Are there any side effects to taking fish oil?
Generally, no, although we suggest that you consult with your physician before taking our fish oils if you are allergic to iodine, use blood thinning medications, or anticipate surgery. 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.
Will fish oil or essential fatty acids (EFAs) interfere with my medical condition or medications I am taking?
Generally speaking, fish oil or EFAs do not interfere with medications. However, if you have specific concerns you should speak with your health care professional. In certain cases, such as if you are allergic to iodine, use blood thinners, take high doses of aspirin, or are anticipating surgery, we recommend a consultation prior to supplementing.
Does fish oil contain mercury?
Raw fish oils contain environmental toxins like mercury that accumulate in fish during their life spans, 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 an enzymatic process that removes potential environmental toxins (such as heavy metals, dioxins, PCBs, etc.). Independent laboratory testing confirms the removal of PCBs, heavy metals, and dioxins from our oils. Certificates of Analysis are available on our website; simply enter your lot number to view the certificate for your specific bottle.
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, but this does not apply to Nordic Naturals products. 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) because many so-called cod liver oil products are not actually made from cod! 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 to the Nordic Naturals brand and never have been. We have always used 100% wild Arctic cod 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 I.U. of vitamin A per serving, which falls in the low range compared to other manufacturers’ products that can contain more than 4500 I.U. 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 I.U. for men and 2,300 I.U. for women.
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.
How much iodine is in 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
What allergens are present in Nordic Naturals products?
Nordic Naturals recognizes the severity that allergens present for individuals. Our facilities are NSF GMP certified and adhere to strict procedures in order to prevent cross contamination. We use FDA-compliant allergen labeling, and disclose any warnings relating to allergen exposure beneath the supplement facts in the ingredients listing on the product label.
Nordic Naturals always recommends that consumers check each individual product for any allergen concerns and also discuss them with their health care professional to determine which products are appropriate for their nutritional needs.
What if I am extra sensitive to a particular ingredient beyond FDA-compliant allergen labeling?
Nordic Naturals realizes that many individuals are extremely sensitive to even trace amounts of certain ingredients, and that these may exceed FDA-compliant allergen labeling. If this is the case, and your allergen is not addressed specifically in the ingredients listed below the supplement facts panel, contact our customer service team and we can discuss the specific product of interest and try to address your ingredient concerns individually.
Common Allergen Ingredient Information
Although fish proteins should be effectively removed during processing, it is certainly possible for fish oils to have small traces of protein. The fish gelatin that is used in our fish gelatin soft gel products is derived from fish protein, and could be allergenic. This is referenced in the product ingredients. We recommend consulting with your healthcare professional before using a fish oil product if you are allergic to fish.
Soy and Soy Tocopherols
Soy proteins should be effectively removed in processing tocopherols derived from soybean. However, it is certainly possible for soy raw materials to have small traces of protein, below detectable testing limits. We recommend consulting with your healthcare professional before using a product derived from soy if you have concerns. Please contact our customer service department to inquire if a specific product you are interested in has a soy based ingredient. Please note that all of our fish oil products use tocopherols derived from sunflower oil.
Anyone who is concerned about rosemary extract, which is used as a natural oil stabilizer and is present in minute amounts, can take our Prenatal fish oil products, as these products offer the same high-quality fish oil, but only use vitamin E as a stabilizer.
The raw material used to produce vitamin D3 is separated from the lanolin, which has been separated from the wool fat. There are several purification steps between the raw material and the pure vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Because of this, a person who is allergic to lanolin topically is not likely to be allergic when ingesting vitamin D3. We have a Vegan D3 liquid derived from lichen as a suggested alternative, but we always recommended that people with allergies confer with their healthcare professional before beginning a supplement regimen.
Most of our products are gluten-free. If any products are manufactured with ingredients containing gluten this is disclosed on the product label.
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 lemon in combination with other natural ingredients, which create an aroma perceived as lemon flavor. 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.
Other Ingredient Concerns
We are very aware of the concerns around the use of ingredients from non-GMO sources. We verify and test that all our products are free of GMO’s and indicate this with a non-GMO verified badge on the front of each bottle.
If you see gelatin referenced on our label and the source is not listed, it is sourced from bovine. In the event that another source of gelatin is used then it is included in the ingredients listing on that specific product.
The carrageenan we use in our vegetarian gelatin is highly purified, non-degraded, and pharmaceutical food-grade quality. Carrageenan is derived from seaweed and is the substitute for the collagen found in animal gelatin. It is needed—in tandem with cornstarch—to form a shelf-stable soft gel that ensures we are protecting the oil from exposure to oxygen and, therefore, from going rancid. Over the years, various alternatives have been researched and tested. The combination of carrageenan and cornstarch has been found to build the best consumer experience. While there have been various studies on carrageenan, many examine the degraded form (versus our non-degraded form), which does not meet our rigorous standards.