Omega-3 oils are an important part of the diet, providing anti-inflammatory benefits to the body, along with regulating blood sugar and helping to reduce obesity. Many people do not obtain enough omega-3s in their diet, and may choose to supplement with pills to obtain these benefits. Omega-3s are prone to going bad quickly, so they should be refrigerated to protect their potency. Rancidity not only affects their function, but also produces bad flavor. Before supplementing with omega-3s, check with your doctor, particularly if you are taking prescription blood thinners.
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Keeps Pills Fresh
One of the main reasons to keep omega-3 pills in the fridge is to keep them from going rancid. According to "Omega-3 Advantage" by Fiona Hinton, oxidation occurs when the omega-3s react with oxygen, making them "go off." Exposure to light also increases the chances of rancidity in omega-3 pills. This can also be bad for the body in the same way that spoiled food can cause sickness.
Maintains Health Benefits
Another reason to refrigerate omega-3 supplementss is to maintain their health benefits, which may include protection against heart disease, reduction of obesity, and help easing symptoms of diabetes, according to Andrew L Stoll, M.D. in his book, "Omega-3 Connection." When omega-3s are stored outside the refrigerator, heat diminishes the qualities in the oil that promote these benefits.
Maintain Quality Taste
Keeping omega-3 pills in the fridge helps to maintain the taste of the product. When omega-3s go rancid, they taste bad and aren't enjoyable to consume. Certain omega-3s, such as fish oil, can produce an aftertaste that worsens when the product is rancid. Hinton advises buying small, dark containers to protect omega-3 products, even when refrigerated, to maintain flavor.