Choosing the Best Fish Oil

5 Big Improvements to OmegaVia

written by Vin Kutty

comments 34 comments

We’ve made some upgrades to OmegaVia.

OmegaVia Pharmaceutical grade fish oil - purified by supercritical fluid CO2

It still has the same amount of Omega-3. Same EPA to DHA ratio. And the same price.

Here are some of the upgrades:

  1. POTENCY: Now concentrated with heat-free Supercritical CO2.
  2. PURITY: Additional step for cholesterol and impurity reduction.
  3. PEACE OF MIND: Certified third-party radiation tested.
  4. OIL SOURCE: Now made from wild, small, algae-eating fish – Sardine, Anchovy, Mackerel and Menhaden.
  5. FRESHNESS: Soy-free sunflower antioxidants + Rosemary extract. Most fish oils contain soy-derived preservatives. OmegaVia is completely soy-free and GMO-free.

1. SUPERCRITICAL CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2) EXTRACTION

This, in my very biased opinion, is the biggest and best of the improvements.

Supercritical CO2 Extraction is a purification and concentration technology. It is fairly new to fish oil products and it is better than molecular distillation.

Almost all fish oils these days are molecularly distilled. Molecular distillation is cheap and effective in concentrating fish oils, but it has one major disadvantage – heat.

Heat, light and oxygen are harmful to Omega-3 fats because it increases rancidity and aging.

When making a Ultra-concentrated fish oil using molecular distillation, there is no choice but to expose the delicate Omega-3s to high heat during the repeated molecular distillation process. The higher the concentration of Omega-3, the more times the oil is subjected to high-temperature distillation.

With this CO2 technology, however, we can make highly concentrated and pure fish oils without the heat. While regular fish oils have to be heated to over 350 degrees F to get its high potency, the new OmegaVia is just as potent as the old, but is made at just above room temperature. Compared to CO2 technology, molecular distillation applies up to 350% more heat to the oil.

Compared to CO2 technology, molecular distillation is aggressive and has the potential to generate unwanted isomers (residues) due to repeated and prolonged exposure to heat. However, not all molecular distillation produces isomers or residues. If done correctly, we can avoid heat damage with molecular distillation. But we now have a new technology that completely avoids that heat – so why take any chances when we now have a better alternative.

With this CO2 technology, low concentration or crude fish oil is mixed with liquid CO2. The Omega-3s dissolve into the liquid CO2 and are easily separated and concentrated from the other fats and cholesterol. The CO2 is recycled, making it environmentally sustainable too.

Krill oil is also made in a similar way, but instead of CO2, krill oil is concentrated using acetone (nail polish remover) or isopropanol (rubbing alcohol.) CO2 extraction does not use any of these toxic solvents.

Why aren’t more fish oils concentrated using this CO2 technology?

Cost. It is expensive compared to molecular distillation. Brands like Minami Nutrition, Real Dose and RenewLife offer fish oils made with this technology…so you can compare. OmegaVia’s price will remain the same.

Molecular distillation was a good technology. This is better. So we traded up.


2. CHOLESTEROL REDUCTION USING CO2 CHROMATOGRAPHY

Cholesterol is a concern for many people.

In addition to the CO2 Extraction mentioned above, we use an additional step called CO2 Supercritical Chromatography to further concentrate and purify the pre-concentrated oil. This ensures removal of remaining traces of cholesterol (not that the previous formula had any.)

This also removes additional contaminants. This additional step is not used by molecular distilled fish oils, even the leading brands.

This additional step produces an oil that is remarkably low in environmental contaminants. This type of chromatography can be used to make oil that is 99% EPA or 99% DHA. This technology is used to make OmegaVia EPA 500.

The only other brand that uses both CO2 extraction and CO2 chromatography is Minami Nutrition. Compare products and prices here.


3. RADIATION TESTING

Ever since the Japanese Fukushima nuclear tragedy, we’ve been getting questions from many of you about the safety of fish oil.

Does fish oil contain harmful levels of radiation? No. Not at all. More here and here.

Still, many have expressed concerns. To put this concern to rest, all future OmegaVia products will be tested by a third-party lab for radiation. All OmegaVia IFOS tests will contain these test results.

  • FDA limit: < (less than) 1200 bq/Kg
  • IFOS limit: < 50 bq/Kg
  • Actual level in OmegaVia: < 2 bq/Kg

Sometimes it’s just good to know.


4. FISH OIL MADE FROM SARDINE, ANCHOVY, MACKEREL AND MENHADEN

Most of you are familiar with Sardines, Anchovies and Mackerel.

But Menhaden? Yes, Menhaden. It’s a small, bait-sized algae-eating fish like the others. It’s sustainably harvested off the US east coast.

Sardines, Anchovies and Mackerels are wild caught off the coast of Peru and Chile in the icy currents flowing up from the Antarctic. These are short-lived (less time to accumulate pollution) algae-eating fish that produce very clean oil.

Why the switch from Pollock and Whiting to these fish? Pollock and Whiting are slightly larger fish and have the potential to contain more environmental toxins. The key word here is potential. Even though the fish meat may have some pollutants, the processing of the oil removes virtually all of it. Sardines, Anchovies etc. are smaller, vegetarian (algae-eating) fish that naturally contain fewer pollutants that we don’t have to rely on molecular distillation to remove it. You could almost say these smaller fish come pre-purified.


5. 100% SOY-FREE ANTIOXIDANT + ROSEMARY EXTRACT

Over the last couple of years, OmegaVia has been transitioning away from soy-derived ingredients. The natural preservative Vitamin E (tocopherols) used to come from soybeans. Even though soy tocopherols are allergen-free, many of you objected to this due to GMO-concerns and health reasons.

So now, the the tocopherols come from non-GMO sunflower. Sunflower tocopherols have a unique ‘fingerprint’ of 4 natural forms of Vitamin E that are handled better by your body. Each OmegaVia capsule contains 2-3 IU of sunflower Vitamin E.

For additional protection against rancidity, OmegaVia now contains Rosemary extract, a powerful yet natural preservative.


Do you have any questions about OmegaVia?
Please post your questions in the comments section.


 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

    • Hi Brian – hard to say. You are allergic to some proteins in fish. Fish oil supplements, especially the highly purified ones do not contain fish proteins, so the risk is low. But it’s impossible to guess the risk with certainty. My suggestion is to take an Omega-3 supplement under your doctor’s supervision…and keep some antihistamines or epi-pen handy.

  1. I’m very excited to hear about these improvements, especially the first one!

    Now, I have a perhaps unrelated question, but what is the difference betweenyour OmegaVia and the omega-3 products being sold by Innovix Labs, other than these new improvements? Their products seem to have lower dollar per EPA ratio, and I’ve been wondering what my benefit would be in purchasing OmegaVia rather than those. I’m only asking because I understand Innovix Labs is your parent company and assume you know about their products; please correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Hi Amy – OmegaVia and InnovixLabs use oils from different fish species, different processing techniques (temperatures), different antioxidants, different potencies and different EPA to DHA ratios. Both products, however, share all the manufacturing and quality protocols. InnovixLabs is a value brand – we try to get you the best possible product for the lowest price. With OmegaVia, you get something very premium – it costs more to make and so you pay more at retail. Think Toyota and Lexus. 🙂

  2. Hey Vin,

    Can I store both fish oil and multivitamin bottles (softgels) at around 80-90F for a month or two without losing its efficacy? Thanks!

    • Hi Rupert – it’s OK for a month or two. At such high temperatures, these products will undergo accelerated aging and the stated expiration date or shelf-life will be reduced. But for just 1 or 2 months, you should be fine.

  3. Hi Vin,
    Great job! Thanks for continuously improving the product for your customers. Couple of questions:

    1. Is there a way to tell which batch is the improved version, especially since I could only order via Amazon?
    2. On point 2. CHOLESTEROL REDUCTION USING CO2 CHROMATOGRAPHY, is this applicable to EPA500 only?

    Thanks
    Chris

    • Hi Chris – all OmegaVia sold on omegavia.com starting in August 2014 has been the new CO2 extracted oil. CO2 extracted products will have a LOT# on the side that says OV140352. Molecular distilled products will have lot numbers that begin with the letters UC. Some warehouses of Amazon.com have been shipping the new formula while others still have the molecular distilled product. We estimate that Amazon.com will clear out the old stuff sometime in September 2014.

      EPA 500 has always been CO2 extracted. The chromatography technology applies to both products.

  4. I have been reading your very informative references and information. I have a question regarding Algae eating fish in relation to Blue Green Algae being a possible source in fish oil products via toxins being ingested by these types of fish. Latest data indicating the toxin has a negative effect on the brain and might cause dementia ? Thankyou kindly

    • Hi Lynette – as far as we know, blue-green algae is not one of the primary phytoplanktons consumed by pelagic marine fish. Certainly, toxins are not good for the brain or any other parts of your body. However, toxins from blue-green algae is certainly not one of my concerns when it comes to fish oil.

  5. Wow. Congrats on the improvements, most notably the CO2 switch! I have compared this to the Renew Life Super Critical Omega, and your product is virtually identical, except for one MAJOR difference; yours is about half the price! I pay about $30 for Super Critical at the store for only 30 gelcaps. Your Omegavia is 60 gelcaps for $34 (for one bottle at a time), same amount of omega-3 per enteric-coated gelcap. Yikes.

    The only differences I can find between the two products are that Super Critical has a lipase enzyme (big whoop), vitamin D3 (big whoop number two), and no Dreamsicle orange scent (that one is pretty good). And as for Minami, they are the same price as Super Critical, but without any enteric coating.

    I think you’ve got them both beat, Vin. Wow.

  6. Hi, you have an interesting and informative site! I was searching to find the reason for smelly krill oil. I was purchasing from a U.S. whole health site and heirs never had a smell. I also noticed this smelly one does not contain astaxanthan so did a search to see if I could get some answers. Now we I’ll be changing to your higher grade fish oil. Thanks for all the information. Can’t wait to try it out.

    • Hi Sharon – thank you. krill oil with or without Astaxanthin can be smelly or rancid. Many falsely believe that having astaxanthin protects krill oil from all oxidation. Technically there is some truth to this, but the reality is quite different. Astaxanthin is very sensitive and easily degraded…and virtually disappears once the krill oil is in a capsule, so there is very little protection that astaxanthin can provide the oil.

  7. Hi Vin, I love the sound of the improvements. I had a question regarding EPA/DHA. Have their been any studies which show which acid is more effective in preventing migraines? Or in your opinion is a high DHA or high EPA better for migraine sufferers like me?

    • Hi Sarah – I have not seen any compelling evidence that shows Omega-3s to help with migraine. So focusing on EPA or DHA seems premature. I’m not saying Omega-3 won’t help. I’m just saying that we don’t have enough evidence.

      There are many ‘cures’ for migraines, but I suggest you rule out dietary causes by going on a rigid elimination diet as described here: http://www.amymyersmd.com

  8. What is the source of your gelatin?

    I’ve bought minami because they have both supercritical extraction and fish gelatin, but it’s not IFOS tested. Nordic Naturals makes a fish gelatin product which is IFOS tested but molecularly distilled.

    All 3 (supercritical extraction, ifos tested and fish gelatin) is my holy grail.

  9. I am impressed with your purity but I have a concern. I had CVA over a year ago. And I would need much higher dose of dha. Any suggestions how to combine your product with an other. Hopefully, there is another company that utilizes asupra Critical co2 extraction process for dha . I also have higher LDL and lower HDL. I would need high dose of both.

    • Hi Gary – I assume you’ve read this: http://www.omegavia.com/fish-oil-brain-injury/ I don’t know what your needs for DHA are today, but it would have been high after your accident. There aren’t a lot of supercritical CO2 extracted DHA products that have high levels of DHA. For now, I suggest you go with any of the high DHA products on the market. Carlsons DHA gems are OK. In 2-3 months, we will be introducing a high-DHA formula that may help.

      High LDL and low HDL are usually from high starch and low exercise respectively.

  10. You have a fantastic product. But I’m concerned about bovine gelatine versus porcine. Is this unfounded? Of course most sups just list ingredients as gelatin.

    • Hi Christian – the DHA 600 item is made slightly differently. It uses something called enzymatic concentration.

      It is a gentle (heat-free) process for making concentrated Omega-3 oils. While molecular distillation can cause some rancidity from the heat, this process largely avoids the heat. The similarity to CO2 extraction is the low processing temperatures.

  11. Does OmegaVia use SFC (supercritical fluid chromatography) in addition to SFE (supercritical extraction) for OmegaVia EPA 500 product?

    Also, the OmegaVia EPA 500 bottles ingredients says you use anchovies, sardines, and mackerel for omega 3 oil sources. Do you also use menhaden for OmegaVia EPA 500?

    Thank you very much.

  12. Nordic Naturals claims that their molecular distillation renders omega 3 products with 0.0002 ppm PCBs, where as they claim other companies using CO2 supercritical fluid extraction have 100x that around 0.021 ppm for PCBs.

    Where does OmegaVia stand with PCBs using both CO2 Supercritical Fluid Extraction and Supercritical Fluid Chromatography?

  13. As a gout sufferer, I want to use the max dose of Omega 3 to promote blood circulation and inhibit inflammation. But I’m concerned about the high purine content in fish like sardines, mackeral, and anchovies. Molecular distillation is supposed to leave the purines behind. What about your process? Have you tested your product for purines?

    • Hi Michael – purines are not present in significant amounts in highly purified oils. Our oils go through a quick molecular distillation, followed by CO2 distillation, and then CO2 chromatography. It does not have measurable quantities of purines. The levels are so low that we stopped measuring it.

  14. Hi Vin,

    Thanks for the article.
    I noticed OmegaVia uses the CO2 extraction process, and sells the oil in re-esterfied triglyceride form. I’ve seen other companies using the CO2 extraction process, but selling their oil in tryglyceride form. Would both processes still involve conversion from ethyl ester oil? Is there any advantage/negative to either process?

    • Hi Ben – the oil that comes out of a fish is in triglyceride form. If it has been concentrated, it was at some point in ethyl ester form and then re-converted to triglyceride form. The correct name is re-esterified triglyceride or rTG form. If a product is concentrated with CO2 extraction, it is rTG. No different from what is in OmegaVia.

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