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The Best Ways to Store Fish Oil

author image Julie Hampton
Julie Hampton has worked as a professional freelance writer since 1999 for various newspapers and websites including "The Florida Sun" and "Pensacola News Journal." She served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic and nurse for over six years and recently worked as the Community Relations Director for a health center. Hampton studied journalism and communications at the University of West Florida.
The Best Ways to Store Fish Oil
Keep fish oil from spoiling by storing it in a cool, dark place. Photo Credit PeoGeo/iStock/Getty Images

Leaving your fish oil supplement sitting on your kitchen counter may not be the best storage option for the supplement. The popular supplement requires special care to avoid spoilage. Light, heat and temperature all affect the supplement. The supplement is a common alternative for those who do not consume enough fish in their diet alone. As with any herb or nutritional supplement, speak with your medical doctor before adding fish oil to your health care routine.

Refrigerate or Freeze

Keep your fish oil capsules in your refrigerator to increase the supplement’s shelf life. High temperatures and humid conditions often harm fish oil. Some people may even want to freeze capsules to decrease the side effect of fishy burps and belching, advises MayoClinic.com. By freezing the capsules, you are creating a time-release effect. The fish oil is slowly released into your body instead of all at once. Read your fish oil’s label to ensure it can be frozen.

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Sun and Oxygen

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, it is critical to store fish oil away from sunlight and oxygen. Fish oil is a sensitive substance that quickly turns rancid with overexposure to these elements. Mercola suggests saving the supplement in an airtight container. Choose containers that protect against ultraviolet light to decrease damage caused by sunlight.

Signs of Spoilage

The most common sign of fish oil spoilage is a rancid odor. Do not take fish oil if there is a strong odor coming from the bottle. Discoloration of the gel capsules is an additional sign that your fish oil may have spoiled.

Additional Tips

Purchase fish oil supplements in small amounts, ideally only what you can consume in one month. Label your fish oil supplement with the date you opened the bottle. Nearing the one-month date, check your fish oil for any signs of spoilage on a regular basis. Always take fish oil supplements with food or a heavy snack to increase absorption of fatty acids.

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