15. ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS TO TAKING FISH OIL?
Generally, none, although we suggest that you consult with your physician before taking our fish oils if you are allergic to iodine, use blood thinner medications, or anticipate surgery. Consumers typically report having more energy and greater mental clarity while taking EFAs. If you experience repeat (burping) or a bad taste, your supplement may be rancid (oxidized), or your body may not be manufacturing enough lipase, the digestive enzyme our bodies make to digest fats and oils. If you haven't ingested fish oils for a long time, it might take a week or so for your body to adjust and make more of this enzyme to digest fats and oils. Taking fish oil with food, especially fat, can also be helpful to digestion.
16. DOES FISH OIL CONTAIN MERCURY?
Raw fish oils contain environmental toxins like mercury that accumulate in a fish during its life span, but these toxins can be virtually eliminated with the use of high quality raw materials and advanced distillation technologies. Nordic Naturals fish oils are molecularly distilled, utilizing a patented enzymatic process that removes any potential environmental toxins (such as heavy metals, dioxins, PCBs, etc.). Independent laboratory testing documents the absence of PCBs, heavy metals, and dioxins in our oils. Certificates of Analysis are available upon request.
17. WILL FISH OIL OR EFAs INTERFERE WITH MY MEDICAL CONDITION OR MEDICATIONS I AM TAKING?
Generally, no, but we suggest that you consult with your healthcare professional before taking fish oil if you are allergic to iodine, using blood thinners, taking high doses of aspirin, or anticipating surgery.
18. ARE THE VITAMIN A LEVELS IN NORDIC NATURALS COD LIVER OIL SAFE?
There has been some concern recently that cod liver oil has high levels of vitamin A. This concern stems from the fact that almost all cod liver oil products on the market are supplemented with added vitamin A (natural or synthetic). This is because many cod liver oil products are not made from cod livers! Many brands use fish body oil (from species such as pollock or haddock) as a less expensive source of oil, and then add vitamin A and D to mimic cod liver oil. This practice is allowed because the international production of cod liver oil is regulated by only one rule—the final product must match the specific EPA ratio (EPA to DHA) found in cod liver oil. These practices are not applicable, however, to the Nordic Naturals brand, and never have been. We have always used 100% Arctic cod livers in our CLO formulas, which have consequently always had low, healthy levels of naturally occurring, fat-soluble vitamin A. We have never used fish body oils or any synthetic additives of any kind in our CLO. Nordic Naturals CLO typically averages 650–1500 IU of vitamin A per serving, which falls in the low range compared to other manufacturers’ products that can contain more than 4500 IU per serving. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin A for adults (as established by the US Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science) is 3,000 IU for men and 2,300 IU for women.
19. WHAT ALLERGENS ARE PRESENT IN NORDIC NATURALS FISH OILS?
We are very sensitive to allergen issues, and do our very best to ensure responsible labeling in this regard. Potential allergens are always disclaimed on our labels. This information can be found just below the ingredients list. Whenever possible, we avoid ingredients containing allergens, especially the eight major allergens as outlined by FALCPA (Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act): milk, egg, fish (e.g., bass, flounder, or cod), crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, or shrimp), tree nuts (e.g., almonds, pecans, or walnuts), wheat, peanuts, and soybeans. We also always disclaim on our labels any use of equipment exposed to these allergens. Although some products may have been manufactured on shared equipment, extensive quality control procedures are in place to avoid the risk of cross contamination.
Most of our products contain Vitamin E derived from highly refined soybean oil, so we include the following responsible statement on the majority of our products: “Contains Vitamin E derived from refined soybean oil.” As many soy allergy sufferers know, soy allergies result from exposure to soy proteins. Nordic Naturals ensures that our Vitamin E, verified by both a traditional analytical method and by ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay), contains either no soy proteins or undetectable levels of protein. Because of this, we feel confident that individuals allergic to soy can safely take our products.
20. IF I AM ALLERGIC TO FISH, FISH PROTEIN, LEMON, STRAWBERRY OR OTHER FLAVORS, CAN I TAKE NORDIC NATURALS FISH OIL PRODUCTS?
In theory, fish proteins should be effectively removed in processing. However, it is certainly possible for fish oils to have small traces of protein. The fish gelatin that is used in our fish gelatin Omega-3 formula, however, is derived from fish protein, and could be considered allergenic.
Our natural strawberry flavoring is NOT derived from strawberry or any other berry fruit, but rather from a combination of natural ingredients, which create an aroma perceived as strawberry flavor.
Our natural lemon flavoring is derived from natural lemon oil, concentrated from the rind. Some people do have sensitivities to lemon flavoring. If lemon sensitivity is a concern, this flavor should be avoided.
The best choice for highly sensitive people would be to take our unflavored products. Anyone that is concerned about rosemary extract, which is used as a natural stabilizer and is present in minute amounts, can take our Pet products instead, as these products offer the same high quality fish oil, but only use Vitamin E as a stabilizer.
21. IF I AM TOPICALLY ALLERGIC TO LANOLIN, CAN I TAKE THE NORDIC NATURALS PRODUCTS CONTAINING VITAMIN D3?
The raw material (lipid) used to produce Vitamin D3 is separated from the lanolin, which has been separated from the wool fat. There are several purification steps from raw material to the pure vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), and, because of this, the supplier believes that a person who is allergic to lanolin topically is not likely to be allergic when ingesting Vitamin D3. Also, we need to keep in mind that healthy digestive processes—gut pH, digestive enzyme action—are intended to digest, package, and transport nutrients, adding a degree of protection as well. But we always recommended that people with allergies confer with their healthcare practitioner before beginning a supplement regime.
22. ARE NORDIC NATURALS PRODUCTS GLUTEN-FREE?
All of our products (as of July ’09) can be considered gluten-free. If any products are manufactured on shared equipment with other ingredients containing gluten, this is disclosed on the product label.
23. CAN FISH OIL BE TAKEN WITH OTHER SUPPLEMENTS?
Yes, EFAs and fish oil can be taken with a wide variety of supplements—they are extremely well tolerated, natural, health promoting, and safe to use every day.
24. HOW MUCH IODINE IS IN THE ULTIMATE OMEGA/PROOMEGA?
Nearly all of the iodine naturally present in fish is removed during our purification process. Test results show levels of iodine in Ultimate Omega/ProOmega to be typically 0.5–1.5 mcg/g, and not more than 2.0 mcg/g. For reference, the current Recommended Dietary Allowance* for iodine is 150 mcg/g for adult men and women, 220 mcg/d during pregnancy, and 90 mcg/d for children over 1 year of age.
*Dietary Reference Intakes, USDA Food and Nutrition Information, pages 273–277