Product Recommendation: Nordic Naturals

What supplements should I take?” is a very, very common question new clients and blog readers ask me. With half of Americans taking vitamins and supplements regularly, according to Gallup1, it’s no wonder we often don’t think twice before picking up yet another bottle of what we think of as being a safe, natural, healthy addition to our dietary regime. But is it? Do we really know what we’re taking? And equally as important, do we really know if we need to be taking it? My approach to working with clients is entirely food based. Not being a clinician, I don’t order lab tests, perform blood draws and I certainly don’t make suggestions to clients regarding altering their current medications, apart from encouraging them to talk with their physician if they feel changes are appropriate. But supplements can be an entirely separate matter. While the FDA does regulate supplements, they do not need to be proven safe before they hit the market2. Incidentally, not that the FDA is to be trusted implicitly anyway, given some of the things they have deemed safe! Not knowing exactly knowing what may be in some of the pills, liquids and potions we can easily pick up at Whole Foods is part of the story, but let’s address what comes before heading to the shop to pick up the latest vitamin you think you need in the first place: do you really need it? I don’t know. And unless you’ve had the proper blood work, saliva samples, fecal test or urine data analyze, neither you nor your doctor may really know, either. Assuming that a good way to offset potential symptoms of menopause, for example, by deciding that simply going to the local homeopathic pharmacy and stocking up on evening primrose oil, black cohosh and yam cream is safe can be a big risk, not to mention a waste of money. While those three may be ’natural’ and ‘organic’, if you don’t know what your hormonal profile looks like prior to self-medicating, you could do some serious damage. There is, however, one exception to this rule. The one supplement I do recommend to nearly everyone is a high quality fish oil. Why? The list of benefits are endless3: • Fish oil is FDA approved to lower triglycerides levels, blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol levels. • Fish oil has also been used for preventing heart disease or stroke, as well as for clogged arteries, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, bypass surgery, heart failure, rapid heartbeat, preventing blood clots, and high blood pressure after a heart transplant. • Fish oil is also used to for many kidney-related problems including kidney disease, kidney failure, and kidney complications related to diabetes, cirrhosis, Berger’s disease (IgA nephropathy), heart transplantation, or using the drug called cyclosporine. • Fish may have earned its reputation as “brain food” because some people eat fish to help with depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Alzheimer’s disease, developmental coordination disorder, migraine headache, epilepsy, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and mental impairment. • Some people use fish oil for dry eyes, cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a very common condition in older people that can lead to serious sight problems. • Fish oil is taken by mouth for stomach ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, an inherited disorder called phenylketonuria, allergy to salicylate, Crohn’s disease, Behcet’s syndrome, and Raynaud’s syndrome. • Women sometimes take fish oil to prevent painful periods; breast pain; and complications associated with pregnancy such as miscarriage (including that caused by a condition called antiphospholipid syndrome), high blood pressure late in pregnancy, early delivery, slow infant growth, and to promote infant development. • Fish oil is also taken by mouth for weight loss, exercise performance and muscle strength, muscle soreness after exercise, pneumonia, cancer, lung disease, seasonal allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome, and for preventing blood vessels from re-narrowing after surgery to widen them. • Fish oil is also used for diabetes, prediabetes, asthma, a movement and coordination disorder called dyspraxia, dyslexia, eczema, autism, obesity, weak bones (osteoporosis), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis, psoriasis, an autoimmune disease called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, cystic fibrosis, gum disease, Lyme disease, sickle cell disease, and preventing weight loss caused by some cancer drugs. • Fish oil is used intravenously (by IV) for scaly and itchy skin (psoriasis), blood infection, cystic fibrosis, pressure ulcers, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). • Fish oil is applied to the skin for psoriasis. So now that you know the why- you need to know the what, errr… the which! How can you tell which one to take? And why take the pricier brand when you can stock up on the cheap type you might pick up at a warehouse you’re a member of? In a word, purity, I was introduced to the brand I still take to this day, Nordic Naturals4, back in the early 2000s by my naturopath and have been taking them ever since. First off, they’re the only brand I’ve ever taken which does not produce that awful side effect many of us have likely experienced: burping up fish oil! This is because Nordic Naturals‘ oxygen–free manufacturing process maintains the freshness of fish oil used in our products, with peroxide values (indicators of freshness) well below the European Pharmacopoeia Standard limits. The lower the peroxide value, the fresher the fish oil. But more importantly: • Nordic Naturals is 3rd party tested • They showed no detectable heavy metals when tested down to the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega–3 (GOED) and Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) standard of 0.1ppm • All oils used in Nordic Naturals products show no detectable dioxins or furans when tested down to 2.0 ppt In addition, Nordic Naturals has always been deeply committed to the health of our ocean and uses only wild-caught, sustainably-sourced fish. Check them out today, and use CODE 52342 for a special offer! And be sure to tune on June 9th at 1pm, PST for a webinar in which I discuss Nutritional Requirements for Focus & Increased Productivity! 1”Half of Americans Take Vitamins Regularly” N.p. n.d. Web 25 May 2016 2 “U.S. Food and Drug Administration.” FDA 101: Dietary Supplements. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May 2016. 3 “FISH OIL: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings – WebMD.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 25 May 2016 4 “Why Nordic Naturals.” Why Nordic Naturals. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May 2016.