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Fish Oil: Omega 3 Forms Explained

Fish Oil: Omega 3 Forms Explained

To isolate the precious omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil involves an extraction process which purifies the oil to produce two different forms of omega 3s: the naturally occurring triglyceride (TG) form and the ethyl ester (EE) form.

Triglyceride (TG)

Triglycerides are a combination of fatty acids including EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) attached to a glycerol ‘back bone.’ Glycerol takes up valuable space, so generally TG forms are 20-30% less formidable, but no less effective on an EPA/DHA like for like basis.

Ethyl Esters (EE)

In a process known as molecular distillation, glycerol is replaced with ethanol (a form of alcohol). This action helps to concentrate the EPA and DHA to produced significantly higher levels than those naturally found in fish, the resulting material is known as "fish oil concentrate". Most of the scientific research conducted to date is based on EE fish oil.
All our fish oil capsules contain the ethyl ester (EE) form of omega 3, with the exception of Eyewise® Advance, Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oil 1000mg, which are the TG form.

Find out more

If you found this article on omega 3s helpful, you can find further content on Nutrition Buzz. Alternatively, please get in touch with our team of expert Nutrition Advisors, who will be happy to help with any enquiries.


Our Author - Olivia Salter


Olivia Salter has always been an avid health nut. After graduating from the University of Bristol, she began working for a nutritional consultancy where she discovered her passion for all things wellness-related. There, she executed much of the company’s content marketing strategy and found her niche in health writing, publishing articles in Women’s Health, Mind Body Green, Thrive and Psychologies.

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