrolyzed EPA and DHA more easily from a TG than from an EE fsh oil substrate. It follows that EPA and DHA hydrolysis would be further compromised in indi- viduals suffering from a digestive disorder, such

as pancreatic insuffciency EE fsh oils should be avoided in such populations, as they would likely cause malabsorption of EPA and DHA.



Research Studies Have Shown The Following:

Natural TG fsh oil results in 50% more plasma

EPA and DHA after absorption in comparison to EE oils9

TG forms of EPA and DHA were shown to be 48% and 36% better absorbed than EE forms10

EPA incorporation into plasma lipids was found to be considerably smaller and took longer when administered as an EE11

Plasma lipid concentrations of EPA and DHA were signifcantly higher with daily portions of salmon in comparison to 3 capsules of EE fsh oil12

In rats, DHA TG supplementation led to higher plasma and erythrocyte DHA content than did DHA EE13 and a higher lymphatic recovery of EPA and DHA14.


In summary, a review of the existing literature

provides evidence which suggests that omega-3 fatty acids in the natural TG form are more effciently digested and signifcantly better incorporated into plasma lipids when compared to the EE form.


EE Fish Oils:  Less Stable. More Susceptible to Oxidization.


Omega-3 fsh oils in the form of EEs are much less stable than those in the natural TG form, making them more prone to oxidation. The oxidation kinetics of DHA as an EE or as a TG were assessed by measuring the concentration of oxygen found in the head space of a reaction vessel with both TG and EE forms15. The EE form of DHA was more reactive, and quickly oxidized, demonstrating that EE fsh oils are far less stable and more readily produce harmful oxidation by-products15. This suggests that  individuals with health conditions associated with excessive oxidative stress should ideally not con- sume the EE form of fsh oil.


Furthermore, the stability of DHA containing oil in phospholipid, triacylglycerol and the EE form has been assessed16. After a 10-week oxidation period, the EE DHA oil decayed 33% more rapidly than other forms16.

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