The secret of fish oil capsules

What do we really know about fish oil?

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Warn­ing! Only un­der adult su­per­vi­sion.


  • fish oil cap­sules from dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­tur­ers;
  • sty­ro­foam.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Pierce two fish oil cap­sules from dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­tur­ers and pour their con­tents onto a piece of sty­ro­foam. One of the cap­sules de­stroys the sty­ro­foam, while the oth­er leaves it in­tact!

Process de­scrip­tion

Fish oil cap­sules con­tain com­pounds of do­cosa­hex­aenoic (DHA) and eicos­apen­taenoic (EPA) acids (so-called omega-3 acids) with glyc­erin or ethyl al­co­hol. These acids are be­lieved to have many ben­e­fi­cial prop­er­ties, such as fight­ing in­flam­ma­tion. How­ev­er, these acids can­not be syn­the­sized by the hu­man body and there­fore are ir­re­place­able. Un­for­tu­nate­ly, as they are me­tab­o­lized, so-called re­ac­tive oxy­gen species (ROS) are formed in large quan­ti­ties, which harm your cells. Omega-3 acids are most ben­e­fi­cial when ob­tained from wild fish meat. When you con­sume wild fish, you re­ceive a pow­er­ful an­tiox­i­dant, as­tax­an­thin, in ad­di­tion to the omega-3 acids. As­tax­an­thin sig­nif­i­cant­ly re­duces the lev­el of ROS in the body, con­tribut­ing to the nor­mal ab­sorp­tion of omega-3 acids, but it isn’t con­tained in sup­ple­ments.

Triglyc­eride mol­e­cules are large and there­fore hard­ly in­ter­act with the sty­ro­foam. But the mol­e­cules of ethyl es­ters are much small­er and can make a hole in the sty­ro­foam in just a few min­utes. Be­cause of this, many be­lieve that they can harm the hu­man body, but this is not the case: both types of fat are ab­sorbed in al­most the same way.

Play with atoms and mol­e­cules with the MEL Sci­ence sub­scrip­tion!