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Do EFA Oils Need to be Refrigerated?

Question: What is the preferred manner in which to store EFAs, whether fish, flax or other kinds of oils? Refrigeration seems like it would best preserve the oils; is that true?

If the essential fatty acids (EFAs) are delivered in a pourable liquid like flax or salmon oil, it is best to refrigerate the product immediately after opening. Prior to breaking the seal on the bottle, however, it isn't as crucial, because the product is flushed with nitrogen before sealing, and it is airtight. Oxygen is the element that meets up with heat and light to oxidize the oil, turning it rancid, and once the seal is broken, oxygen quickly enters the bottle. If the EFAs are delivered in softgels, refrigeration is not necessary since the softgel capsules are airtight. In fact, refrigeration is actually discouraged because the cold temperature can crack the glycerin and gelatin outer shell, causing the contents to leak.



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