Omega-3 Triglycerides vs Ethyl Ethers

Omega-3 Triglycerides vs Ethyl Ethers

Not all fish oil is made the same! While it may not be written on the label, fish oil can come in one of two forms: triglyceride or the altered form of ethyl ester. Triglyceride is essentially Omega-3 in its natural state. Let’s break it down for you.

  • What is the difference between triglycerides and ethyl esters?
  • Our salmon oil is made from triglycerides, which are costlier, but improves the final product for your fur-baby!

What are triglycerides?

 Fish naturally contain the omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) as triglyceride esters. Natural TG fish oils provide a maximum of 300 mg of combined EPA and DHA per 1,000 mg of oil (30% potency). These are the most common fish oils on the market, and some prefer them because of their natural form and close similarity to eating fish.


  • A natural form of dietary lipids
  • Faster hydrolysis by pancreatic lipase
  • Digestion designed to absorb triglyceride form
  • More expensive to produce
  • More molecularly stable

What is Ethyl Ester (EE)?

Since EPA and DHA concentration and ratio can't be altered in natural TG fish oil, the EE fish oil form was created. By removing the glycerol backbone of TG fish oil, in a process called trans-esterification, the result is FFAs (free fatty acids) and a free glycerol molecule. An ethanol molecule is attached to each of the FFAs, creating EE. The resulting EE allows for molecular distillation at lower temperatures, creating EPA and DHA concentration levels greater than naturally found in fish. This form is called "fish oil concentrate."

Ethyl Esters

  • Do not occur naturally in the diet
  • Hydrolysis by pancreatic lipase 10–50 x slower
  • May not mimic the physiologic activity of triglycerides
  • Less expensive to produce
  • Less molecularly stable

Vital Pet Life Salmon Oil

WIld Alaskan Salmon oil for Dogs

Our Salmon oil for dogs is a supplement that consists of wild-caught Alaskan Salmon. The salmon is caught off the coast of Alaska and is processed right here in our facility in the country. Our salmon oil is the perfect supplement for your pet's nutrition. The omega 3 & 6 fatty acids in our salmon oil help your pet's overall health by providing nutrients and vitamins to their body. Salmon oil helps your pet's skin and coat, helps their itching, scratching, and allergies, and helps inflammation.

Fish oil in the triglyceride form offers numerous advantages over ethyl ester fish oil.  First, triglyceride oils are the molecular form found naturally in fish and based on the longest study to date, a triglyceride fish oil is metabolized and absorbed more efficiently than oil in the ethyl ester form which is why our Salmon oil consists of wild-caught salmon. 

Thank you for reading our blog! We hope we have helped you answer any questions that you may have regarding triglycerides vs. ethyl ethers. Here is a related article that you might want to read What Fish Oil Is Good for Dogs? We would love it if you would share some of your stories with us on how our salmon oil has helped your furry friends! @vitapetlife #salmonoil 

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