As many health conscious dog owners know, a cold pressed salmon oil retains more nutrient content than a warm pressed one -- the reason being that too much heat during the extraction process causes a breakdown of these fragile elements, leading to a decline in the quality, effectiveness, and taste of the oil.
Another relatively new but increasingly popular method in the attempt to create a luxury product out of cheap generic fish oil is the idea of “molecularly distilling” the oil. But before we weigh in on it with the science, some of you might be asking: What is molecular distillation?
Molecular distillation is a form of distillation where the oil (most commonly vegetable oil), after extraction, is run through a distiller that has an extremely low vacuum pressure. It is used to purify oils of toxins of particulates related to the extraction process, and can enrich GLA (gamma-Linolenic acid) based vegetable oils.
Unfortunately, though, molecular distillation does not have any affect on DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) which are the fatty acids/oils found in fish.
And, it’s important to note that molecular distillation does not enhance the nutrient content of the oil. It is only a purification method, which may, at the most, remove toxins and unwanted particles from the oil, but there is no magic wand to add additional nutrients to oil that has already had them destroyed by heat during the extraction process.
And, as you might have guessed by now, by starting with a low nutrient bottom feeder fish and extracting the oil under high temperatures, further reducing the nutrient content, there’s not much left that can be done at that point.
Molecularly distilled or not, cold-pressed salmon oil beats warm-pressed generic fish oil every time, hands down.
Cold pressing refers to the temperature at which oil is extracted. All oil extraction methods involves some friction, and thus generate some heat. When an oil is cold-pressed that means that the temperature it reaches during the extraction process is never above 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is good because once essential fatty acids reach too high of a temperature, they begin to break down, degrading the quality of your oil.
The results often speak for themselves -- dogs with difficult skin conditions, rough or brittle fur, arthritis and joint pain, excessive shedding or eye discharge enjoy a substantial improvement in their quality of life when given cold-pressed salmon oil, where generic fish oil had a minimal impact, if any at all.
Another issue that can’t be distilled away is the high quantity of vitamin A present in bottom feeder fish. Dogs are especially sensitive to large doses of vitamin-A, and prolonged exposure of vitamin-A overdose can lead to hypervitaminosis-A in your dog.
Hypervitaminosis A or Vitamin A toxicity can cause patchy fur, lead to blindness, a form of arthritis where the bone grows around the joint, and if unchecked for too long, even cause death. Learn more about the effects of hypervitaminosis A in your dog here.
If you're concerned that your dog may be suffering from Vitamin A toxicity from fish oil you should consult your veterinarian and consider dietary changes in your pup.
These effects are subtle and occur over a long period, and may not even manifest themselves until the dog reaches middle-age, so with generic fish oils you may be overloading your dog with a toxic dose of vitamin-A without even realizing it.
Luckily, salmon is known to have very low quantities of Vitamin A, making salmon oil the safest way to administer vital DHA and EPA fats to them.
And let those generic fish oil companies keep their gimmicks!
You’re better off resting easy, by focusing on giving your dog the best quality, fresh ingredients extracted in the gentlest way.