Company founded: 1995
Founder and CEO: Joar Opheim
Since our founding, Nordic Naturals has always been deeply committed to the health of our oceans.
All our fish sourcing complies with the Norwegian fisheries management system
We use line and net fishing methods that prevent seafloor and ecosystem damage
We use responsible fishing gear to protect against bycatch
Marine Pollution Prevention
Our coastal processing facilities are leaders in minimizing pollution and conserving resources
What are Essential Fatty Acids (EFAS) & Why Do We Need to Take Omega-3 EFAS?
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are polyunsaturated fats that our bodies need but cannot produce. Therefore, they must be consumed through food or supplements. There are two families of EFAs: omega-3 and omega-6, which need to be consumed in a balanced ratio.
The body must receive a balanced supply of omega-3 and omega-6 EFAs to ensure proper eicosanoids production. Eicosanoids are hormone-like compounds that affect virtually every system in the body—they regulate the inflammatory response, help maintain proper blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and promote fluid nerve transmission. The problem is that, in our modern industrialized food system, omega-3s have become largely absent from the food chain while omega-6s have become overabundant. Even the healthiest diets contain too many omega-6s and not enough omega-3s. Decades of scientific evidence indicates that this EFA imbalance can contribute to a variety of chronic health issues. The most beneficial omega-3s that we’re missing are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
Can We Get Enough Omega-3s From the Food We Eat?
Fish is the primary food source of the omega-3s EPA and DHA, but Americans simply don’t eat enough fish on a regular basis. Even those who eat fish several times a week aren’t getting enough EPA and DHA because much of the fish consumed today is farm raised and lacks significant amounts of EPA and DHA. Also, many people are increasingly avoiding fish due to growing concerns about environmental toxins in fish (such as mercury, dioxins, PCBs, etc.).
In addition, there are several factors that can lead to reduced absorption of EFAs—age, poor diet, alcohol consumption, low levels of certain vitamins and minerals, some prescription drugs, compromised immune status, and a diet high in saturated and/or trans-fatty acids (meat, dairy, fast food, fried food, baked goods, and processed foods). Moreover, people with health challenges or those who are currently deficient often require a minimum of 2–4 grams a day of EPA and DHA, which is difficult to obtain from fish alone.
What is the Relevance of Balancing the
Omegas-6 : Omega-3 Ratio
Over the past 100 years, changes in the food supply in Western nations have altered the type of dietary fatty acids we consume, leading to a dramatic increase in the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. This increased omega-6:omega-3 ratio is known to influence a poor nutritional state that contributes to higher incidences of many chronic diseases.
To address this omega-6:omega-3 imbalance, current recommendations suggest increasing the consumption of pre-formed omega-3s EPA and DHA in fish and/or fish oils, increasing intake of ALA (an omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid found in vegetables, flax, fruits) and decreasing intake of LA (the omega-6 linoleic acid in meat, dairy, eggs, vegetable oils).
If We Get Too Much Omega-6 in Our Diet Then Why Does Nordic Naturals Offer Products That Contain an Omega-6?
(ex. Nordic GLA, Complete Omega, Omega Woman)
Omega-6 fatty acids (Linoleic Acid or LA) are found mainly in corn, soybean, safflower, and sunflower oils and, although essential, these fatty acids are over consumed and out of balance with omega-3 fatty acids in the modern Western food supply. For these reasons, omega-6 supplementation is not needed for non-strict-vegan westerners. However, there is one type of omega-6 (Gamma Linolenic Acid, or GLA) that does require supplementation. GLA is found in few sources such as borage and evening primrose oils. Used in some Nordic Naturals formulas, GLA promotes the production of beneficial prostaglandins and supports healthy skin, brain function, mood, joint, and cardiovascular health. It is most effective when taken along with the EPA and DHA in fish oil.
Do Pregnant Women Need Omega-3s?
It is especially important for pregnant and breastfeeding women to consume DHA (one of the omega-3s in fish oil) because the developing baby is dependent on mom! DHA is an essential fatty acid—we must get it from diet or supplements because our bodies don’t make it—and consuming enough DHA is critical for normal and healthy development of infant brain, eyes, and nervous system.
* Additionally, inadequate consumption of DHA during pregnancy has been linked to sub-optimal mood health for women after pregnancy.*
Experts recommend that women consume 300–600 mg of DHA daily while pregnant and breastfeeding. Nordic Naturals DHA, Prenatal DHA, and Ultimate Omega all satisfy this dosage, each providing 450 mg DHA per serving. As with any supplement, it is best to consult your health care professional.
What About Other Beneficial Omega Fatty Acids Like Omega-5s, Omega-7s, Omega-9s?
DO WE NEED THOSE TOO?
All non-concentrated fish oils contain a myriad of other omega fatty acids besides the omega-3s EPA and DHA. The average fish oil contains 23 omega fatty acids. Any quality fish oil manufacturer should be able to provide a chromatogram listing the levels of all the omega fatty acids found in their fish oil. Often, when fish oil is concentrated, some of these other fatty acids will be removed in order to increase the amounts of EPA and/or DHA. You often hear the most about the omega-3s EPA and DHA because those are the fatty acids that have been shown, by decades of scientific research, to yield important health benefits for every cell, organ, and system in the body, and are considered the most functional omega-3s. And they are also drastically deficient in the food supply of Western nations, making it very difficult for us to get adequate amounts from our diet.
What Should I Look For When Purchasing a Fish Oil Supplement to Ensure High Quality?
- Third-party test results for purity and freshness. A third-party certificate of analysis indicates the levels of purity from environmental toxins, and the oxidation level (or freshness) of the oil. Certificates of Analysis are available on NN website; simply enter your lot number to view the certificate for your specific bottle.
- Manufacturing standards. Is the fish oil manufactured according to international quality standards?
- Smell and taste. Does the fish oil smell or taste fishy? If so, the fish oil has most likely been exposed to oxygen and is becoming rancid. Rancid (oxidized) oils should be avoided, as they yield less-than-healthy effects. Avoid fish oils that have really strong flavorings added to them because they are most likely trying to hide the fishy flavor of rancid oil.
- Triglyceride molecular form. Research has shown that triglyceride form omega-3s are up to 70% better absorbed than synthetic ethyl ester omegas.
- Supportive scientific research to prove the efficacy of the fish oil brand.
- Sustainable fishing practices. Any environmentally responsible fish oil manufacturer should offer transparency into their fishing practices.
The Importance of the Triglyceride Form?
- Our bodies have been efficiently digesting and metabolizing essential fatty acids (EFAs) for thousands of years. The human body transports and uses these essential fats—including the omega-3s EPA and DHA found in fish oil—in the triglyceride form, which resembles three parallel chains of molecules connected at one end by a molecular backbone.
- Because ethyl esters lack the molecular backbone found in triglycerides these new-to-nature omega-3 molecules are not only less effective at delivering EFAs to the body during digestion and metabolism, they also pose potential side effects.Research confirms that concentrated fish oil in the triglyceride form is absorbed 70% more than as ethyl esters.Ethyl esters have only been in the human diet for a few decades. As such, the long-term effects of these molecules are unknown.
- Since ethyl esters lack the molecular backbone found in triglycerides, our bodies must find one during digestion in order to rebuild ethyl esters into triglycerides prior to absorption. This competitive process can increase free radical activity in the body, and raises oxidative stress levels generally associated with negative health outcomes
The benefits of omega-3 nutrition can only be enjoyed if your body actually absorbs these essential fatty acids. Triglyceride form means better absorption and no risk of molecular instability. For heart, brain, eye, joint, and immune health, make sure your fish oil brand is in the superior triglyceride form—look for it on the label.
Nordic Naturals has always produced its concentrates in the triglyceride form. Despite the superiority of triglycerides, few concentrates on the market are sold in this form due to higher production costs. Of those that are, most contain only 60% true triglycerides, with the remaining 40% comprised of diglycerides and monoglycerides. Nordic Naturals has perfected technology that allows us to maintain over 90% triglycerides in our concentrated oils. As scientific evidence continues to recognize the absorption advantage of the triglyceride form, we continue to innovate in order to deliver a superior fish oil that produces superior results
Eye Health Specifics
Why Quality and Potency Matter
- Poorly manufactured fish oil will easily turn rancid causing “fish repeat”
- rancid oils are a source of harmful free radicals
- effective distillation is critical to removing those impurities
- your desired results cannot be achieved without sufficient levels of EPA and DHA.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Over 10 million Americans suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome (DES). Characterized by chronic, persistent inflammation of the ocular tissues, DES is a serious condition that is often experienced as painful burning, dryness, and redness in and around the eyes. Until recently, there have been few non-pharmaceutical solutions that address DES. Recent research on diets rich in the omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA have lead researchers to hypothesize that a deficiency of EPA and DHA is a risk factor in the development of DES.*
“I use ProOmega from Nordic Naturals for my patients with dry eye syndrome. The response has been overwhelmingly favorable. My contact lens patients in particular are able to enjoy a more comfortable and longer wearing time.” Lorie Lippiatt, OD Salem Eye Care Center.
Age Related Degeneration
Within the eye, the retina and the macula are susceptible to degenerative changes associated with age. A growing body of scientific research indicates that EPA and DHA—the omega-3 essential fatty acids in fish oil—play key roles in maintaining the healthy structure and function of eye tissue.* DHA in particular is abundant in the retina, and its protective action is associated with decreased likelihood of having age-related damage and degeneration of eye tissue.* Supporting the protective function of omega-3s are the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, whose presence throughout the eye suggests a protective role against damaging ultraviolet (blue) light.* As these natural pigments slowly decrease with age, it becomes necessary to acquire them through diet or supplementation. Clinically proven to support healthy carotenoid levels in the eye, FloraGLO Lutein has been shown to normalize Macular Pigment Optical Density— a marker for overall visual function.
*Current clinically controlled human data support a safe and efficacious role for both fish oil and these natural carotenoids in protecting and promoting healthy eyes.*
- Concentrated fish oil formula gives you more omega-3s in fewer soft gels
- 2000 mg EPA+DHA per 2 soft gels (ProOmega 2000) or 2200 mg EPA+DHA per 4 soft gels (ProOmega)
- Supports tear production
- Protects eyes from oxidative stress and damage
- Provides concentrated EPA and DHA for healthy ocular tissue*
The omega-3 DHA accounts for approximately 30% of the total fatty acids found within the eye.
- Concentrated DHA fish oil with FloraGLO®
- Lutein for additional eye support
- 845 mg DHA, 360 mg EPA per 2 soft gels
- 20 mg Lutein and 4 mg Zeaxanthin in each serving
- Supports healthy tissue moisture and tear production*
- Provides natural pigment to ocular cells*