Nordic Naturals: Perfecting the Art of Fish Oil Manufacturing

Blog Joar

       Joar Opheim – Founder of Nordic Naturals

Nordic Naturals has been revolutionizing omegas since 1995, pioneering a new definition of fish oil as it relates to purity, freshness, taste, and dosage. Based in California, the company also offers complementary foundational nutrients essential to health.

Nordic Naturals was born in Arctic Norway, where founder, Joar Opheim, grew up and where fish oil is a part of everyday life.

“Growing up, I never knew anyone who didn’t take fish oil to stay healthy,” Joar recalls. “Our fish oil was always really pure and fresh, with high omega-3 levels.”

When he came to the United States to complete his MBA in the 1980s and could not find quality fish oil, he decided to do something about it.

Joar founded Nordic Naturals in 1995. His vision was to manage every step of the manufacturing process in order to guarantee both high-quality fish oil and environmental stewardship.

Nordic Naturals’ award-winning omega oils are manufactured at its state-of-the-art facility in Arctic Norway that was recognized by the Norwegian government with a $1 million grant for its extensive use of green technology.

“In order to continue to bring our vision to fruition, Nordic Naturals will remain family-owned,” Joar states. “The past 20-plus years have required deeply committed work from my family, our dedicated employees, and me. And there is still more to do.”

Nordic Naturals works passionately to see generations of healthier, happier people around the world. Their products are distributed to over 35 countries and includes more than 200 items in a variety of flavors and formulations for adults, kids, athletes, and pets.

Further information is available at nordicnaturals.com.

Buy One Bottle of Nordic Naturals, Help Two Heroes

Q4 2015-ProdBottles-w_PawsLogoNordic Naturals is kicking off “Buy One Bottle, Help Two Heroes”—a fall initiative to benefit Paws and Stripes, a nonprofit organization that pairs combat-wounded military veterans with shelter dogs, which the veterans train at Paws and Stripes. By integrating service dog training and education with mental health support, Paws and Stripes helps our nation’s heroes live the full and rich lives they deserve.

From October 1 through December 31, purchase any of the following Nordic Naturals products (most available at great prices at Natur-Tyme) and you will support a $30,000 donation to Paws and Stripes, plus a year’s supply of omega-3s for the veterans and service dogs in their program.

Qualifying Nordic Naturals products include all bottle sizes of:

  • Ultimate Omega®
  • Omega-3
  • Complete Omega™
  • EPA
  • EPA Xtra™
  • DHA
  • DHA Xtra™
  • Vitamin C Gummies
  • Vitamin D3 Gummies
  • Omega-3 Pet™
  • Pet Cod Liver Oil

As of 2014, Paws and Stripes had rescued over 70 shelter dogs and provided therapeutic assistance to 97 veterans and their families. In a survey given to Paws and Stripes graduates asking about the impact of their service dogs on their daily lives, these results were reported:

  • 71% experience better quality sleep
  • 87% spend more time with family and friends
  • 85% feel more comfortable visiting public places and attending social events

Lindsey Stanek, CEO and Co-founder of Paws and Stripes, said, “Paws and Stripes is thrilled to work with Nordic Naturals on this campaign! We love being involved with companies like Nordic Naturals who share our goals of helping both people and animals. Working together gives us the opportunity to help even more dogs and veterans.”

Please note that Natur-Tyme will be saluting Veterans on Wednesday November 11th by offering anyone with a military ID a free 10-minute char massage!

My Favorite Supplements for Stress Relief

By Shannon Morehouse, MA, CHHCShannonHeadshot

Magnesium
This is my top-choice. Magnesium is a natural relaxant. It relaxes your muscles and your mind.  Because it is a sedative, I recommend taking before bed. It helps combat insomnia; it also helps with headaches. Take an Epsom salt bath; you will get the benefits of YOU time and the magnesium from the salts will not only relax your sore/tired muscles, but also, will seep into your skin and enter your bloodstream quickly. Recommended Dosage: 300-400 mg.

Omega-3 Fish Oil
Our brain is highly reliant on healthy fats to function optimally. Several studies point to fish oil for cognition and relief of depression and anxiety. Omega-3s have been shown to help produce dopamine and serotonin. I recommend Nordic Naturals, Wiley’s Finest, or the Minami brand. A good dosage is around 1,000 mg a day.

Holy Basil
Holy Basil (aka Tulsi) is something I take daily in the form of Organic India’s Tulsi tea…over 20 flavors to choose from! It is an adaptogenic herb that helps reduce cortisol and regulates blood-sugar. If you take it in supplement form, research confirms that 500 mg twice a day is extremely effective at reducing anxiety.

B-Complex
The B vitamins are essential when it comes to reducing stress. These vitamins regulate the nervous system. Because all the B vitamins are effective for boosting energy and reducing stress. I recommend taking it in complex form. Here is a summary of the major B vitamins:

B1 (Thamine):
          B1 can increase energy and improve fuzzy thinking (University of Wales Study)
          Recommended Dosage 50 mg + a day
          Note: Excess carbohydrates deplete B1 levels

B-5 (Pantothenic Acid):
          Mood-enhancing and calming effect by helping in the production of serotonin and reducing secretion of cortiso
          Helpful for fatigued adrenal glands
          Helpful for people with migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, or trying to curb drinking or smoking
          Helps to convert fat, protein, carbs into energy
          Recommended dosage: 50-250 mg once or twice daily

B-6:
          Reduces irritability, tension, and anxiety
          B6 works with folate, B12, and tryptophan to make serotonin
          Can reduce PMS symptoms
          Dosage: 50-120 mg, especially helpful when taken in B complex form 

Rhodiola
An adaptogenic herb, Rhodiola uniquely prompts a relaxing energetic state. It helps with many coinciding symptoms of depression, such as difficulty concentrating and mental fog. A good dosage to take is 100-400 mg a day.  Because of its energy-prompting properties, it’s best to take Rhodiola in the morning. 

GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid)
GABA is a neurotransmitter in our Central Nervous System. GABA is unique in that it functions in the adult human brain as the primary inhibitor and calmng agent for excitatory neurotransmitters which are firing too rapidly. Some things we do can produce GABA (such as yoga), but many find it to extremely beneficial to supplement GABA-producing lifestyle choices with GABA in supplement form. In fact, this is my top-choice for an “as needed” supplement for many situations: periods of having difficulty sleeping, periods of lacking the ability to concentrate, and also just before your menstrual cycle. It has been referred to as “nature’s valium” because of the calming effect it can exert. Many correlations have been established between low GABA levels and people who have trouble sleeping, those with depression, inability to focus or maintain attention, people with anxiety disorders, drug and alcohol addicts, and those suffering with panic attacks. Many research studies also demonstrate its ability to ease premenstrual moodiness and depression. Studies also show that it balances blood-sugar. Because of GABA’s beneficial calming ability, increasing GABA production results in an improvement in symptoms among those with deficiencies. I recommend taking it in sublingual form as it helps you to absorb it quickly. You can take this in varying dosages; I find that 250 mg in sublingual form works similarly to 750 mg in tablet form.

Ashwagandha
An adapotogen like Holy Basil and Rhodiola, Ashwaganda helps combat both physiological and psychological stress. An effective dosage is 300-600 mg a day. 

Ignatia
Ignatia is a homeopathic to take when struggling with grief. It is also helpful for nervousness and general moodiness. Dosage: three 30 c pellets every 6 hours. In times of extreme distress, three 200 c pellets every 8 hours. 

L-Theanine
Shown to increase levels of GABA and dopamine in the brain, L-Theanine is helpful for those struggling with anxiety. A safe dosage is 200-400 mg a day or you can start by drinking decaffeinated green tea to see if that helps.

Seasonal Allergies

Carol B. Blair, BS, DiHom, CNC
Wellness Educator

An allergen is a substance that has been targeted by the immune system as a carolforeign invader. The receptor on the mast cell binds to an allergen, and the body produces antibodies to this invader. The mast cells then release histamine that causes the typical allergic responses such as red, itchy eyes/coughing/nasal congestion/runny nose.

Most allergy medications work as anti-histamines, and there are many natural anti-histamines and anti-inflammatories that will help reduce symptoms without side effects.

Quercetin, a flavonoid found in apples, buckwheat, onions, and green tea, helps keep mast cells from releasing histamine. The absorption of quercetin is enhanced by bromelain, which potentiates its action, so you will often find them combined for best results. This combination is one of the most commonly used natural therapies for allergies.

Nettle leaf tea has been used for centuries to relieve allergies especially hayfever. It has been recommended highly by Dr. Andrew Weil. Nettle tea or the extract inhibits pro-inflammatory pathways related to allergies, and it has an impressive number of other benefits for the immune system.

Osha is an herb used for its anti-histamine-like properties. Osha will often quickly reduce allergic reactions; it also soothes a sore throat. Recent studies also show the herb, Butterbur, to be excellent for allergy symptom relief.

Antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Grapeseed extract, MSM, and fish oil can also help reduce inflammation, and therefore, symptoms.

Allergy relief is an area where homeopathy shines. Homeopathy is based on the theory that “like cures like.” Many homeopathic formulas contain the allergens, such as pollen, in minute doses that are prevalent in a certain region of the country, and formulas exist for allergies in our area. There are other allergy formulas available as well for individuals who have sensitivities to animal dander or dairy, for instance. These can be a big help for allergy sufferers.

Last but not least, new studies are showing the role of probiotics in down-regulating the immune system to help reduce allergies!

All of these supplements are quite effective in reducing congestion, sneezing, itchy eyes, headaches, and fatigue that are associated with seasonal allergies. The best part is that, instead of side effects, most of these supplements will have other beneficial uses for your immune system as well

Wiley’s Finest Fish Oil and its Marine Stewardship Council’s Certification

MSCWe recently brought in Wiley’s Finest Fish Oils to our store shelves and customers have been raving about it. It is an affordable and effective fish oil option. And they even have easy-swallow minis for those who aren’t able to swallow big pills. One of the reasons why we love this family-owned company so much is because they are certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.

You may not have noticed it on their packaging, but the blue check mark on the front of every box is called the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Ecolabel. This is a prestigious and difficult-to-obtain certification: very few fish-oil supplements are MSC-certified out of the thousands of different fish-oil supplements sold worldwide.

First off – what is a fishery?  A fishery is defined as a geographic area, a species, and often a specific catch method. So for instance, Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (area) Alaska Pollock (species) Pelagic Trawl (catch method). Don’t confuse a fishery with a fish farm– that’s called a hatchery! When we’re talking about a fishery, we’re talking about wild-caught fish.

Here’s what MSC certification of a fishery means:

  • Fish are caught sustainably– MSC designs an exacting and rigorous fishing practices standard that looks at by catch, environmental impact, and healthy stock levels.
  • Independent third-party audit of supply chain– First, the fishery has to be certified that it meets the MSC’s standard. Then, individual fishing companies have to be audited that they comply with the standards. Then, any company who wants to use the MSC Ecolabel on their package has to be audited that their ingredients can be traced back all the way to the boat that caught the fish.
  • Guaranteed Species– The MSC’s Chain of Custody auditing and inspection program guarantees that Wiley’s only uses the species in their formulas that they say they do. In the case of our Wild Alaskan Fish Oil supplements, it means that the fish used to make their fish oil were actually wild-caught in well-managed US waters by American fishermen – no funny business here. They are guaranteed to be wild-caught (not farmed). The MSC’s Chain of Custody program is important: a 2011 study by Consumer Reports estimated that 20-25% of all fresh and frozen seafood is mislabeled by species. That’s why Wiley’s lists the species name on their label (Alaska Pollock Theragra chalcogramma) – no generic, catch-all species list for them (mackerel, herring, sardine, and/or anchovy) – it’s important to Wiley’s and Natur-Tyme that you know where your supplements come from and who caught them.

Wiley’s fish oil is 30% off MSRP at Natur-Tyme through April 30th.

To learn more about seafood sustainability, you will not want to miss Sam Wiley, of Wiley’s Finest, at our 15th annual health fair. His “Seafood Sustainability—Why it Matters” talk is at 10:30 AM. Advanced-sale tickets to our health fair are only $7. Purchase them on our website today!

This is Your Brain on Fish

factoids-banner_fish

Hundreds of studies have found that Omega-3 fish oil is excellent for brain health. A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that regular fish consumption actually creates more voluminous brains (more gray matter), protecting individuals from Alzheimer’s disease. The subjects who consumed fish just once a week had hippocampuses that were 14% larger than those who did not consume fish once a week. If you dislike fish, consider an Omega-3 fish oil supplement, to help prevent cognitive decline.

Raji et al., Am J Prev Med. 2014 Jul 29 published online.

Tackling Inflammation with Supplements

By Jennifer Morganti, ND178574086

You can’t feel it and you can’t see it, but inflammation has an insidious and damaging effect that can cause some serious health issues. Inflammation is at the root cause of joint pain and arthritis, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s Disease, autoimmune diseases, intestinal conditions, and a long list of other problems. The typical American diet, lacking omega-3 fatty acids and chockfull of sugar and bad fats, fans the fire for inflammation, along with food allergies and toxic burdens. Addressing these concerns by eliminating junk foods, identifying food allergies, and detoxing are all important steps to start dampening inflammation. There are also some key supplements you can incorporate to see a big boost in your health.

Curcumin, derived from the Indian spice turmeric, is one of the top-selling anti-inflammatory supplements, and with good reason. A variety of research has shown that it reduces key inflammatory substances, such as COX-2 and certain cytokines that cause pain, in a method similar to anti-inflammatory medications without the side effects. It crosses the blood-brain-barrier and has been shown in animal studies to aid in digestion of amyloid plaques, the offender implicated in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). As possible proof, in India, where curry consumption is significant, there are much lower rates of AD than in the U.S.

Magnesium is another key nutrient for lowering chronic inflammation, supported by the fact that it lowers C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP is a marker for systemic inflammation, and is an important predictor for cardiovascular disease such as atherosclerosis. In a large study, people who had low magnesium intake (from food and supplements) were found to be 40% more likely to have elevated CRP levels. It is not clear how magnesium minimizes inflammation; however, scientists do know that magnesium is a co-factor critical to many biochemical pathways, so it may be that optimal functioning of metabolic pathways keeps inflammation in check.

One last, but possibly most important recommendation is omega-3 oil. The American diet is typically severely deficient in this type of fat, and overloaded with omega 6, 9, and bad fats such as saturated and trans fats. This resulting imbalance has an exponentially-damaging effect by constantly pushing a pro-inflammatory system. The only way to rebalance the system is reduce the dominant fats, and increase omega-3 intake. Fish oil is the most common source of omega-3, but there are other sources such as flax seed oil and krill. People with omega-3 deficiencies commonly experience dry skin, dry scalp, eczema, psoriasis, arthritis, or heart disease.

By addressing inflammation through diet, lifestyle, and supplementation, you could potentially be aiding in the prevention of dozens of health ailments.

Issues with the Fish Oil Study

Carol B. Blair, BS, DiHom, CNC148266535

Wellness Educator

By now, most of you know how I feel about many of the “studies” performed in this country. The news coverage regarding the recent study on fish oil and prostate cancer is one more example of misinformation, indeed, that will harm many people.

First, the initial study was not even performed to evaluate the relationship between fish oil (Omega-3 EPA and DHA) and prostate cancer. The information was obtained retrospectively without knowing how many people were eating fish, flax, chia seeds, hemp seeds, or taking fish oil. For that matter, they didn’t even know if they were even eating fried fish with its known carcinogenic trans-fats. In fact, in a study published in Prostate in 2013, regular consumption of fried fish showed a 32% increase risk of prostate cancer!

Additionally, if fish or fish oil is harmful, why do China and Japan, who have the highest fish consumption in the world, have the lowest cancer rates in the world? Here in the US, meanwhile, cancer rates are off the charts!

Another thing to consider is that all fish oil supplements are not created equally. Many cheap supplements contain toxins such as PCBs, mercury, and other heavy metals and chemicals—many of which are known carcinogens.

Several other studies that were designed to evaluate the relationship between fish oil and prostate cancer showed protective benefits. As you know, I prefer foreign studies which I find to be more unbiased so I will start with one from New Zealand. Here are some examples:

  • In a very well designed study in New Zealand, a 40% reduced risk of prostate cancer was shown with higher levels of EPA and DHA. This study was published in British Journal of Cancer 1999.
  • As reported in the American Journal of Nutrition in 2008, The Physicians Health Study, which took place over a 22-year period, found that high fish consumption reduced the risk of dying form prostate cancer by 36%.
  • A 12-year study of 47,882 men conducted by Harvard revealed that eating fish more than three times a week reduced the risk of both prostate and metastatic prostate cancer. Indeed, for each additional 500 mg. of fish oil consumed, the risk of metastases decreased by 24%. This study was reported in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, & Prevention.
  • All in all, don’t let this “study” scare you as I believe it was designed to do. Fish oil has many benefits for vision, brain, skin health, joints, blood pressure, lowering triglycerides, reducing arrhythmias, and yes, even cancer! I want to remain healthy so I’m still taking my fish oil every day. Learn more about the benefits of fish oil in our supplement series blog on fish oil.

The Benefits of a High-Quality Fish Oil Supplement

By The Natur-Tyme Wellness Team148266535

Fish oil. It’s no longer the foul tasting oil of your youth. Not only do high-quality fish oils smell and taste good, they provide the nutrients, thus health, the body craves—literally!

The nutrients in question are the Omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Extensive research connects DHA and EPA deficiencies to heart disease; brain disorders, such as ADHD and Alzheimer’s; diabetes; stroke; depression; arthritis; allergies; circulation problems; skin disorders; and gout just to name a few. By simply adding high quality fish oil to your health regime, you can vastly improve the health of your eyes, skin, digestive and immune systems, joints, and especially your heart and brain.

Our highly processed Western diet has drastically changed America’s nutritional landscape. The use of vegetable oils in processed foods caused an enormous increase in Omega-6 fatty acid consumption, elevating the Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio from its ideal 2:1 to an estimated 20:1. In some cases, it’s even as high as 50:1. Omega-3s can reduce inflammation, while Omega-6s may increase inflammation. Omega-3s can prevent excessive blood clotting, while Omega-6s may promote clotting. Omega-3s can moderate immune system reactions, while Omega-6s may often make it over-react. So you can see how an imbalanced intake can create imbalance in the body, leading to disease.

A fish oil supplement can help create that needed balance. In regard to cardiovascular disease, the benefits of Omega-3s are so well understood and accepted that the American Heart Association published statements recommending increased fish intake and/or the use of fish oil supplements. One study even showed that the Omega-3s in fish oils cut your risk of sudden death from heart disease in half.

At least one epidemiologic study has shown that patients with Alzheimer’s disease have significantly lower levels of Omega-3s than healthy seniors. Researchers report that older people can reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s by increasing their intake of fish and fish oil (DHA).

Omega-3s from fish oil are also a great choice for optimal nutrition during pregnancy, not only for fetal development, but for the mother as well. DHA is the most abundant Omega-3 long-chain fatty acid in breast milk and studies show that breast-fed babies have IQ advantages over babies fed formula lacking DHA. Research also shows that by adding DHA to her diet, a new mother can significantly decrease the possibility and/or effects of postpartum depression.

OTHER BENEFITS INCLUDE

  • Protection against symptoms of hay fever, sinus infections, asthma, food allergies, and allergic skin conditions, such as hives and eczema
  • Inhibition of the production of the inflammatory compounds related to psoriasis and improvement of the health of skin, nails, and hair
  • Reduction in insulin resistance
  • Improvement of immune function (research links the intake of fish oil to a lowered risk of breast and prostate cancers)
  • Lowered risk of age-related macular degeneration—an eye condition which is the leading cause of severe visual loss in people over age 50
  • An anti-inflammatory effect on inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease)

When selecting a supplement, choose a product that delivers a high concentration of DHA and EPA per serving. Finally, be sure to look for oils that are clean. Some brands that we recommend for their high-quality fish oils include: Nordic Naturals, Carlson Labs, and NutriNeeds.

 

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