What is Omega-3 and what is it good for?
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid (EFA), also known as a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA). It is derived from both animal and plant sources, although Omega-3 from fish oil is the most common supplemental form. Fatty acids form the main useful fraction of fats and oils and are necessary for overall health. Because your body cannot manufacture essential fatty acids, you must get them from food or supplemental sources.
Plant sources such as Flax Oil contain the parent Omega-3 fatty acid called Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). The human body normally converts ALA to the longer chain fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are used for prostaglandin formation and other cellular needs. Fish Oil contains the desired Omega-3 fatty acids in their more useful EPA and DHA forms. ALA requires enzymatic conversion to generate EPA and DHA.
What does: "Free of potentially harmful levels of mercury, heavy metal, PCBs, dioxins and other potentially harmful contaminants " mean?
All fish contain contaminants due to either man-made pollution or natural impurities in seas and fresh water. As with all our natural products, we take care to ensure that they are tested for contaminants as necessary. All our fish oils have been evaluated for a variety of contaminants. Heavy metals and mercury are checked using a sophisticated instrument called ICP-MS. We have this instrument in-house and do these tests on a regular basis. Our standards are set to the AHPA standards, which are tighter than most other scientific based standards. We have a long historical record of PCB and dioxin testing for our fish oils. The most recognized world standard is the European Commission standard, which has been adopted by the US Pharmacopeia. This standard for PCBs, dioxins and other similar contaminants takes into account the toxicity of the different PCBs and dioxins. This standard is a true safety standard and we follow this guideline. You can learn more about PCBs in this article, PCBs, Fish and Fish Oil, by Rick Sharpee, Ph.D. We also test our fish oils for other contaminants such as bacteria and pathogens. Our fish oils are generally safer than eating fish because of the additional purification steps that take place. These steps may include absorbent technologies and molecular distillation, depending on the type of fish oil.
Is your New Omega-3 Fish Oil softgel pharmaceutical grade?
There is a lot of confusion caused by supplement distributors who claim to have a pharmaceutical grade Omega 3 Fish Oil. There is no such thing in the United States, as the official USP (United States Pharmacopeia) monograph that defines the testing specifications necessary to qualify Omega 3 Fish oils as pharmaceutical grade has never been published. Anyone claiming to have "pharmaceutical grade" fish oils is simply over-hyping their product by claiming to meet a non-existent standard. NOW does not claim this, as it is simply not possible.
However, there is a voluntary CRN (Council for Responsible Nutrition) monograph that is being utilized to define the specifications necessary to qualify a pure Omega 3 EPA/DHA product. NOW's Omega 3 Enteric-coated Fish oil softgels meet the criteria in the CRN Monograph for EPA/DHA
Why is your Omega-3 Fish Oil Molecularly Distilled?
The Omega-3 Fish Oil used in these products are from fish caught in either Norway or Peru and are generally processed utilizing high vacuum Molecular Distillation. This processing technique guarantees the production of high purity EPA/DHA Omega-3 Fish Oils and minimizes the presence of impurities.
What fish are used for producing the Omega-3 Fish Oil?
Sardines, Anchovies and Mackerel are the primary species used in the production of our Omega-3 Fish Oils.
What does "enteric-coated" mean?
The special enteric-coated softgels used to deliver Molecularly Distilled Omega 3 Fish Oil protect the contents of the capsule from stomach acid by preventing gastric juices from dissolving the softgel in the stomach. This allows people to enjoy the benefits of Omega 3 Fish Oil without having the fish oil taste "repeat". The enteric-coated softgel will then release the Omega 3 fish oil in the alkaline environment beyond the stomach.
Are your Fish Oil products high in Vitamin A?
Omega-3 fish oils are made from the whole bodies of fish such as sardines, anchovies, and mackerel, rather than from fish liver oil. Omega-3 fish oils are body oils that undergo purification to remove these vitamins and provide EPA and DHA.
Fish Liver Oils (such as Cod Liver Oil) usually do contain vitamins A and D along with some EPA and DHA.