Rhonda currently takes an omega-3 supplement called Norwegian PURE-3, which is touted as being both high quality, and having low levels of total oxidation (TOTOX). Rhonda was previously taking the high DHA version during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding her son – with the intention that the DHA was important for her child’s developmental process. Since then Rhonda alternates between the high DHA and high EPA version.
On top of her fish oil supplementation she often eats wild salmon roe caviar (from Vital Choice) for its omega-3 phospholipid concentration. More on this further down the page.
Norwegian PURE-3 is currently only available direct from the manufacturer (link), who offer international shipping from their base in Norway. However, Rhonda suggests they should be on Amazon.com in the future.
It is touted as being high quality, with low levels of total oxidation (TOTOX). As omega-3s are exposed to the air they start to become less beneficial to the human body, until at an extreme they become “rancid”. A lower total oxidation is representative of a healthier and more bioavailable omega-3 product. Whilst you need a test to accurately calculate the TOTOX value, you can actually use your taste buds to get an idea of whether a fish oil is oxidized, with less oxidized fish oil tasting “ok”, versus more oxidized fish oil tasting rancid. If the manufacturer adds flavouring, then they can cloak their use of oxidized fish oil – so that’s something to be aware of.
Dosage: 6 capsules/daily of Norwegian Pure-3 DHA
Norwegian PURE-3 Alternative?
On a recent crowd cast Q&A, Rhonda was asked which fish oil would she suggest whilst Norwegian PURE-3 are out of stock?
As I also had this problem; needing an alternative whilst NPure-3 were out of stock, I did some digging. The conclusion I came to was that this product looked good – Viva Naturals – Triple Strength. Specifically it has low oxidation levels, low cost per gram of Omega-3, and no flavoring or other unnecessary ingredients.
For deep dive about how I arrived at this conclusion, click to expand the dropdown below.
Firstly, in terms of the two websites; labdoor.com and the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS), they're slightly different in what they offer. With labdoor they test on a per product basis, and then rank them, so it's quite easy to navigate. With IFOS you need to search by brand first, then look at the individual products within the brand. For some of the products you can access a "batch report" which covers a wide gambit of testing, but for other products reports aren't available. Instead they just say that they're "IFOS certified".
The way I personally analyzed the options was to check what's ranking well in labdoor.com, and then cross-check they're IFOS approved also.
One product that ranks very highly on labdoor.com that I chose to ignore was WHC UnoCardio 1000. This is because WHC add orange flavoring to their products. Flavoring unfortunately breaks one of the tests (para-anisidine) used to find the total oxidation score. See this document for info on why flavoring breaks the para-anisidine test. If it's not possible to get an accurate oxidation score for the WHC product, I'd rather ignore it.
I then narrowed my shortlist down to products made by Viva Naturals and OmegaVia.
They both showed extremely low levels of heavy metals and other impurities, so to differentiate I focused on total oxidation, price per gram of omega-3, (and for pescatarians) what the capsule is made from:
|Viva Naturals - Triple Strength||OmegaVia - Ultra Concentrated|
|Total Oxidation (2x peroxide + anisidine)||✅6.71 TOTOX||❌12.44 TOTOX|
|Price per gram of Omega-3||✅~$0.21 per gram||❌~$0.43 per gram|
|Gelatine capsule||Bovine source||Fish source|
|IFOS link||IFOS link|
|Labdoor link||Labdoor link|
For the total oxidation values above, I took the average of the last 5 batches tested on the IFOS site. This seemed potentially more reliable than the single score listed on labdoor. (Something worth noting, because it confused me initially, is that Viva Naturals "Triple Strength", used to be called "Ultra Strength" - and on the IFOS site it still calls it Ultra Strength).
So based on the lower total oxidation score, and the cheaper price per gram of omega-3s, the Viva Naturals - Triple Strength looked most interesting to me.
One thing to note is that they are both EPA to DHA heavy (~3:1). Whereas with N-PURE3, there's the option to choose between EPA heavy or DHA heavy. Where the OmegaVia brand looks interesting, is with their high DHA product DHA 600. Unfortunately though it's DHA only, rather than both. It works out to be ~$0.36 per gram of DHA, and it's TOTOX based on the only 2 batches IFOS tested is ~11.
Having taken both Npure-3, and now the Viva Naturals fish oil, I would say the main different I can taste is that the Viva Naturals is ever so slightly more “fishy”. If NPure-3 is a 2/10 for fishy, and cod liver oil is closer to an 8/10 – then Viva Naturals is about a 3/10. So only mildly more. As long as NPure-3 have stock shortages, I’m happy to keep using this as an alternative.
Rhonda currently gets her omega-3 phospholipids via wild salmon roe caviar, rather than using supplements. She bulk buys her caviar from Vital Choice, who offer it in 2.2lbs packages that can be frozen, and then defrosted one quarter at a time. Consuming this in addition to her regular omega-3 supplementation.
Prior to this Rhonda was supplementing Omega-3 phospholipids via Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Phospholipids.
Side note – I’ve taken Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Phospholipids as part of my supplement stack, and its worth noting, they’re really “strong” tasting – stronger than regular fish oil. You definitely want to throw them down ahead of a substantial meal, don’t try them on an empty stomach!
Dosage: 4 capsules/daily of Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Phospholipids
Prior to the Nordic Naturals, Rhonda was taking her omega-3 phospholipids via NOW Neptune Krill Oil 1000. However she no longer believes Krill Oil to be an optimal source of omega-3 phospholipids – given the small amounts of EPA & DHA per serving when compared with other sources.
For more information on all of Dr Rhonda Patrick’s supplements, see this post.
Omega-3 Phospholipids & Alzheimer’s Prevention in APOE4 Carriers
In October 2018, Rhonda published an open access paper on a possible mechanism for getting DHA into the brain, as other methods become less efficient. This is of particular interest to those with the APOE4 polymorphism – who become more predisposed to Alzheimer’s due to impaired DHA transport.
To figure out if this is relevant to you or your family; you’d first need to check if you carry the APOE4 allele – it’s estimated that something like 25% of the population do. You can check this by getting a 23andMe test (their cheaper ancestry test is sufficient)- and then exporting the raw data they provide into Rhonda’s genetic report.
One APOE4 allele increases Alzheimer’s disease risk 2-3x, two APOE4 alleles inrease risk up to 15x. However, whilst having APOE4 allele’s is not a guarantee of alzheimer’s disease, it does increase the risk in later life.
Rhonda’s paper proposes that consuming DHA in phospholipid form gets around impaired DHA transport. The reason for this is that phospholipid DHA gets converted to DHA-lysoPC, by a specialized transporter called MFSD2A. This transport system appears to continue to work even when regular DHA transport is impaired.
Once the brain is then getting DHA again (in the DHA-lysoPC form), this may reduce Alzheimer’s disease risk.
According to Rhonda, omega-3 phospholipids are found in fish, and in greatest concentration in fish roe (fish eggs).
Omega-3 oils, EPA & DHA, are essential fatty acids. Specifically, they are incorporated into cell membranes all over the body, but are particularly concentrated in the brain and eyes (retina). They are also vital to processes that mediate lipids, which can be beneficial in the prevention of several diseases. And are essential for proper fetal development and heathy ageing. Read more on their role here.
If you’re looking for further Rhonda Patrick related content, below are some related posts I’ve written:
- A relatively comprehensive list of supplements that Rhonda has discussed taking, some daily, some for specific use-cases (link)
- A detailed post on Rhonda’s diet – including examples of her breakfast, lunch and dinner (link)
- A post on Rhonda’s approach to exercise + examples of what she does (link)
- Notes on many of the key things Rhonda has discussed about pregnancy, breastfeeding & baby health – based on her journey into motherhood (link)