Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential for good health. They play an important role in brain function and normal growth and development. Since our bodies cannot produce omega-3s, they must be provided by our diet. There are two major kinds of omega-3 fatty acids found in food: The first kind, Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), are short-chain omega-3 fatty acids that are found in some vegetable oils,(soybean, rapeseed (canola), flaxseed) and in walnuts, brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, and salad greens. The second kind, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fatty fish like mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon. Research indicates that only 5% of ALA converts to EPA, and less than 1% converts to DHA. ALA does contain many health-promoting benefits, but unlike EPA and DHA, one would need to consume a lot more of ALA to realize the same health benefits derived from EPA and DHA.
The natural triglyceride form used in our See Yourself Well line of omega-3 products refers to the molecular form of the fatty acids. In nature, fats are found in the triglyceride form and are easily absorbed. Fish oil in the natural triglycerides format is absorbed up to 70% better versus the ethyl ester format.
(Dyerberg J, et al. Bioavailability of marine n-3 fatty acid formulations. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2010 Sep; 83(3):137–14)
Pharmaceutical-grade fish oil, also sometimes called ultra-refined fish oil, is a fish oil that has undergone an advanced molecular distillation process that concentrates it and removes all impurities, such as heavy metals, furan, dioxin and PCBs.
See Yourself Well Omega-3 and Life Support Omega-3 products are more than twice as concentrated as most health-food/drugstore grade fish oils, which means they contain twice as much omega-3 fatty acids per capsule. Our See Yourself Well line of omega-3 products are also in the natural triglyceride form, the natural form found in fatty fish. The triglyceride form is absorbed up to 70% better than the ethyl ester format, the format of many other fish oils. As well, all of our omega-3 products are certified by IFOS (each batch is IFOS certified 5 stars, the highest rating provided by IFOS). This certification adds to the cost of our product, an investment we believe is very important to you the consumer, but one that many health-food/drugstore grade fish oils do not make. IFOS also certifies that the EPA and DHA levels listed on our label are certified to be present in our product. Most governments allow for a 20% variance from the label claim, which can result in an inferior product in terms of total EPA & DHA, at an inflated cost. That is, a consumer may be getting up to 20% less of the EPA/DHA stated on the label and, due to the cheaper price, think they are getting a bargain.
Almost all fish oil brands claim to be purified, but very few provide any kind of proof or certification. Every batch of our omega-3 fish oils and and krill oils are tested and certified by the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS) and the International Krill Oil Standards (IKOS) program. This certification adds to the cost of our product, an investment we believe is very important to you the consumer, but one that other fish oil brands do not make.
The IFOS™ and IKOS™programs are third-party testing and certification programs for omega-3 fish oil and krill oil products. Products that match the label claim for omega-3 fatty acids, and meet the safety standards for environmental contaminants set by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and the World Health Organization (WHO), are eligible for inclusion on the IFOS and IKOS Program websites. Read more about these programs here.
All of our fish oil products contain oil that is cold-pressed. Cold-pressed oil is oil which has been produced with the use of a low-heat technique. While higher-heat methods yield more oil, the introduction of heat to the process degrades the flavor, nutritional value, level of purity and color of the oil. For this reason, cold-pressed oil tends to be more expensive, but it is of much higher quality and purity.
Our products start with wild sardine, anchovy and mackerel. These are small, non-threatened species that are low on the food chain and have a short life span, thus ensuring that bio-accumulation of contaminants is kept to a minimum. Never farmed, our fish are harvested from the cold, pristine waters off the coasts of Peru and Chile, where there are significantly fewer environmental impurities than in many other parts of the world.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be plant-derived (flaxseed) and marine-derived (fish). Flaxseed oil contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which can be partially converted to EPA and DHA, however, research indicates that only 5% of ALA converts to EPA, and less than 1% converts to DHA. Flaxseed oil contains many health-promoting benefits, but unlike fish oil, it does not provide adequate amounts of EPA and DHA to realize the many health benefits, such as supporting and maintaining cardiovascular health, helping to reduce serum triglyceride levels, and supporting cognitive health and brain function