WHAT DOES “PHARMACEUTICAL GRADE” MEAN?
"Pharmaceutical grade fish oil" is defined as purified, winterized, and deodorized fatty oil obtained from fish. Therefore, this term is used to describe the quality of fish oil, encompassing purity (minimal detected contaminants/toxins such as heavy metals, PCBs, and dioxins), freshness (free of oxidative rancidity), and potency (amount of omega-3s contained). Because there are no pharmaceutical grade standards for fish oil in the United States, Nordic Naturals evaluates the fish oil used in its products by the stringent European Pharmacopoeia Standard.
The fish oil used in all Nordic Naturals products is third-party tested to verify that it surpasses these strict standards for purity and freshness, and that it reaches the level of potency claimed on the label. Our certificates of analysis are available upon request. To further ensure the quality of Nordic Naturals fish oil, we produce our fish oil in the triglyceride form, unlike many ethyl ester fish oils on the market today. True triglyceride form ensures that your body recognizes and absorbs the omega-3 essential fatty acids it needs for optimal health, and that your results are consistent. For more information about the triglyceride form, see question #29 below.
WHY ARE THE CALORIES THE SAME EVEN THOUGH THE OMEGA-3 LEVELS ARE DIFFERENT?
All fat/oil contains 9 calories per gram. Nordic Naturals offers fish oil supplements with differing concentrations of the omega-3s EPA and DHA, but the concentration does not affect the amount of fat/oil in each soft gel. Regardless of the omega-3 concentration, a 1000 mg soft gel contains 1000 mg of oil, and thus contains 9 calories.
WHAT ARE THE “OTHER OMEGA-3s” LISTED ON THE LABEL?
The “other omega-3s” listed on Nordic Naturals labels refer to omega-3 fatty acids (other than EPA and DHA) that naturally exist in fish oil in low levels. These “other omega-3s” include fatty acids such as DPA (docospentaenoic acid) and ETA (eicosatetraenoic acid). These fats are involved in essential fatty acid metabolic pathways in the body. EPA and DHA are the best-studied omega-3 fats, and are considered the most functional omega-3s. You will find this information on the label because Nordic Naturals tests each product to know exactly what is in the oil, and is committed to disclosing complete information to our customers.
WHY DOES IT STATE ON SOME LABELS THAT THE PRODUCT IS “DISTILLED FOR PURITY” WHEREAS OTHERS STATE THAT THEY ARE “MOLECULARLY DISTILLED?” IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
The difference pertains to the type of distillation process used for the product, which depends upon the type/concentration of the product. The labels that state “distilled for purity” contain our non-concentrated fish oil, which is flash distilled. Our Arctic Cod Liver Oils and concentrated fish oils are molecularly distilled, and thus state “molecularly distilled” on the label. The differences between the two distillation processes are explained in more detail in questions #32 and #33 below.
WHAT DOES “NATURAL TRIGLYCERIDE FORM” MEAN? WILL IT RAISE MY TRIGLYCERIDES?
"Triglyceride Form" refers to the molecular form of the fatty acids found in all Nordic Naturals products. In nature, fats are found in triglyceride form. Being a natural form, these triglycerides (as opposed to the new-to-nature ethyl ester form produced by many other manufacturers) are easily assimilated through the digestive process, supporting increased absorption and optimal utilization of the health-promoting omega-3s EPA and DHA. To address the concern of "raising one's triglycerides," we are actually talking about another type of triglyceride. These triglycerides are not from dietary fats, but are produced in the liver in response to high amounts of insulin secreted into the blood stream. High insulin levels in the blood are the result of excessive carbohydrates that have not been used for energy.
WHY DON’T THE MILLIGRAMS OF OMEGA-3s LISTED ON THE BACK OF THE LABEL MATCH WHAT IS LISTED ON THE FRONT OF THE BOTTLE (1000 mg PURIFIED FISH OIL)?
The 1000 mg soft gel (or in some products 500 mg) refers only to the size of the soft gel and not to the amount of omega-3s that the soft gels contain. Depending on the concentration of the fish oil in the soft gels, the soft gel can contain anywhere from 28% to 84% omega-3s. For example, one 1000 mg soft gel of a non-concentrated fish oil product like Nordic Naturals Omega-3 provides approximately 345 mg omega-3s. One 1000 mg soft gel of a concentrated fish oil product like Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega provides approximately 640 mg total omega-3s.