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Question:
I heard that some types of fish oil are esterified and can dissolve plastic foam (polystyrene or Styrofoam). Is this right and, if so, should I be concerned?

Answer:
It is true that the ethyl ester form of fish oil will dissolve Styrofoam (polystyrene) -- going through the bottom of a cup, for example, in just a few minutes, while the re-esterified triglyceride form will not. This effect (due to differences in the polarities of the forms) is not a health concern, but there are slight differences between the forms in terms of how they are absorbed (up to a 76% difference), which you can learn about in the "Forms of Fish Oil" section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review. You can also find out which form of fish oil is claimed to be in each product by looking at the second column of the test results table of the Review.


Also see these related CL Answers:

Is fish oil safe? Is it contaminated with mercury and PCBs? >>

Is it safe to consume fish oil as a long-term food supplement? >>

Are there any red flags to look for on the label when choosing a fish oil supplement? >>

Is it better for a fish oil (or krill oil) supplement to have more DHA than EPA? >>

Is it true that there is no point in taking fish oil supplements for heart health? >>

Are there any serious side effects with Lovaza or Epanova (prescription fish oil)? If so, would these also apply to generic versions of these drugs and to fish oil supplements? >>

See other recent and popular questions >>
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This CL Answer initially posted on 5/10/2014. Last updated 8/8/2017.
ConsumerLab.com members may submit questions to CLAnswers@ConsumerLab.com. We read all questions and try to answer those of popular interest.

 
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