By Eric Capstick
I have heard about the health benefits of fish oils for some time but never realized that what we are talking about here is Cod Liver Oil. This is the same Cod Liver Oil that kids were forced to drink in the old black and white films of my youth. The irascible rascal back then invariably scrunched up his face and gagged as he took a punishment that was for his own good. You see, Cod liver oil was known to protect kids like him from rickets, a softening of bones that often led to deformity, because of its extremely high naturally occurring vitamin D content.
Today the documented health benefits of Cod liver oil go far beyond the essential service provided the little rascals and their ilk in the protection against rickets. The high levels of vitamin A, vitamin D, and the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA naturally occurring in Cod liver oil are credited with far-reaching therapeutic benefits across the globe. Essential fatty acids derived from Cod liver oil have been recognized as critical in the optimal development of the brain as well as for clinically-proven positive effects on eyes, heart and bones. Omega-3 formulations are used extensively in the treatment of arthritis pain and stiffness due to the natural anti-inflammatory characteristics of the fatty acids that come from Cod liver oil and support the body’s anti-inflammatory function. Omega-3 supplements are recognized to support learning ability and cognition and have been used successfully to treat autism, clearly displaying measurable speech and language gains in that population. Omega-3 supplements also promote positive mood and behavior, surely a significant benefit in today’s world.
Not only is Cod liver oil more widely recognized for its health benefits today but it is also much more pleasant to consume. A recent addition to the Omega-3 marketplace is Omega-3 Effervescent developed by the industry leader, Nordic Naturals. Amazingly, this is a Cod liver oil product that actually tastes good! The orange flavor of the effervescent Omega-3 drink mix is pleasantly creamy in texture resulting in a modest but delicious shake-like drinking experience. Simply mix with water once a day and you get all the Omega-3 fatty acids you’ll need for the day. In fact, one packet of the Nordic Naturals effervescent provides 500mg of EPA and DHA, naturally occurring vitamins A and D, as well as added natural vitamin D3 for enhanced bone, mood and immune support. Nordic Naturals is committed to increasing the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids worldwide, by educating consumers about its array of health benefits, and this convenient new Omega-3 Effervescent drink should help further this goal.
There is a lot more to the story of Cod liver oil and the world’s leading producer of omega-3 fish oils, Nordic Naturals, than I ever realized. Nordic Naturals was founded more than 14 years ago by Joar Opheim upon realizing the lack of fish oils in the American diet. He began his business with the goal of improving the overall quality of fish oils by developing new technologies to improve the purity, freshness, taste as well as the molecular structure of the oils. All of these goals have been accomplished and Nordic Natural now offers the largest line of fish oil products in the world, all in natural triglyceride form with Omega-3 concentrations up to 95%. The company manufactures all of its fish oil products in Norway where it exceeds both the Norwegian Medicinal and European Pharmacopoeia Standards for quality. The use of molecular distillation techniques yields positively zero trans fats in the manufacturing process and also guarantees the removal of contaminants from the fish, such as heavy metals (lead, mercury), PCB and dioxin. Yet, as a research driven company, Nordic Naturals will continue innovating and refining its products and production techniques as it initiates numerous clinical studies each year and expands a portfolio of unique processing patents.
Not only is Nordic Naturals the leader in omega-3 fish oil products and blends, offering a complete line of over 150 different fish oil products in liquid, soft gel and chewable forms, but they are committed to the sustainable harvest of Arctic Cod and possess an unwavering devotion to environmental responsibility. Nordic Naturals uses 100% wild Arctic Cod from the Arctic Ocean as well as 100% wild anchovies and sardines from the Norwegian Sea. These are considered some of the purest oceans in the world with virtually no over-fishing taking place. Nordic Naturals monitors ocean fish stocks on a weekly basis and maintains a separate website devoted to maintaining healthy oceans and fish populations, http://www.planetnordic.com, that champions Norwegian Fishing Practices as a model of sustainability. The site details the Norwegian government regulations and practices that have resulted in the world’s most abundant and pure oceans, as well as identifying over-fishing hotspots around the world. Also listed in this website are species currently declining from over-fishing, including the Atlantic Cod, which I have known to be an increasingly sparse species from my forays into the Montauk fishing culture. While fishing practices in much of the world are entirely unregulated, Norway’s quota system represents the most comprehensive and stringent monitoring system for fishing in the world. The results are apparent in the abundant and sustainable harvests yielded year after year in this part of the world. We can only hope, and agitate, that the rest of the world sees the light and adopts conservation practices along the lines of the Norwegian model before it’s too late.
When shopping for Cod liver oil products it is important to consider the question of purity. You see, most Cod liver oil products are made from fish other than cod, such as seit or haddock. This is because Arctic Cod (Skrei), with the highest DHA content of any cod species, is by far the most expensive raw material available. Many manufacturers add synthetic vitamins to their fish oil to bring it up to the standards of Cod liver oil. This deception appears once again to be a problem of regulation. Alas, what you see is not always what you get. However, in the case of Nordic Natural products you can always count on the fact that you are getting the real thing, omega-3 fish oil products derived from 100% Arctic Cod liver oil. And, in consuming these products, you will also get a healthy return on your investment in the form of far-reaching health benefits. Nordic Naturals produces the purest and freshest omega-3 fatty acid products from the healthiest oceans in the world on a mission to nurse the planet and its people to better health.