Is Norwegian Fish Oil the Best Fish Oil?
What are Norwegian fish oil supplements and are they better than other brands?
Fish oils have been around for decades and they’re proven to help lower inflammation, ease joint pain and enhance cardiovascular and emotional health.
The oil is usually made from mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon and sardines.
Norwegian fish oil is a specific type of oil made from fish that inhabit the cold clear waters off Norway and the surrounding areas.
Compared to fish caught in other parts of the world, Norwegian fish oils may offer more benefits due to 3 main reasons:
- Higher Omega 3 Fatty Acid Concentrations
- Less Exposure to Mercury
- Stricter Testing Regulations
1. Higher Omega 3 Fatty Acid Concentrations
Fish oils provide the omega 3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is extracted from raw fish.
Many biologists believe that the Norwegian Sea contains some of the highest concentrations of phytoplankton in the world. This makes it the prime spawning ground for herring, mackerel and cod since phytoplankton is their prime food source.
Due to the potent concentration of phytoplankton, the fish that thrive in this are tend to contain higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids, compared to fish that live in other parts of the world.
2. Less Exposure to Mercury
It turns out that the Norwegian and Icelandic waters are also one of the purest bodies of water in the world.
It’s believed that they contain lower levels of pollution which helps reduce fish exposure to mercury, PCB’s and dioxins.
Many of the world’s oldest fish factories are located in Norway and the country is also one of the largest exporters of fish.
Salmon oils, omega 3 supplements and shark liver oils are also popular products harvested from the raw materials sourced from the Arctic and North Atlantic Ocean.
Norwegian salmon apparently contains high amounts of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) as well as omega 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 11.
Norwegian shark liver is an excellent source of alkoxyglycerols which supports a healthy immune system.
3. Norwegian Fish Oils Benefit from Stricter Testing Regulations
Products from Norway have a reputation for providing fresh, pure oils which are reported to be tested by some of the most rigorous laboratory standards.
Unlike some nutritional supplements made in other countries, Norwegians follow standards set forth by the Norwegian Medicinal Standards (NMS) and the European Pharmacopoeia Standards (this is the European equivalent to the United States Pharmacopoeia USP).
These organizations set standards for purity with maximum allowable levels for mercury, heavy metals and PCB’s. They also set standards for omega 3 concentration levels.
Their standards are considered to be more stricter than other regulatory bodies from other countries.
Here’s a chart showing you the accepted standards for peroxide values, heavy metals, dioxins and PCB’s from the Norwegian Medicinal Standards (NMS), European Pharmacopoeia (EPA) and the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP).
High quality products should provide a Certificate of Analysis showing it meets or exceeds the standards set forth by the European Pharmacopoeia (EPS) and/or the Norwegian Medicinal Standards (NMS).
Example of a Nordic Fish Oil
While there are many different products to choose from, the most important factor is determining if the products are actually from Norway.
Both companies use fish caught from the Norwegian Sea and the end-products are processed and bottled in Norway.
Nordic Naturals offers a variety of different products and they claim to exceed standards set forth by the European Pharmacopoeia as well as the Norwegian Medicinal Standards.
Carlson Labs also has a variety of different nutritional supplements and they follow standards according to the AOSA (Association of Official Analytical Chemists) a non-profit organization responsible for establishing laboratory guidelines and testing methods.
The industry isn’t completely regulated so you may need to do some research to ensure your item is actually farmed and manufactured in Norway. Anyone can claim their fish oils are made in Norway, but only a few major companies have established themselves as genuine.