Nordic Naturals Omega-3s - Everything You Need To Know
Nordic Naturals is an amazing brand, offering a wide variety of fish oils and formulas. One of the best formulas is the ProOmega supplement that comes in bottles of 60, 120 or 180 softgels. Each two softgel daily serving contains 1,280 mg of Omega-3s. For reference, the American Heart Association recommends a daily intake of 1,000mg of Omega-3.
Nordic Naturals is truly a company that honors ancestral wisdom and nutrition. In the early 1980s, Joar Opheim left his homeland of Arctic Norway to attend a California university. As he visited a supplement store he found only low quality and terrible-tasting fish oil. Every time he visited his home country, he would stock his suitcase full of fresh Norwegian fish oil to share with his American colleagues. This was the beginning of the company now known as Nordic Naturals.
Nordic Naturals has grown to a global company that supplies high quality and potent fish oil to people in 35 countries on 6 different continents. Their fish oil is used in medical research and scientific studies. Over 50 medical studies have used Nordic Naturals fish oils and an additional 25 studies are in process.
We Used To Be Fat-Phobic!
If you were around in the 1980s and 1990s you know that most Americans were very fat-phobic. Dietary fats were demonized as the cause of all weight gain, heart disease, and health issues. Lack of science, marketing campaigns, and ignorance caused us to buy fat-free products. It has taken decades, but the tide has changed. Science, common sense, and cultural habits have brought healthy fats back into our cupboards and into our daily diet.
Fat is an essential part of any diet. There is a big difference between healthy and unhealthy sources of fat. The healthiest form of fat is Omega 3 fatty acids (Omega-3s). Every cell in your body has a cell membrane. Each cell membrane must have Omega-3s to be healthy. If you don’t have enough Omega-3s your body will use whatever unhealthy fat you have eaten (think french fries or chips) to make your cell membranes. When your body uses this kind of unhealthy fat for a cell membrane, you end up with a cell that is weak, easily damaged, and can’t perform.
What Are Omega-3s and Omega-6s?
Omega-3s and Omega-6s are the most common fats in our diets. What exactly are Omega-3s and Omega-6s and why do our bodies need them? Both Omega complexes are necessary to having a healthy heart, but most Americans actually end up intaking too much Omega-6 through their daily vegetable oil and processed food intake.
Vegetable oils are commonly used in processed foods. Check ingredients in your chips, crackers, and energy bars. Avoid corn, soy, safflower, canola, and vegetable oil. If you have any of these oils in your cupboard, toss them out and replace them with seed and fruit oils such as olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, and coconut oil.
Many people consume way too many Omega-6s (vegetable oils) and not enough Omega-3s, putting you at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression, and diabetes. Although your body needs a small amount of Omega-6s, you primarily need Omega-3s. The easiest way to get Omega-3s into your diet is by eating fish or taking a fish oil supplement.
There are three different types of Omega-3:
ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid) comes in a short-chain or polyunsaturated form from plant-based foods. When you eat vegetables, your body must add an enzyme to ALA to create either EPA or DHA so that your cells can utilize it. This extra step is cumbersome and the reason why most people rely on fish or fish oil supplements for their Omega-3s. Vegetables are an important part of any healthy diet, but they aren’t the best source for Omega-3s.
EPA is a long-chain or highly unsaturated form found in fish and fish oils. EPA is a valiant warrior against all types of inflammation within your body. The more EPA you have in your body, the less arachidonic acid (AA) and inflammation.
DHA is also a long-chain or highly unsaturated form found in fish and fish oils. It is primarily used to make your cell membranes healthy and protect your nerve endings.
Our bodies can take ALA and change small quantities of it into EPA and DHA, but it’s best to not rely on your body to convert all of your Omega-3’s for you. Vegans and vegetarians are usually lacking in DHA and EPA because they do not eat fish. There are some algae-based Omega-3 supplements.
The symptoms of low Omega-3s are:
- Joint pain
- Dry skin
- Brittle nails
- Dry eyes
- Small bumps on back of arms
There are very few to no side effects of taking fish oils or other Omega-3 products, aside from fishy burps or a slight stomach upset in some people. These burps are usually from low-quality fish oil that is oxidized, or from an individual’s lack of digestive juices.
Omega-3s are the subject of thousands of medical studies and recommendations. There are many suggestions and recommended doses for Omega-3s. Most medical studies are performed using 1000mg-2000mg per day.
- WHO recommends 250-500mg of omega-3 EPA+DHA per day.
- EFSA recommends 250mg of omega-3 EPA+DHA per day.
- ISSFAL recommends 500mg of omega-3 EPA+DHA per day (at least 220mg of DHA and 220mg of EPA).
- IOM recommends 130-260mg of omega-3 EPA+DHA per day.
- AHA makes no specific EPA+DHA intake recommendation for healthy people, but advises them to eat at least two servings of fatty seafood per week (e.g., salmon, tuna, sablefish, mackerel, or sardines).
- AHA advises heart patients to take 1000mg (1 gram) of omega-3 EPA+DHA per day, and says that heart patients can lower triglyceride levels as needed under a physician's guidance by taking 2000mg to 4000mg grams of omega-3 EPA+DHA per day.
There have been some concerns in the past about taking fish oils while on prescription drugs such as Coumadin, Warfarin, or aspirin, but all of the studies and research performed have shown little to no risk when taken at appropriate doses. Check with your doctor and get regular blood tests if you are using fish oil and a blood-thinning medication. You can ask your doctor for a home monitoring device like CoaguChek so that you can monitor your blood.
Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Supplements
Nordic Naturals offers a variety of Omega-3 supplements as softgels or liquid fish oils. Their strongest formula, ProOmega 2000 is our most popular.
Omega-3s are important for all body functions because they are used in every cell. High-quality Omega-3 supplements and wild-caught fish are your best sources of these essential fats. Nordic Naturals is an industry leader in both high-quality fish oil and formulas for the whole family including children and pets.
If you are wondering about your Omega-3 intake, you can order a home test kit. If you would like a customized plan for adding more Omega-3s to your diet or supplement plan, please set up a consultation with me.
Carly Neubert BA, NC
For additional recipes, biohacking tips and lifestyle hacks -- check out my other blog on my coaching site www.cleancoachcarly.com! I post weekly about nutrition and lifestyle topics, all backed by science. Happy Reading!