1. Which product is most beneficial for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

    None of Ascenta’s products are approved for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by Health Canada’s Natural Health Products Directorate or the United States’ Food and Drug Administration. To choose the most beneficial product for ADHD, please consult a health care practitioner.

  2. Can I give children an adult formula?

    You can give children an adult formula if children are indicated on the label. If children are not indicated on the label, then please consult a health care practitioner.
    Canada: Children are indicated on the label for NutraSea, NutraSea+D, NutraSea hp, and NutraSea Kids.
    US: Children are indicated on the label for NutraSea, NutraSea+D, NutraSea hp, NutraSea DHA, NutraSea Kids, and NutraVege.

  3. What is the difference between EPA and DHA?

    EPA and DHA are the active forms of omega-3. They work together in the body, but have different biological roles.
    EPA is considered the mediator, or peacemaker, of cell messengers and plays a vital role in regulating inflammation, blood pressure, blood clotting, immune function, and cell growth. EPA benefits heart health and mood balance, enhances joint health, and improves other inflammatory conditions.
    DHA plays a special role in dynamic, fast-acting cells, like brain cells and heart muscle. DHA is extremely important to components of cellular membranes and is highly concentrated in nervous system tissue such as the brain and eyes. Dietary DHA improves cognitive and visual development and is protective against macular degeneration, stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

  4. If the body needs omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, then shouldn't I take a product with all 3 fatty acids in it? Will this product replace my omega 3-6-9 supplement that I am taking?

    Taking a dietary supplement containing omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids is not necessary. Historically, both omega-3s and omega-6s were consumed in relatively similar quantities with a ratio of 1:1. This is thought to be the optimal ratio.The typical North American diet in today’s society is high in cereal type grains, vegetable oils, grain fed meat, and processed foods. All of these foods are high in omega-6 fatty acids and extremely low in omega-3. The idea behind taking an essential fatty acid supplement is to balance the ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to match the already high levels of omega-6 fatty acids. While taking an omega-3, 6, 9 product helps to improve omega-3 intake, it does not help to correct the omega-3 to 6 balance in the body. Omega-9 fatty acids aren’t considered essential fatty acids, since the body has the ability to produce them. In addition, they tend to be plentiful in the typical diet.
    In the case of an essential fatty acid supplement, more is not necessarily better. Therefore, although omega-3, 6, 9 products are commonly found on the market, they are not necessarily going to provide significant therapeutic effects.

  5. Is there an optimal time during the day to take omega-3 fatty acids?

    There is no optimal time of day to take omega-3 fatty acids; you can take them anytime. Some people prefer to take it with food.

  6. Can individuals with a fish and seafood intolerance or allergy safely consume NutraSea omega-3 fish oil supplements?

    Allergies to fish are usually associated with certain proteins (specifically parvalbumins) found in the edible muscle/flesh portion of the fish. Refined fish oil has a very low protein content due to the processing and purification steps followed to extract the pure oil. Anyone allergic to fish or seafood should consult a health care practitioner before taking Ascenta’s fish oil products or any other fish oil. Ascenta’s NutraVege is an alternative to fish oil (for adults 18 and older in Canada) but if you have allergies you should consult a health care practioner as a precaution.

  7. How much EPA/DHA is required each day?

    The International Study for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL), which is an international scientific society established in 1991, of more than 500 members from more than 40 countries recommends that for cardiovascular health, a daily minimum intake of 500 mg of EPA plus DHA is required. In addition, Health Canada recommends a broad range of 100-5,000mg EPA + DHA per day for the maintenance of good health.

  8. I take a 1,000mg capsule everyday - is that enough? My Doctor says that I need to take 1,000 mg of fish oil.

    You should always follow the advice of your health care practitioner. If your doctor recommends that you take 1,000 mg of fish oil per day then you should take 1,000 mg of fish oil. However, you may want to clarify with your doctor if he/she wants you to take 1,000 mg of fish oil or more specifically, 1,000 mg of EPA and DHA per day because these are 2 very different recommendations. Health Canada and the American Heart Association base their recommendation on the level of active ingredients, EPA and DHA, in fish oil products.

  9. How long do I have to take fish oil for?

    If taken in accordance to product directions, fish oils can be taken indefinitely. Health Canada does not require that fish oil labels make a statement about duration of use, which suggests that fish oil can be taken indefinitely. If you have concerns you should consult with your health care practitioner about how long you should supplement with fish oil for.

  10. What is SDA?

    Stearidonic acid (abbreviated SDA) is an omega-3 fatty acid that is found in certain plant oils, such as echium. In the body, it can be produced from alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and is further metabolized into EPA and DHA. Delta-6 desaturase is the enzyme required for ALA to be converted into SDA. Humans produce very little delta-6 desaturase and this limits the conversion of ALA into the more highly unsaturated fatty acids, SDA, EPA, and DHA. Conversion of SDA to EPA and DHA is easier for the human body because no delta-6-desaturase is required so it acts as an intermediate in the synthesis of EPA and DHA and effectively increases tissue EPA levels in both animal and human studies. Therefore, our NutraVege product is an effective alternative to marine-based products. More information here.

  11. Please explain how Ascenta's products have better absorption rates than other companies.

    Fish oils are available in 2 different forms: ethyl ester (or just EE for short) and triglyceride (or TG for short). The oils in fish (like most natural sources) are in the TG form and the overall scientific evidence suggests that TG fish oils are better absorbed compared to EEs. Strong evidence from 2 recent studies supports this claim as TG fish oils were found to be >25% better absorbed than EE fish oils [1,2]. Ascenta uses fish oils in natural TG form as TGs offer better absorption and stability when compared to the more common fish oils in the EE form.

    1. Dyerberg, J., et al., Bioavailability of marine n-3 fatty acid formulations. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids, 2010. 83(3): p. 137-41.
    2. Neubronner, J., et al., Enhanced increase of omega-3 index in response to long-term n-3 fatty acid supplementation from triacylglycerides versus ethyl esters. Eur J Clin Nutr, 2011. 65(2): p. 247-54.

  12. How soon after starting to take fish oil will I start seeing benefits?

    Results are dependent on many factors, including health status, diet, body type, genetics, and dosage. While benefits can vary significantly, most people experience tangible benefits within 3 months at the suggested dosage as it can take several months of supplementation to reach a point where your cells become saturated with EPA and DHA. It is also important to realize that there are numerous benefits of omega-3 fatty acids that cannot be felt.