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FAQ

Frequently-Asked-Questions

All the producers claim their Omega-3 Oil is the best, and reports in the media often say different things about Omega-3 – Why should I believe you?

The short answer is: Science, transparency, and above all: common sense. The best source of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids is fresh oily fish like Salmon, Tuna, and Mackerel. Natural sources are more easily absorbed and more nutritious and the science supports this. At NOR-OIL we have nothing to hide: all our Omega-3 Virgin Salmon Oil comes from premium Norwegian Salmon harvested and sealed fresh from the Norwegian Arctic.

NOR-OIL simply believe that fresh and natural is best, and that our customers feel more confident buying guaranteed-fresh Omega-3 fish oil from a company that clearly states where the product is from.

Is it most important to look for a fish oil with high EPA and DHA?

No – As with all food products, quality and freshness is more important. You wouldn’t buy bad milk, even if the label promised extra cream. If the oil is rotten your body will not easily absorb it, and your immune system will suffer.

If the oil is refined, then it has been altered on a molecular level into an Ethyl-Ester alcohol form. This form is much harder to for the body to absorb. EPA and DHA (and also Omega-3 DPA) are very important, but common sense says freshness should be a higher priority. Look for information on the packaging about how fresh the oil is, and where it comes from.

You might also be interested to know that research shows Omega-3 DPA is as important as EPA and DHA, but DPA is not found in most fish oils, because most fish oils on the market come from South American fish, which do not contain Omega-3 DPA.

Many reports in the media say that taking too many supplements is bad for you. Is this true for Omega-3?

These reports are true of vitamin supplements, rather than food product supplements like NOR-OIL Premium Omega-3 Oil. However, we agree that many supplements are un-necessary for most people living in rich countries eating good food! We agree too that taking super-high doses of supplements can be harmful rather than beneficial. We also agree that the ‘if a little is good, more is better’ rationale is clearly misguided.

Omega-3 is a valid supplement because it is an Essential Fatty Acid: needed, but not produced by the human body and only available in sufficient quantity from fresh, oily fish like salmon, tuna, or mackerel. As many people eat these fish less than three times a week, Omega-3 supplements make sense – particularly when the health benefits are taken into consideration.

NOR-OIL extract Omega-3 oil from fresh-caught Norwegian salmon and we provide a similar daily amount of Omega-3 (EPA, DHA, DPA) as you would expect to find in a 100g serving of salmon filet.

How do I know that the Omega-3 supplement I am using today is not rotten?

If it doesn’t say it is fresh on the packaging, don’t trust it. A 2010 study commissioned by the Norwegian Government found that most of the most popular fish oils on the market were rotten. The universal measure for freshness is TOTOX (short for total oxidation). The lower the measure, the better. Zero is totally fresh: a live fish. 26 is the maximum acceptable level. Any company confident in the freshness of its fish oil should display a TOTOX level they are happy to prove if required.

A second measure of freshness is the time between catching the fish and extracting the oil – again, the lower the better. It’s also a good idea to check where the fish and the oil come from: if this information is not available, a cautious consumer might conclude that the manufacturer has something to hide.

NOR-OIL displays this information on all its packaging:

NOR-OIL Virgin Salmon Oil, made in Norway from 100% fresh Norwegian salmon, extracted within 75 minutes of catch from the Norwegian Arctic. TOTOX less than 2.

I see on your packaging that the EPA+DHA is lower than the supplement I take today. Why should I buy your product instead?

NOR-OIL contains, in addition to EPA and DHA, a third, equally-important type of Omega-3 EFA called DPA. DPA is not found in South American fish, where most fish oils are sourced. DPA has similar benefits to EPA and DHA, and also some unique health benefits of its own.

If your current supplement is a refined and concentrated oil, it has been altered molecularly to an Ethyl Ester alcohol form, which is not readily absorbed by the human body. This means that the number on the packaging is high, but the positive health effects are minimal.

NOR-OIL is sourced fresh and unpolluted from premium Norwegian salmon, and is not refined, meaning you are consuming Omega-3 in its natural form, proven to be much more readily and quickly absorbed: Less Omega-3 goes much further when it is fresher and unrefined.

Unrefined NOR-OIL from Norwegian salmon also contains beneficial phospholipids and unique long-chain mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), found to offer similar health benefits to Omega-3 EPA and DHA. These health-beneficial phospholipids and MUFAs are not found in refined oil because the high-temperature refining process strips them away.

A daily 10ml spoonful of NOR-OIL Premium Omega-3 Oil contains 2150mg (2.15g) of Omega-3 EFA’s – roughly the same amount found in a 100g serving of grilled salmon. Of this 2150mg Omega-3,

720mg is DHA,

480mg is EPA,

250mg is DPA,

and the remaining 700mg are the other types of Omega-3 fatty acids which you will find in North Atlantic Salmon steak and unrefined North Atlantic salmon oil, but NOT in refined oil.

Finally, when you choose NOR-OIL Premium Omega-3 Oil, you know you are buying fresh and quality. This may sound like a given, but a 2010 study commissioned by the Norwegian government found that 109 of the 113 most popular fish oils on the market were rotten. Rotten fish oil is not only very difficult for the body to absorb, but contains harmful oxidants and lowers the immune system. NOR-OIL use only premium Norwegian Salmon and extract the oil within 75 minutes of catch to ensure NOR-OIL is the freshest Omega-3 on the market.

Why should I take omega-3?

Everybody needs Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids. They are found in significant amounts in the blood, cardio-vascular system, nervous system, eyes, kidneys, and brain, to name just a few. Omega-3 EFAs have been shown in tests to significantly aid healthy growth and repair, and also to reduce harmful cholesterol and high blood pressure. Omega-3 has also been indicated in effective metabolisation of blood sugars and fats.

On a wider level, population groups associated with regular Omega-3 consumption through a seafood diet typically enjoy lower rates of heart disease. Many people in the west simply do not consume enough fresh oily, Omega-3 rich fish and this has long been highlighted as an indicator and contributory cause of the high rate of heart disease and other CVD in western countries.

Of course, the best remedy is simply to increase your dietary intake of fresh oily fish like salmon. The British Heart Foundation recommends a minimum of one 100g serving a week for everyone, and 2-3 servings for people who have suffered a heart attack. Many people however, either do not like the taste or smell of oily fish, or they find sourcing and/or preparing it inconvenient. Omega-3 supplements from fresh, quality salmon provide a valuable alternative for this large group of people and provide the peace of mind that your body is getting the Omega-3 it needs.

Is rotten fish oil bad for me?

Yes, rancid oils suppress immune and antioxidant support, for up to 72 hours. During this time, energy and resources are being diverted from other bodily functions, causing you noticeable tiredness and greater vulnerability to infections. As Rotten Omega-3 is difficult to absorb anyway, it would clearly be far better for your body if you did not take the supplement at all.

You say that other oils are not fresh, but how can yours be fresh if it comes from Norway and stays on a shelf for months?

The most important factor in preserving freshness is preventing the early onset of oxidation. The time from catching the fish to freezing it is crucial. In our case, it is the time between catching the fish and extracting the oil – for NOR-OIL this is 75minutes. After sealing, no more oxygen can reach the oil. However, if the oil is already oxidised (rotten) before sealing, then it will continue to rot inside the capsule or bottle. NOR-OIL prevent this early onset by getting the catch to shore very quickly (max.75 minutes). The cold climate of the Norwegian Arctic removes another factor in oxidation: heat. The way the extraction of the oil is performed is also critical. NOR-OIL extract the oil away from sunlight, under refrigeration, and under Nitrogen to dispel oxygen. In this way, NOR-OIL is extracted and sealed with an extremely low TOTOX value (less than 2). We seal this extremely-low-ox-oil with a natural antioxidant to further guard against any slow onset of oxidation while the product is in its packaging.

While NOR-OIL is already the freshest Omega-3 fish oil on the market for these reasons, we take a further precaution in voluntarily limiting our shelf-life to 18 months, rather than the 24 months used by most manufacturers. This is entirely voluntary: our product is certified fresh for 24 months within European Union guidelines. We simply have higher standards on freshness.

Why does salmon have a red color?

The most important factor in preserving freshness is preventing the early onset of oxidation. The time from catching the fish to freezing it is crucial. In our case, it is the time between catching the fish and extracting the oil – for NOR-OIL this is 75minutes. After sealing, no more oxygen can reach the oil. However, if the oil is already oxidised (rotten) before sealing, then it will continue to rot inside the capsule or bottle. NOR-OIL prevent this early onset by getting the catch to shore very quickly (max.75 minutes). The cold climate of the Norwegian Arctic removes another factor in oxidation: heat. The way the extraction of the oil is performed is also critical. NOR-OIL extract the oil away from sunlight, under refrigeration, and under Nitrogen to dispel oxygen. In this way, NOR-OIL is extracted and sealed with an extremely low TOTOX value (less than 2). We seal this extremely-low-ox-oil with a natural antioxidant to further guard against any slow onset of oxidation while the product is in its packaging.

While NOR-OIL is already the freshest Omega-3 fish oil on the market for these reasons, we take a further precaution in voluntarily limiting our shelf-life to 18 months, rather than the 24 months used by most manufacturers. This is entirely voluntary: our product is certified fresh for 24 months within European Union guidelines. We simply have higher standards on freshness.

Rotten oil: if loads of people are eating it, why aren’t they vomiting?

Because rotten oil is typically found in capsules which contain very small amounts of oil (between 0.5 and 1g only). The tiny amount is enough to attack and lower the immune system, but not enough to prompt full-scale food poisoning symptoms. The capsule prevents the nose and tongue from detecting the rotten smell and taste which would probably otherwise induce vomiting.

If you took a spoonful of rotten fish oil from a bottle, you probably would not be able to swallow it because of the smell and taste (the tongue is very sensitive, it is one of the body’s defence mechanisms). This is why there are very few providers of bottled fish oil, because the quality must be good in order for people to happily consume it ‘unmasked’ and un-capsulated. Quality, fresh oil costs much more than waste oil imported from South America and so is not as profitable. Capsules are not just a convenient way of consuming fish oil; unfortunately they also provide a convenient way for many companies to hide rotten oil from the consumer.

Always check the label for information about source AND freshness. If the information isn’t there, a cautious consumer might consider that the manufacturer has something to hide.

Isn’t refining necessary to remove harmful contaminants like Mercury?

Only if the fish contains harmful contaminants!

The refined-fish-oil industry like people to believe refining is necessary to guarantee safety. This is because cheap oil from contaminated sources is more profitable (but requires refining). If it were true that all fish oil required refining at 250ºC for several hours, then we would also need to cook all fish at 250ºC for several hours in order to ‘guarantee safety’. Nuked salmon steak anyone?

NOR-OIL, and the food industry in general, are very serious about heavy metals and PCB’s and other contaminants. Strict legislation prevents the selling of contaminated food products. The salmon from which NOR-OIL Premium Omega-3 Oil is extracted is sold to some of the most discerning customers in the world and meets the highest safety and quality standards. The salmon, the water they live in and the food they eat are regularly tested, internally and independently. Likewise, our oil is also regularly tested – a full analysis is available here.

NB: It should be remembered that trace (tiny) quantities of certain substances like mercury are naturally present in our bodies and the environment – and food, rather like there are natural levels of background radiation which are harmless at low levels but present a serious problem at higher levels.

What’s better, wild salmon or farmed salmon? I read that wild salmon contains higher levels of contaminants?

The answer is: they are both good, and a top source of Omega-3.

The important thing is to ensure your salmon – whether wild or farmed – is fresh and unpolluted. This depends entirely on the quality of the water they live in, what food they eat, and how they are caught and processed.

This doesn’t draw a distinction between wild and farmed salmon, just good and bad quality salmon. You can find the full range of quality: bad – good, in farms and in the wild.

There are numerous websites which display seemingly-arbitrary values for contamination levels and nutritional values between farmed and wild salmon, but normally there is some small print disclaimer avoiding any responsibility for the validity of the information. Most often, reports and data claiming ‘standard’ values are PR crafted in order to make one product look bad, or another product look good.

The truth is, there is no ‘standard’ value for nutrition or contaminant values of wild or farmed salmon. Values vary from area to area, and farm to farm. Some of the most polluted fish in the world are caught in the wild, and some of the least polluted fish in the world are caught in the wild. Likewise, there are great farms, and bad farms. Good practice produces good salmon, bad practice produces bad salmon, just as with cows, pigs, and chickens.

NOR-OIL Premium Omega-3 Oil comes from Norwegian North Atlantic Salmon raised in partitions in the Norwegian Arctic. This form of farming produces healthy, premium, consistent-quality salmon with opportunity to continually monitor food and water and guarantee no contamination. The practice of raising the salmon in the open sea means the water is continually refreshed and dynamic, unlike most inland farms. A further advantage of this type of farming is that it is environmentally sustainable.

For a full analysis of our oil, click here.

Why is NOR-OIL registered in Hungary?

NOR-OIL is fully produced in Norway from 100% Norwegian Salmon. NOR-OIL distribute to EU countries from the central location of Debrecen, Hungary.

Norway, by choice, is not a full member of the European Union. In addition, NOR-OIL Salmon are produced in the remote north of Norway. Distributing from central Europe ensures smooth administration, minimal supply chain, and a minimal carbon footprint.

Do I need to keep fish oil refrigerated?

If the oil is sealed fresh in capsule form or unopened bottle, then no. NOR-OIL Premium Omega-3 oil is sealed with a very low oxidation (TOTOX less than 2) and can be stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight for up to 18 months (EU guidelines allow 24 months, but we feel 18 months is a better guarantee).

If you are using fish oil from a bottle, then you should, after opening, keep the oil refrigerated with the lid screwed on the bottle tightly and use within 3 months.

What is the RDA (recommended daily allowance) for Omega-3?

Although there is general agreement that Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids provide significant health benefit, there is as yet no universal recommended standard daily allowance for Omega-3.

Deciding on a universal standard is complicated by these questions:

What is Omega-3? and What other factors affect its effectiveness?

There are three main Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids in oily fish: EPA, DHA, and DPA, all shown to provide a health benefit. However, many tests and recommendations only refer to EPA and DHA. This is because many fish oils on the market simply do not contain DPA.

Furthermore Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids are not found in isolation: they are found naturally in fish oil together with phospholipids, vitamins, minerals, natural antioxidants and (in the case of North Atlantic Salmon) special long-chain mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Studies have found that the entire natural complex enhances the effect of Omega-3. Refining strips the fish oil of all but EPA and DHA, limiting overall potency.

High temperature refining and concentrating also makes the EPA and DHA less bio-available. During refining, EPA and DHA are converted into an artificial, Ethyl-Ester alcohol form. This must be re-converted back to the natural triglyceride form by the body before it can be useful. Tests have shown that refined, Ethyl-Ester form EPA and DHA is between 2 and 9 times less bio-available than natural, unrefined triglyceride form EPA and DHA.

Finally, freshness is of crucial importance for health because rotten oil actually damages health! Many people don’t realise that the majority of Omega-3 fish oil supplements on the market are made from rotten fish oil! Eating a small amount of rotten fish oil daily in a capsule will not make you vomit, but it will lower your immune system and leave you tired and vulnerable to other infections.

Many recommendations – including the European Commission recommendation of 2-3g EPA/DHA daily, are based on narrow criteria supplied by private companies, and fail to take the above factors into account. 3g EPA/DHA is actually more Omega-3 than you would expect to find in a 100g/3½oz. serving of fresh, gently cooked salmon filet, but nobody seriously suggests we should be eating a large serving of salmon every day in order to achieve a health benefit from Omega-3!

Producers of refined and concentrated Omega-3 products typically recommend high-doses EPA/DHA because refined and concentrated EFAs are necessarily harder to absorb and so are only effective at higher doses. DPA is not mentioned because most refined Omega-3 products are sourced cheaply from South American fish which do not contain DPA.

The British Heart Foundation recommend that everybody try to eat at least one serving of Omega-3 rich fish a week, and people who have had a heart attack should increase this to 2-3 times per week. This is sensible advice, echoed by most GPs and dieticians. It is simple to obtain a daily allowance from this, based on one 100g/3½oz. serving of Omega-3 rich fish containing minimum 1.5g Omega-3 (1.5g+ Omega-3 per 100g is considered naturally-high Omega-3 content in oily fish).

Typical minimum RDA: (1 serving or 1.5g per week/7) 0.214g per day

At-risk group RDA: (3 servings or 4.5g per week/7) 0.643g per day

Fish-rich diet: (5 servings or 7.5g per week/7) 1.071g per day

As you can see, the equivalent RDA of Omega-3 in the British Heart Foundation recommendation for fresh unrefined fish is far lower than the RDA presented for refined fish oil. This is because fresh, unrefined Omega-3 in its natural form needs only to be consumed in sensible amounts to be health-effective.

NOR-OIL Premium Omega-3 Oil is naturally unrefined, containing the full natural nutrient complement – just as in the whole, fresh Omega-3 fish recommended by the British Heart Foundation and GPs.

Based on the guidance above, in line with the British Heart Foundation recommendation for unrefined, natural form Omega-3

2 capsules of NOR-OIL Premium Omega-3 Oil Capsules / Omega-3 Capsules for Kids provide the correct typical minimum RDA of 215 mg, the equivalent of 1 serving of Omega-3 rich fish per week, spread over seven days.
2 capsules of NOR-OIL Premium Omega-3 Oil for Maternity provides double this dose: 430mg daily, or the equivalent of 2 servings per week of Omega-3 rich fish.
1 teaspoon (5ml) NOR-OIL Premium Omega-3 Oil Family Bottle/Children’s Bottle provides 967.5mg daily, or the equivalent of 4-5 servings per week of Omega-3 rich fish
1 tablespoon (10ml) NOR-OIL Premium Omega-3 Oil Family Bottle provides 1935mg daily, or the equivalent of nine servings per week of Omega-3 rich fish
As a final note, it should be remembered that NOR-OIL Premium Omega-3 Oil is a supplement and should be eaten alongside a healthy diet. The best source of Omega-3 is whole, fresh, oily fish like salmon. While we aim to provide a liquid supplement that is as close as possible to whole, fresh salmon, we support recommendations that people reduce saturated fats and increase the amount of fish in their diet. People using NOR-OIL Premium Omega-3 Oil as a supplement should still aim to incorporate some whole Omega-3 fish in their diet.