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enteric coating

Why Enteric Coating on Fish Oil Pills Fail

written by Vin Kutty

comments 44 comments

They usually don’t fail. But when they do…

You’re popping too many antacids.
You’re taking heartburn meds.

OK, a little more detail…

Good news: there’s usually nothing wrong with the fish oil pill
Bad news: it’s usually because of what you ate

I know, not what you wanted to hear.

enteric coated fish oil supplement

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that things aren’t quite that simple.

To get to the bottom of it, let’s quickly take a look at what enteric coating is.

What is Enteric Coated Fish Oil?

Enteric coating is a sprayed-on layer on the outside of the fish oil pill’s gelatin shell. It’s sprayed onto the capsules in a drum sprayer.

Think cement mixer. Except, there is a nozzle that sprays the enteric coating material onto thousands of shiny fish oil pills. When all is said and done, the clear pill becomes frosty or translucent.

There are a few types of enteric coating materials used to coat fish oil pills. The most popular enteric coating material is methacrylic acid copolymer. It’s been used for decades and works very well. But as you probably guessed, it’s synthetic. And people don’t like putting methacrylic-anything in their bodies.

So we use a plant-based cellulose coating derived from algae to coat OmegaVia. Works pretty well. But it’s a little tricker and a lot more expensive – that’s OK, we don’t mind.

The purpose of enteric coating:

  1. Prevent fishy burping and repeating. This is the #1 complaint people have about fish oil and the #1 reason why people stop taking Omega-3 supplements.
  2. Reduce potential damage to Omega-3 by stomach acids.

How Enteric Coating Works

The material used to enteric coat fish oil supplements is acid-resistant. In plain English, that means the capsule will not dissolve in an acid environment. Like your stomach.

Stomach acid is much more powerful than lime juice. The acid helps with digestion and with disinfecting food.

A regular fish oil pill that is NOT enteric coated will dissolve in the stomach in about 15 to 20 minutes. Once the pill dissolves, the oil can rise to the surface and possibly cause burping.

Since enteric coating will not dissolve in acidic environments, it stays put. It will not dissolve in the stomach. If it doesn’t dissolve, you cannot burp up oil or possibly damage the Omega-3.

Enteric coated pills will simply move along untouched past the stomach to the small intestine.

The duodenum or small intestine is not acidic. It is neutral. Stomach acids are neutralized at the entrance of the small intestines.

In the ‘safe’ environment of the small intestines, the enteric coating quickly dissolves. Within minutes.

At this point, the oil is too far down the gullet for you to burp it up.

Neat trick!

We test it too.

How Enteric Coating is Tested

The new lot of OmegaVia being manufactured and bottled just got tested. In two steps.

Step 1: We put the pills in ‘Gastric fluid,’ a solution that imitates the acidity of the stomach. We then stir it for 2 hours. It should not dissolve. And it doesn’t.

Step 2: We take those pills and put them in a solution charmingly called ‘intestinal fluid.’ Not unlike the goo that splatters at the end of space alien movies. This fluid mimics the environment in the small intestines or duodenum. The pills always fall apart in this space-alien-goo within minutes.

This is proof that the enteric coating works.

Weasel Alert!

Sometimes, enteric coating is used to cover up old, rancid fish oil. Yes – gasp! – there are weasels out there.

That’s not why we enteric coat our fish oil. It’s just our formula. We enteric coat. Always. Even if the oil smells fresh like a spring meadow!

Three Reasons Why Enteric Coatings Fail

  1. Lousy paint job. Like your walls or your car, enteric coating is spray-painted onto the capsules. It’s a science and an art. Sometimes, there can be a chip or a crack in the enteric coating. This makes the coating useless. Fortunately, this does not happen 99.9% of the time.
    End result: burping.
  2. Antacids. Think TUMS, Mylanta, Maalox, or Alka-Seltzer. Products like these may provide relief. But it also makes the stomach more like the small intestines. So what happens when you take enteric coated fish oil with TUMS? The enteric coating ‘thinks’ it has reached your small intestines and it dissolves. But it’s not! It’s still in the stomach.
    End result: burping.
  3. Heartburn medications. There is a class of drugs called Proton Pump Inhibitors (keeping with the space alien theme today.) Think Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium. These drugs reduce acid production in the stomach. They may temporarily make life more bearable. But like TUMS, it makes your stomach less acidic.
    End result: enteric coating dissolves too soon and you may burp up fish oil.

There are other reasons why your stomach may lose its natural acidity:

  • Infection – H. pylori infections are common and can reduce stomach acidity.
  • Stress
  • Vegan diet
  • Inappropriate (Standard American Diet) diet

Addressing infections are beyond the scope of this blog but if you’re a stressed out vegan, well, you know what to do.

What are your options?

If you take antacids… you can change your fish oil dosage time to a few hours before or after taking the antacid. This should return the stomach acidity to a more natural state. So you may avoid burping.

If you take heartburn meds…unlike Antacids, some heartburn pills can keep working for 24 hours. Then most people hurry up and take the next dose. So there is never a time when your stomach is as acidic as it should be. So if you take Prilosec every day, enteric coating may not work as intended.

Not everyone taking Prilosec will burp up fish oil. Most don’t. This is just an explanation why a simple and safe technology sometimes stops working. It’s not the end of the world. Your Omega-3s will still get absorbed.

A (much rarer) slightly more awkward problem

Some people, well, pass enteric coated fish oils right through their digestive system.

Yup, out the other end.

Why does this happen? More like, how the heck could that happen?!

Simple. It’s the reverse of antacids and heartburn meds. Your intestines are too acidic.

How might that happen? Too much apple cider vinegar.

Vinegar is acidic. And if excess apple cider vinegar is consumed, it may overwhelm the small intestine’s ability to neutralize the flood of acid.
End result: pill leaves your body without dissolving.

A hormone called Secretin controls the acidity in the duodenum. In some people, secretin production may be limited.

If something is amiss with your secretin secretion, then, well, cutting out apple cider vinegar may not be enough. Time to make an appointment with your gastroenterologist and/or your endocrinologist.

A bigger issue: if your entire digestive system is so acidic that enteric coated pills are passing right through, your colonies of probiotic bacteria (and you, their host) may be in serious trouble. Probiotic bacteria in your gut are associated with everything from immune response to your mood.

So these are the technical reasons why enteric coating may fail. Most people do fine with non-enteric coated pills.

If you have a good quality product, whether you have this coating may not matter that much.


*Individual results may vary. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


Join the conversation

  1. Thanks. Very informative. Always wondered why there was a fishy repeat once in a while. Now I know it was b/c of a flaw in the coating on one of the pills.

    • Hi Pat – yeah, the natural plant-based enteric coating on OmegaVia is more prone to occasionally chipping or cracking than the synthetic enteric coating that’s available. So yeah, it is rare but happens.
      – Vin

  2. Great and to the point written articles. Thank you

    Curious Question: If the enteric coating protects against the acids in the belly how come they dissolve in the intestines?

    Myth?: I once read a study claiming the best way to consume Omega was in liquid form, as the utilization begins already in the mouth and immediate utilization would also help secure against the possibility of rancidity. If this is a myth, then it makes sense to make sure the omega reaches the small intestines before it starts to yield. But if it is not a myth (under perfect circumstances) which is then the best way to consume? I assume each method (raw, liquid, gel or enteric) has its own prose and cons!?

    • Hi Jon – this is because of the difference in the acidity between the stomach and intestines. Stomach is extremely acidic. Intestines are neutral. The enteric coating on our fish oil does not dissolve in acidic environment, but it will dissolve in a neutral environment. This is how we control where and when the capsule dissolves and releases the Omega-3.

      Actually, the best way to consume Omega-3 is by eating the fish itself. There is not much difference between supplement forms. Omega-3 is digested and absorbed both in the stomach and the intestines.
      – Vin Kutty

  3. I realize others will have their own way of dissolving fish oil capsules, but I take mine with a large cup of coffee in the morning followed by a couple of crackers or cookies. The oil release works almost immediately. Keeps me regular every morning.

  4. You mentioned about apple cider vinegar. I drink it on the morning and eat omegavia fish oil after breakfast (which is an hour after the apple cider). Would it be okay?

    Would you also be able to tell us what is the best eggs to choose so that we can eat eggs every morning as a fatty breakfast for the fish oil?

    • Hi Thelly – some people who large amounts of apple cider vinegar over-acidify their gut. This prevents the enteric coating on OmegaVia from dissolving. Like I mentioned in the blog above, the body has a mechanism for de-acidifying stomach acids at the junction of the stomach and the small intestine. In some people, this does process does not work properly or they are overwhelming the body’s capacity to deacidify. So I regularly get complaints from those who drink apple cider vinegar about the pills passing thru completely undigested. Stopping the vinegar consumption will solve this problem. But I promise you that passing the pills undigested (most dont’t look!) is the least of your problems! Changing the gut chemistry will make it difficult for the healthy probiotic bacteria to flourish and you will get the wrong kind of bacteria thriving in your gut. This is a bad, bad idea for so many reasons. A healthy gut colony of bacteria affects virtually every part of your health. I am not saying all of the above is happening to you, I am just explaining the worst case scenario of over-consumption of vinegar. Please talk to your doctor if you are having issues.

      Regarding eggs, if you can find ones from a farmer who raises the chicken outdoors where they can forage natural foods, that would be the best kind. If not, look for soy-free Omega-3 boosted eggs. Note that free-range is a meaningless marketing term.

  5. Dear Vin, I just read your article ” Why enteric coating on fish oil pills fail” My problem is that sometimes I notice after a B.M. the skin or shell of the capsul is still intact, but the fluid is gone? Is this common or normal? Thanks for your advice, Greg

    • Hi Greg – this is not common. This means that your digestive tract is too acidic. That is the ONLY reason why an enteric coated pill shell would be seen intact in stool. The enteric coating is ph-sensitive (dissolves when it leaves the high-acid environment of the stomach to the neutral environment of the intestines.) But if your intestines are more acidic than it is supposed to be, for whatever reason, the enteric coated capsule will not dissolve. In you case, it sounds like it just barely breaks apart as it exits your body. So some of the oil is probably being absorbed. Technically, the enteric coating will dissolve in about 10-15 minutes after reaching the intestines. You can test this yourself by putting a pill in a glass of tap water and swishing it about. My suggestion is to go with a non-enteric coated fish oil. However, this will still leave unaddressed the issue of WHY your digestive tract acidity is off. Most regular doctors will dismiss this. That’d be a mistake. If i were you, I’d at least talk to an integrative or functional MD. I would also quit eating or drinking tart, acidic stuff – citrus juice or apple cider vinegar etc., in case you’re doing that.

  6. hi there – whenever i take an enteric coated pill, it dissolves in my stomach within a half an hour or so. i do not take any acid blockers or heartburn medications, but i do seem to have trouble digesting food. does this mean my stomach acid is really low?? i’ll have to research how to remedy that..

    • Hi Silvey – the enteric coatings on fish oil supplements are made to dissolve when the acidity around it is low. Stomach is supposed to be a very acidic environment. So if you’re not taking antacids or acid-blockers and enteric pills are dissolving, that means your stomach is not producing enough acid naturally. This is not a situation you should ignore. Talk to an integrative or functional medicine doctor.

  7. Thank you so much for this information! I was seeking to learn whether or not fish oil supplements needed to be enteric coated. Everything makes sense now. I was also wondering when would be the best meal to take the fish oil capsules. Since I take 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar in the morning, I think I will take the fish oil at the evening meal. I would like to ask you “how much apple cider vinegar is too much” but I know what the answer will be. Fortunately I don’t mind checking the contents of the toilet….I’m a mom x 5….comes with the territory sometimes! Thank you again!

    • Hi Beth – yes, if you take vinegar in the morning, then I would suggest you avoid taking enteric coated fish oil pills at the same time. Taking fish oil with a large meal with some fat in it will help increase absorption as well – may be dinner?

      I know a lot of people take apple cider vinegar for several reasons. It became a folk remedy for a reason. But I am a skeptic.

      Mom x 5 huh? Surprised you’re not reaching for the wine instead of the vinegar! 🙂

  8. My husband was admitted to the hospital, thinking he had a gall bladder problem. He had suffered for over 3 weeks. In the E.R. they said it was a heart attack. He had 2 bowel movements before surgery (Open Heart, Triple By-pass with an anorism that caused multiple strokes!) Each bowel movement had in excess of 20 fish oil capsules! They never dissolved! The 2nd bowel movement…the same thing! If we had waited any longer to go to E.R. he wouldn’t have lived! He was bloted, loss of appetite, some stomach pain, gas – tums & mylanta helped a little at 1st. HOW could we have thought it was gall bladder….the symptoms he had! WOW!

    • Hi Donna – wow! That’s very disturbing and I’m sorry to hear this. I can only imagine all the emotions that went through your minds.

      All fish oil pills – enteric coated and regular – are put through a test called DT Test. It stands for dissolution time. Non-enteric coated pills will dissolve in water in less than half hour or so. There are official standards for this. Enteric coating has standards too. As I describe in the article, enteric coating works based on the ph (acidity) of the stomach and intestines. If the stomach is normal acidity, enteric coated pills will not dissolve. If you take a few tums or mylanta with enteric coated pills, the enteric coating will dissolve within minutes, like it was never enteric coated. This is because antacids and heartburn meds reduce the acidity and that makes enteric coatings dissolve. On the flip side, if your intestine (which is normally neutral and not acidic) becomes acidic for any reason – diet, citric acid, vinegar, apple cider vinegar, excess acid production, imbalance in secretin production etc., then enteric coated pills may pass undissolved. This condition needs to be diagnosed and treated by a doctor. But all this only gives you an idea of why the pills pass undissolved. But it does not address why the pills do not pass at all. While the doctors figure all this out, may I suggest liquid fish oil?

  9. Hello Vin,

    Bless you and your company for creating enteric coated fish oil pills.

    I have been in remission from severe IBS for 3 months, that is not being able to eat ANY raw vegetable or fruit for over two years. I tried vinegar and alkali products thinking my ph balance was off. When I started taking probiotic (30 billion, 4 x daily) MIRACULOUSLY within a week my system began healing itself. I am enjoying cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower which were big no-nos for those with IBS. Having said that I would like to try fish oil again with the hope that repopulating my gut flora and using enteric capsule will prevent STOMACH pain as in the past.

    Would you recommend taking it sauerkraut (full of probiotics) as a food source to help digestion?

    Thank you and bless you!


    • Thank you, Louise. It is always a good idea to eat sauerkraut and many other fermented foods. Some of the bacteria in fermented foods may help, but fermented foods have a lot of nutrients that the body needs as well. I suggest making it a priority to learn as much as you can about gut health, probiotics, dysbiosis, leaky gut, etc and giving it all you’ve got. Work with a functional or integrative medicine doctor to help you heal.

  10. Hi Vin,

    I have been taking an enteric coated fish oil capsules in the morning with my usual 2 cups of black coffee, half a toast with some blueberries. Sometimes with 2-3 oz of carrot juice. Recently to my horror, I have noticed the capsule floating in my morning evacuation. I do not take any acidic drinks or foods, and my BM’s are otherwise normal. What happened? Could the enteric coating be too thick or chemically unable to dissolve even under normal conditions?
    Thank you for your attention.

    • Hi Winston – as the article above suggests, there are only a couple of ways by which enteric coatings fail: 1) improper stomach acidity. If the pH of your intestines is too low the enteric coating will not dissolve, and 2) if your gut motility is too high (going thru your system too quickly), this can happen as well. My suggestions for you are to either take the fish oil supplements with a meal (rather than your breakfast) and/or take a non-enteric coated fish oil supplement. And just to be safe, talk to a doctor about the situation. And no, the enteric coating is not too thick or chemically unstable – that technology is simple and proven. If you want, you can put the capsule in tap water (only if the tap water is alkaline) and stir occasionally for 30 minutes. If the water is alkaline and the enteric coating is put on correctly, it will dissolve. There is a brand of bottled water called Essentia that is said to be highly alkaline, which you could use in this experiment.

  11. I found this web site after waking with an upset (undigested) tummy and threw up an undigested fish oil pill!! I took it yesterday mid-morning with a large 10oz glass of low sodium v8, 2 eggs- my
    Normal AM routine with fish oil, krill oil, milk thistle, and 500mg metformin- age 50. I note that if I eat rich foods or too much red wine, my tummy has indigestion issues in the AM, but a whole pill not digested 18 hours? Wondering why it did not pass? I skipped supper-should I eat more? Drink more water? I had a very long stressful day- would that keep food from digesting? Thx

    • Hi Pamela – this could be an indication of other digestive issues. Most solid foods pass from stomach into the intestines in about 3 hours, possibly 4 at the most. Once the food is beyond the stomach, it is hard to vomit it. So why was solid foods still in your stomach? You need to work with a gastroenterologist. Make it soon.

  12. Hi, I recently heard a commercial for No Diet liquid protein…you’re supposed to take it before you go to bed, as protein in your body hunts fat in the first 45 minutes of sleep. You’re also supposed to take it on an empty stomach (at least three hours after a meal). Can I take the fish oil gel caps instead? The No Diet liquid protein has tilapia in it; surely the fish oil gel caps would have a better, stronger source of protein, wouldn’t they?


  13. Can I expand the conversation a bit to include herbal supplements? Given the acidity of the stomach and the pH neutral nature of the intestine, why aren’t herbal capsules enteric coated, since the intestine is where the absorption takes place?

    I learned a lot from the blog and Q&A above. Please keep up the good and informative work.



    • Hi John – there is no known harm done to herbs when in the stomach. There is no need to protect them from acid like you do probiotics and there is no need to prevent burps like you do with fish oil.

  14. Vin:

    I have some concerns about enteric-coating of fish oil (omega 3’s) softgels. I read in NutriGold’s blog an article called “To Coat or Not to Coat: The Case Against Enteric-Coating of Fish Oil Softgels” . It stated the unnecessity of enteric-coating omega 3 softgels since about 10 per cent of omega 3 digestion (emulsification) begins in the stomach which enteric-coating prevents. They claim that enteric-coating eliminates this important step in the stomach before it gets to the small intestine. The process actually seems to begins in the mouth with lingual lipase. They claim enteric coating is unfounded and interfers with proper digestion of omega 3 because important emulsification in the stomach is eliminated by enteric coating of omega 3 oil products.

    I have ordered OmegaVia EPA 500 since it is only EPA and best for trigliceride & LDL reduction and all the advantages of EPA anti-inflammatory properties for my heart since I am a cardiac patient.

    Please give me an explanation and if appropriate a correction to NutriGold’s blog claim supposively supported they claim in PubMed which I did view, but have questions about.

    Again, I want to use OmegaVia EPA 500 because it is the most quality cardiac friendly product I have been able to find for my cardiac condition to reduce cardiac inflammation and triglyceride reduction with some LDL-C reduction.

    Take care.

    • Hi David – I have not seen or read any convincing evidence that suggests that enteric coating reduces Omega-3 absorption using good science. No one has compared, side-by-side, the same formula, one with and one without enteric coating.

      About ten years ago, there was some indication that enteric coating may INCREASE absorption. Further investigation revealed that was not the case. So, if anyone suggests that enteric coating increases absorption, that data is obsolete and needs to be revised. I have changed my position. I now hold that it does not affect absorption one way or another. The last paragraph of the blog you cite says the exact same thing. The true benefit of enteric coating is that it reduces fishy burping, the #1 reason why people stop taking Omega-3, even though they may desperately need the nutrient.

      Omega-3 is a scarce and dear nutrient to the body. The body is built to absorb every last drop of it to for its own survival. While the stomach is capable of initiating digestion, the intestine is where virtually all digestion and absorption takes place. Unless you read something in a top tier, peer-reviewed journal, everything you read, especially on the internet, should be considered suspect or self-serving. Yes, including what I say. People do not have the time, resources, and knowledge to comb through PubMed articles for truth.

      As for LDL, none of the Omega-3s SIGNIFICANTLY reduce LDL. LDL reductions come from increased activity, reduced sugar/starch consumption, correction of metabolic disorders, thyroid imbalance, and possibly even gut microbiome dysbiosis. However, Omega-3s will have a significant impact on triglycerides. LDL reduction really needs to be achieved with the help of a dietitian and a licensed integrative medicine MD.

  15. Hi, I’m wondering if you could help. I had been taking Fish Oil for a few years with no issues (Nordic Natural Ultimate Omega and Carlson Elite Omega). This year in February I had a miscarriage and had some strange issues following. One of them is not being able to handle the Fish Oil any longer. What happens to me when I try taking the capsules is I get very bloated, and then I start to get backed up/constipated after a couple days. I don’t understand why this is happening. I keep them in the freezer. Especially since I have chronic dry eye, I really need the Fish Oil to help this. Do you think trying an Enteric Coated fish oil supplement would help? I don’t know if I have an overly acidic stomach or not. Any information is appreciated, thanks!

    • Hi Chris – so sorry to hear about the miscarriage. You may want to try taking Omega-3 with lipase enzymes to help you digest it. Omega-3 are not supposed to make you bloated if you have proper digestive enzymes. And certainly, it is not supposed to make you constipated. Talk to an Integrative Medicine MD about tackling these issues. Dry eyes relief provided by Omega-3 suggests that you have lots of inflammation from poor diet and possibly poor gut health. Again, you need to address the root cause of these issues – your Integrative Medicine MD can help. Regular mainstream medicine MDs may not be set up to find out root cause and treat that.

      Lack of enteric coating is not the problem. There are bigger issues with digestion and inflammation that you need to get to the bottom of. Dry eyes are a symptom of poor diet and inflammation, possibly from too much Omega-6 fats, sugar, refined flour, lack of fiber, poor gut microbiome, etc.

      • Lipase enzymes also slow things down too. I just took a Super Enzyme on Tuesday to try eating some actual Salmon, and sure enough slowed things down. It’s very strange, a lot of things that are supposed to be helpful for you I have had to cut out this year in addition to the Fish Oil. Like Ginger tea, slows things down. Holy Basil tea will start irritating and burning my eye within minutes. I had to stop taking Glutamine supplements too ( I work out a lot, lift weights, cardio HIIT, etc), as it seem to make me bloated. Topical magnesium oil that I would use at night to help sleep would cause a reaction to my eye also, as well as bloating I believe. My diet is pretty good, at least 80 % is from whole foods. I’m not sure I have that much inflammation since a recent blood test showed Sedimentation Rate-Westergren at a 2, and I believe that is supposed to measure inflammation the doctor said. My dry eyes have improved, but still not great. And not back to my pre pregnancy state. Something that had occurred a couple times last year, and then at least 3 times this year, is that I was having digestive problems (things slowing down), and then I would wind up going to my OB actually (thinking something gynecological was going on). I would test positive for yeast. I was always surprised because I wasn’t having any crazy vaginal symptoms (itching, etc). Then they would prescribe Diflucan, and everything would get better! I would start having full normal healthy looking bowel movements again, plus other things cleared up (better sleep, itchy scalp gone, low mood, pimply looking rash on cheeks better). And then I’m feeling good for awhile, and then it comes back. I did Diflucan about 3 times this year, the last time was August 3rd. And here I am again with the same thing. So, this whole thing is making me think I have some kind of intestinal Candida, but I’m not sure. I am afraid to take the Diflucan again because I’m starting to wonder if it is making something worse. I’ll probably make an appointment with a Gastro doc soon if it doesn’t get better, but I suspect they won’t be able to help me. I have the name of an Integrative doctor near me, maybe I’ll try him. Don’t know why I would have yeast anyway, I take a good probiotic twice a day by Kirkman. I started Paul D Arco supplement last week but I was afraid to make something worse, so I stopped. Sigh. I just want to feel better again .

        • Hi Christina – I can imagine your struggle. I think your finding a local Integrative MD is the best advice I have. He will have to go down a checklist and play Sherlock Holmes a little. It will involve a lot of testing. And of course, you may need to work with a dietitian to eliminate and/or add foods.

  16. I desire to try again the apple cider vinegar to help blood pressure, as the medicines tried cause too bad a problem. The raw product, just like orange juice, within three days burns stomach too bad. Will a enteric coating, if one made, of ACV still do it’s work?

    • Hi Deb – I am not convinced that Apple Cider Vinegar can significantly lower blood pressure (but a diet low in sugar/flour and high in vegetables along with daily vigorous exercise can), so enteric coating it may not change much.

  17. If the fish oil is released, coating the intestines, when you take enteric capsules, water-soluble vitamins will NOT be able to reach the intestinal epithelium.

    Coating the intestines with oil is STUPID. Mammals have gallbladders for a reason.

    • Sean – enteric coating is referring to the outside of the capsule. Not the inside of the intestines. The purpose of enteric coating is to prevent or reduce fishy burping that many fish oil supplement users complain about.

      The intestines (both small and large) has a extremely high surface area.

      If the surface area of a human gut is spread out flat, it takes up as much room as a tennis or basketball court. You cannot cover the surface of the intestines with the contents of one Omega-3 capsule. If you could, that would be like painting an entire basketball court with half an ounce of paint.

      Omega-3 is, fortunately, not like paint. It does not coat the epithelial layer to the exclusion of all other nutrients. To date, there is no evidence that if you consume water soluble vitamins in the presence of fat, that there is any reduction in the absorption of water soluble vitamins.

      Our bodies are meant to survive frequent starvation and is capable of efficiently extracting even minor amount of nutrients from foods.

    • Hi David – this suggests that the enteric capsules are not dissolving as designed in your gut. The ONLY way this could happen is if there is a pH imbalance in the gut. If that is the case, there could be a medical reason that requires your doctor’s attention. Regardless, until you resolve the root cause (pH imbalance), the best and easiest solution is to switch to a non-enteric coated fish oil. I suggest you Google ‘IFOS Consumer Report’ and find another brand of high quality Omega-3 that’s been tested and certified 5-star by IFOS.

  18. I’m confused. Perhaps I’m misinterpreting something here, are you saying that it’s a good thing when they don’t actually dissolve? I thought they’re supposed to dissolve. I’ve tested my omega 3 capsuals by putting them in a vinegar substance and they don’t dissolve (unlike all other capsuals I’ve tested). They feel like they’re made out of strong rubber or silicone. Now I’m worried that they’ll end up stuck in my stomach.

    • Hi Ian – enteric coating is not meant to permanently prevent dissolution. It is merely meant to delay dissolution so that the pills don’t dissolve in the stomach. It’s perfectly fine if the enteric coated fish oil pills do not dissolve in the stomach. This is because virtually all of the Omega-3 absorption happens after the pills have moved past the stomach into the intestines. As long as the capsules dissolve in the intestines, we’re fine…and that is what enteric coating does.

      Vinegar is similar in acidity to the stomach, so it’s a fair comparison. A good enteric coated pill should not dissolve in an acidic vinegar solution. But if you take it out, rinse and soak in regular, non-acidic tap water, it should dissolve. There is no risk of it getting stuck in the stomach.

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