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Understanding Omega-3 fatty acids

December 2, 2016




Nugevity has been an advocate of omega-3 fatty acids, or “healthy fats” for many years. Nugevity Omega Max can be described as yet another realization of our ongoing commitment to staying current with emerging science and pharmaceutical technology. Nugevity Men’s and Women’s Master-Multi were among the first complete daily micronutrient products in the market that incorporated Omega-3 fatty acids. 


Research and medical literature since then have been very kind to these fats, with new health benefits discovered almost every year, new applications developed, and big pharmaceutical companies jumping on the omega-3 bandwagon.  


Overview of Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are a category of dietary fats. The most bioactive omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both found primarily in fish and other marine animals.  Alpha-linolenic acid is another n-3 PUFA that occurs naturally in certain plants such as flaxseed, but research has failed to attribute many of the same health benefits as EPA and DHA. Omega-6 fatty acids, on the other hand, are a completely different set of fats derived mostly from vegetable oils and meats.


For humans, the optimal intake ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 has been established at 4:1. That is to say, for every 4 grams of omega-6, a person should consume 1 gram of omega-3. However, the typical North American diet provides only about 0.13 g of EPA + DHA per day, while the very high intake of omega-6 fatty acids – 12 to 15 g – yields an overall n-6:n-3 ratio of about 10:1 to 50:1, making supplementation of additional DHA and EPA amounts a necessity.  


Studies of Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have been studied for an array of biological properties and benefits, including cardiovascular, immunological, ophthalmic, neurological, and endocrine, to name just a few.   



 Much of the interest in omega-3s today originated with the pioneering study of Greenland Eskimos by Bang and Dyerberg more than 35 years ago. They found that even though these Eskimos had a diet very high in fat, they also had a very low rate of ischemic heart disease. Their research spawned numerous studies and has resulted in recommendations from major public health organizations for increased intake of fish oil, particularly EPA and DHA, for all US adults at risk for coronary heart disease.  

Today we know this to be the case in not only Eskimos, but also in other marine-dependent regions of the world such as Japan and parts of Russia and Canada (Nunavut and certain regions of Quebec). In fact, statistical research reveals that the US has approximately a 600% higher incidence of deaths caused by myocardial infarction and ischemic heart disease than Japan. Yet blood cholesterol levels for the American population are only an average of 6% higher.  Scientists agree that the high consumption of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids in the Japanese diet, and the effect it has on other risk factors for heart disease, are responsible for this curious disparity.


Benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids

Data from epidemiologic and randomized clinical trials suggest that EPA and DHA


support healthy heart rhythms; help maintain blood triglyceride levels within the normal range; and may play a role in healthy platelet function.  


There are several possible mechanisms by which they exert these effects. One theory suggests that as EPA and DHA are incorporated into cellular membranes throughout the body, they displace Omega-6 fatty acids such as arachidonic acid (a pro-inflammatory and pro-thrombotic – what we refer to as a “bad fat”).  


One of the most promising and remarkable areas of research is in eye health. Dr. SanGiovanni and associates, from the US National Institutes of Health’s Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patients with increased dietary intake of DHA and EPA were 20-25% less likely to progress to severe AMD. 




Other recently published studies, such as those conducted by the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary at Harvard University, and the Vision Co-operative Research Centre in Australia have found a risk reduction of age-related vision decline in the range of 36 to 75% when participants increased their consumption of omega-3 fatty acids from fish. Both studies were published in the American Medical Association’s journal Archives of Ophthalmology.

Finally, omega-3 supplementation plays a role in neurological health.  

Approximately 60% of the brain’s gray matter is composed of PUFAs, and DHA makes up about half of all the fat in the membranes of brain cells. 


Maternal levels of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy determine the levels present in the fetus. DHA in particular is critical in supporting infant growth, including brain development, and newborn DHA levels are correlated with birth weight, birth length, and head circumference, making a solid case for omega-3 supplementation during pregnancy and lactation.  


In addition, recent human and animal studies have concluded that supplementation with this omega-3 fatty acid was found to reduce buildup of amyloid protein – a sticky plaque substance – by as much as 70%. Other neurological health studies of omega-3 are being conducted, with positive preliminary results. 

Moreover, we have been able to observe first-hand the remarkable benefits of integrating omega-3s in the medical practice. One such instance is the case of the sole survivor from the Sago Mine disaster in 2006. Thanks to integrative physicians like Dr. Julian Bailes, a world-renowned neurosurgeon and former chairman of our Scientific Advisory Board, whose use of omega-3 fatty acids clearly played a key role in saving lives during that crisis.


Formulation of Omega Max

Along with our NASA partners, Dr. Bailes was instrumental in the selection of the fish oil utilized in the manufacture of Omega Max. Thanks in large part to his guidance, Nugevity has been able to bring to you the best omega-3 product available in the market. The project had one goal in mind: that the final outcome meets all the stringent criteria set forth throughout this collaboration.  


Larger fish, particularly those near the top of the marine food chain such as tuna and cod, can accumulate dangerously high levels of heavy metals, pesticides, and other persistent organic pollutants in their bodies. The oil utilized in the extraction of EPA and DHA for Omega Max is sourced exclusively from small feeder fish including primarily sardines and anchovies. 



These smaller marine animals have a much shorter lifespan, and do not feed on other fish but rather microscopic plankton and algae, hence lowering their potential for accumulating such contaminants through the food chain. Furthermore, the state-of-the-art molecular distillation process ensures an extremely pure extraction of the fish oil, leaving any undesirable molecules behind.  


Notwithstanding all the advanced purification techniques and raw material selection, the finished softgel is still subjected to a battery of assays, quantitative and qualitative analyses designed to confirm the absence of contaminants above the specified allowable limits. In fact, Omega Max is manufactured to comply with Pharmacopeia standards – the same quality, potency and purity standards that pharmaceutical products have to meet. In addition, the extraction process allows for a higher concentration of both EPA and DHA than what is typically found in generic fish oil products.


A common occurrence among omega-3 softgel consumers is the unpleasant reflux of the oil, also known as the “fish burp.” Omega Max capsules undergo an enteric coating process that covers the softgel in an enteric film. This protective layer delays the disintegration of the capsule until it reaches the alkaline environment of the duodenum, bypassing the harsh stomach acids and preventing the occurrence of this oil reflux. We strongly believe that supplementation with this high-quality marine lipid should be a critical part of every daily routine.  

The text in this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.




B.J. Holub. Clinical Nutrition: Omega-3 fatty acids in cardiovascular care. Canadian Medical Association Journal 166:608-15, 2002


Burdge GC, Wootton SA. Conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to eicosapentaenoic, docosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in young women. Br J Nutr 2002; 88:411–420.


Chua B, et al. Dietary Fatty Acids and the 5-Year Incidence of Age-Related Maculopathy. Arch Ophthalmol. 2006;124:981-986


Dyerberg J, Bang HO, Stoffersen E, Moncada S, Vane JR. Eicosapentaenoic acid and prevention of thrombosis and atherosclerosis? Lancet 1978; 2:117–119.


Hornstra G.  Essential fatty acids in mothers and their neonates.  Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 71(suppl):1262S-1269S.


Iso H, Kobayashi M, et al. JPHC Study Group. Intake of fish and n3 fatty acids and risk of coronary heart disease among Japanese: the Japan Public Health Center-Based (JPHC) Study Cohort I. Circulation 2006;113:195-202


Kris-Etherton PM, Taylor DS, Yu-Poth S, Huth P, Moriarty K, Fishell V, et al. Polyunsaturated fatty acids in the food chain in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(Suppl 1):179-88.


Kyle DJ, Schaefer E, Patton G, Beiser A. Low serum docosahexaenoic acid is a significant risk factor for Alzheimer’s dementia. Lipids 1999; 34:S245.


Leaf A, Kang JX, Xiao YF, Billman GE. Clinical prevention of sudden cardiac death by n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and mechanism of prevention of arrhythmias by n-3 fish oils. Circulation 2003; 107:2646–2652.


Raper NR, Cronin FJ, Exler J. Fatty acid content in the US food supply. J Am Coll Nutr 1992;11:304-8.


SanGiovanni JP, et a;. Dietary Lipid Intake and Vision Loss in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2006; ARVO E-Abstract 2193/B772


Stark KD, Park EJ, Maines VA, Holub BJ.  Effect of a fish oil concentrate on serum lipids in postmenopausal women receiving and not receiving hormone replacement therapy in a placebo-controlled double-blind trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 72:389-394.16

Omega-3, 6, 9 - don't be fooled!

November 6, 2015


People have begun asking about omega-6 and omega-9. If omega-3 is good for you, 6 and 9 must be even better, right?

Unfortunately, omega-3 supplementation has become a necessity for most people precisely because modern humans consume excessive amounts of omega-6, 9, and other unhealthy fats.


Consumption of too much omega-6 or omega-9 creates an imbalance in our bodies and ingesting supplements rich in omega-6 and 9 only makes the problem worse.


Omega-6 fats like linoleic and arachidonic acids act as precursors to inflammatory signals (e.g. series-2 prostaglandins and series-4 leukotrienes.) These compounds are largely responsible for many of today's degenerative conditions.


Unlike omega-3 acids, omega-9s are not essential.  This means that the body can make these fats as it needs them; you don't need to supplement with them.  Moreover, they are abundant in the diet and readily found in canola, olive and other vegetable oils.  


Don't buy into the marketing hype that you need a supplement that gives you a "balance" of omega-3, -6 and -9. The only fish oil supplement you need to take is omega-3. ​

Benefits of Taking Fish Oil

January 25, 2017



Fish oil is derived from the tissue of certain oily fish, such as tuna, sardines and anchovies. Fish oil contains the omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Many recent health studies involving these omega-3 fatty acids have increased interest in the potential health benefits of fish oil.



Heart Health

One benefit of taking fish oil is maintaining heart health. Studies have indicated that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil support healthy heart rhythms. Problems with a regular heartbeat could cause feelings of weakness, palpitations (feeling like the heart is “racing”), fainting, and even death.


Fish oil also helps maintains healthy triglyceride levels. Triglyceride is a type of fat in the blood, and high triglyceride levels can increase your risk of heart disease.


Oral Health 


Many people don’t realize fish oil is good for oral care health. A 2010 study published in Journal of Periodontology linked omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil with improved oral health. Another study that people with low levels of omega-3 were 1.5 times more likely to experience periodontal problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.


How does it work? Omega-3 found in fish oil helps support a normal inflammation response in the body, and uncontrolled inflammation has been linked with several gum and dental concerns. Research has suggested that regular doses of omega-3 fish oil can help maintain normal inflammation response, which means healthier gums.


Eye Health

One of the most promising and remarkable areas of fish oil research is in eye health. As part of a ground breaking study, scientists found that patients who suffered from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) were less likely to develop severe AMD when they increased their intake of omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil).


Age-related macular degeneration is a medical condition that causes damage to the macula, the part of the eye needed to see objects directly in front of the viewer. AMD is the leading cause of vision loss among people over 50, but can develop much earlier.


Fish oil supplementation can also positively affect eyesight in infancy. Infants who were fed formula supplemented with DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil) showed better visual acuity compared with similar infants who weren’t given supplemented formula. 

The meta-analysis, published in the journal Pediatrics, analyzed 19 studies involving infant eyesight and DHA-supplemented formula. The authors concluded that current evidence does suggest that formula supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids can improves infants’ visual acuity up to 12 months.


Brain Health

Omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA, have also been linked with brain health. 



Young adults benefitted from omega-3 fish oil supplementation in a 2013 study. Published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition  researchers investigated whether a DHA supplement improves cognitive performance in healthy young adults and found that memory and reaction times improved.


Fish oil supplementation can also be beneficial during pregnancy and lactation. DHA in particular is critical in supporting infant growth, including brain development. In one study, DHA levels in newborns were measured and analyzed. Researchers found that newborn DHA levels are correlated with birth weight, birth length, and head circumference. Higher DHA levels in the newborns meant higher birth weight, length and head circumference.


How to Find A Quality Fish Oil

As evidenced by numerous studies, there are benefits of taking fish oil. However, not all fish oil supplements are created equal. Fish oil is extracted from a variety of fish, but larger fish, especially those near the top of the marine food chain such as tuna and cod, can accumulate dangerously high levels of heavy metals, pesticides, and other pollutants in their bodies. Therefore, it’s important to choose a fish oil that is not made from larger, predatory fish.

Another important aspect is the chemical form of the EPA and DHA fatty acids found in the oil. Most supplements contain a processed form of omega-3 called “Ethyl Ester,” which is different from the naturally found “Triglyceride” form. Ethyl Esters are cheaper to produce, and studies (1, 2) have demonstrated their bioavailability to be inferior when compared to Triglyceride form omega-3s. In other words, Triglyceride-form EPA and DHA were more effective and better absorbed. 





Omega Max is sourced only from small fish, like anchovies and contains the superior Triglyceride form. This ultra-pure fish oil contains the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA and was researched and used by astronauts as part of a Space Act Agreement with NASA Johnson Space Center.

Learn more about this revolutionary product today!


The text in this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License


Tags: fish oil   omega 3  brain health   heart health  eye health



How fish oil may help veterans

September 28, 2016


Low concentration of fish oil in the blood and lack of physical activity may contribute to the high levels of depressed mood among soldiers returning from combat, according to recent research.


Researchers worked with 100 soldiers at Fort Hood to identify which factors affected moods in returning soldiers in a study titled “Fatty Acid Blood Levels, Vitamin D Status, Physical Performance, Activity and Resiliency: A Novel Potential Screening Tool for Depressed Mood in Active Duty Soldiers.”

The study looked at numerous factors thought to play a role in mood, including physical activity levels and fitness and psychometric assessments. "We looked at how physical activity levels and performance measures were related to mood state and resiliency," Texas A & M Health & Kinesiology Professor and Department Head Richard Kreider says. "What we found was the decrease in physical activity and the concentration of fish oil and Omega-3s in the blood were all associated with resiliency and mood."

Fish oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids that help boost brain function. Studies also suggest fish oil also acts as an anti-inflammatory, helping athletes and soldiers manage intense training better. Fish oil is especially important to soldiers due to the consistent training performed in and out of combat and risk of traumatic brain injury.


The study originated from research conducted by Colonel Mike Lewis, M.D. who examined Omega-3 fatty acid levels of soldiers who committed suicide.  When compared to a non-suicide control group, lower Omega-3 levels in the blood were associated with increased risk of being in the suicide group.


"By improving resiliency in service members, we can potentially decrease the risk of mental health issues," says Major Nicholas Barringer, a Texas A & M doctoral student and head researcher. "Early identification can potentially decrease the risk of negative outcomes for our active service members as well as our separated and retired military veterans."


The above post is reprinted from material provided by Brain Health Education and Research Institute.

Is your fish quietly making you sick?

August 9, 2016




Including fish in your diet is a great way to get many vitamins and minerals, as well as high quality protein and essential omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, modern fish isn’t without risks, as recent science is showing that environmental pollutants found in common fish can impair the immune system and detox pathways.

Cell membranes are remarkable in that they can determine what is a toxin and what is a safe, nutritious substance. One of the mechanisms it does this by is called P-gp, which is a signaling protein. Many of the pollutants in the atmosphere can turn this signaling protein off, and enable these harmful chemicals to get inside the body's cells. Unfortunately, these chemicals are in the food supply, too.

One of the biggest offenders is DDT, a pesticide that was banned in 2001, though it’s still pervasive in today’s environment. Other pollutants include industrial chemicals and flame retardants.

Scientists looked for evidence the 10 most commonly observed environmental toxins that disrupted the P-gp protein in yellowfin tuna sampled from the Gulf of Mexico, which is one of the most commonly eaten types of fish all over the globe. Nine of these toxins were present, often in extremely high amounts. These findings demonstrate that even some of the most "healthy" foods have been corrupted by environmental toxins, and can be contributing to potential health issues.

Newborn babies are at particular risk, since these types of contaminants can be highly concentrated in breast milk and formula. New mothers should be aware of the sources for their foods and the pollution that is prevalent in those areas to avoid as much contamination as possible.

Researchers noted that further testing is needed to find interactions between these chemicals and other defense mechanisms that can help protect human health as well as the environment.

Good things come in small sizes

October 1, 2015



Bigger is always better, right? Not so with fish! When it comes to making a superior Omega-3 Fish Oil supplement, smaller is better.​​

Many supplement brands extract their fish oil from large, deep water fish such as tuna and cod.

Sitting near the top of the food chain, these large predators subsist by eating other fish and marine animals.

Because of their long lifespan and diet, they accumulate pollutants found in the sea and contaminants found in the livers of other animals, such as dioxin or mercury. Fish have no way of getting rid of these chemicals, so they stay in their bodies forever.


Small fish such as anchovies and sardines feed off microscopic, renewable, uncontaminated food sources like krill and plankton. 




When you're looking for pure, quality fish oil, reach for Omega Max. Omega Max starts off with cold-pressed oil from clean, small fish from the most pristine waters. The omega-3 fatty acids are then extracted through a molecular distillation process and tested at an FDA-registered laboratory to ensure purity.


BioRelease™ technology and Pharma-IQ™ medical grade standards make Omega Max a superior fish oil supplement.

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