Frequently Asked Questions

Answer:

Most people know that one of the main benefits of supplementing with wild salmon oil is that it provides noticeable relief to dry, flakey, itchy skin and leads to healthy skin and coat. In fact, salmon oil is one of the best sources of Omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA. DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) is the most abundant Omega-3 fatty acid found in cell membranes throughout the body and is present in all tissues. It is the most prominent Omega-3 fatty acid in neural, retinal and cardiovascular connective tissue and yet our bodies cannot manufacture it. DHA must be supplied through diet or by supplementation.

Many scientific studies have proven that DHA Omega-3 has positive health benefits for everyone from pregnant or nursing mothers and infants, to healthy adults, the elderly and even our pets (1-7). Today we know that n-3 fatty acids are essential for normal growth and development and their beneficial effects have been shown in the prevention and management of coronary heart disease (8,9), hypertension (10-12), type 2 diabetes (13,14), renal disease (15,16), rheumatoid arthritis (17), ulcerative colitis (18), Crohn disease (19), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (20).

DHA is essential for the proper development and function of brain and eye development throughout life and for maintaining optimal function of the nerve cells in the brain and retina. Increased levels of DHA have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, improve cholesterol, decrease the risk of eye disorders like ARMD, glaucoma, and DES, and lower the risk of cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
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Answer:

A statement was published in the February 2009 issue of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) journal that concerns the extent to which Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), found in green leafy vegetables, flaxseed, rapeseed, and walnuts, can be converted to longer chain polyunsaturates i.e. EPA and ultimately to DHA, the form our pets need. The study states:”with no other changes in diet, improvement of blood DHA status can be achieved with dietary supplements of preformed DHA, but not with supplementation of ALA, EPA, or other precursors.” The ISSFAL statement then focused on DHA, noting that the body produces very little of its own DHA and is reliant on inputs from certain oily fish, DHA-fortified foods and dietary supplements. (21)

Dietary intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids varies within and between different human populations. NHANES III, the largest database of nutrient consumption of Americans, reports an average intake of EPA + DHA of 0 and <1 g/d of ALA. (22) The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 intake is estimated to be 20:1 in a modern Western diet and some speculate it could be closer to 50:1, compared with that of our Paleolithic ancestors who ate a diet much richer in omega-3’s (estimated omega-3/omega-6 ratio of 1-2:1). (23,24) This dramatic dietary shift is thought to be related to an absolute reduction in fish consumption as well as a proportionate increased consumption of domestically farm raised fish. Meat and fish presently contain less omega-3 and more omega-6 fatty acids than in the past, secondary to use of commercial feeds high in omega-6 and low in omega-3 content. (25,26) Even cultivated vegetables are poor in omega-3 when compared with wild plants.(27) Processed pet foods follow a similar fate. Optimal ratios to strive for today would be in the 10:1-5:1 range (n6:n3).
Active omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are derived from the oils of coldwater fish such as salmon. Plant based oils such as Flaxseed oil contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 that must be ultimately converted to EPA and DHA by the body. Flaxseed oil is also a source of omega-6 fatty acids. Pet food is usually deficient in omega-3’s but higher in omega-6.

Animals as well as humans cannot efficiently convert ALA to the more active EPA and DHA that is found readily available in salmon oil. Benefit from flax oil is usually seen in skin and coat although some animals with inflammatory diseases may respond. As stated previously, Salmon oil can help animals with inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and cancer and benefits animals with allergies, kidney disease and heart disease. It may also help with diabetes and act as an anti-depressant.

Our salmon oil is 100% wild Alaskan salmon oil. I made a conscious decision when we started this in 2003 that I wanted the most pure, natural and unrefined product available in the world. The only choice is still fish oil from Alaska whether Cod, Pollock, Sablefish (Black Cod) or Salmon for the following reasons:

• Fish farming is illegal in Alaska. If it’s from Alaska, no matter what species, it is wild.
• The Alaskan salmon fishery is certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.
• Alaskan salmon oil and Alaskan Pollock oil is a by-product of the fishing industry. We are utilizing the whole fish after the fillets are removed and what was, in the past, ground up and dumped back into the bay. Socially responsible harvest.
• Raw unrefined Alaskan salmon and Pollock oil has less heavy metals and pollutants than highly refined Anchovy, Sardine, Herring or farmed salmon oil produced in other parts of the world.

“Fish Oil” is a generic term for oils generally produced from Anchovy, Sardine, Herring, Mackerel or Menhaden. The major Anchovy, Sardine and Herring fishery is off the coast of Chile and the processing and handling of the finished product leaves a lot to be desired. In addition the fish are harvested with the sole intention of producing oil from their whole bodies. Same with Menhaden that is generally harvested in the Gulf of Mexico. Menhaden is used exclusively for oil and fish meal production. It is not a fish you would ever see on a menu.

There is a reason you will never find unrefined “fish oil” on the market. It must go through molecular distillation (a process done at high temperature) to remove the toxins and heavy metals inherently present in these fish. Although this process does concentrate EPA and DHA so you can achieve higher levels of these fatty acids, I don’t believe it is worth the damage the process does to the numerous fatty acids present in the raw oil. Also, farmed salmon is very high in many different pollutants and also must be refined. Wild Alaskan salmon oil is typically raw, unrefined and cold filtered.

In contrast, our “Fish” oil is produced from wild Alaskan Pollock utilizing the same processes as our wild Alaskan salmon oil resulting in a superior quality raw product.

Flaxseed oil- no EPA or DHA present, only the precursor ALA which must be converted to EPA.
Walnut oil- no EPA or DHA present, only the precursor ALA which must be converted to EPA.
Camelina oil- no EPA or DHA present. Very high in omega-6 and ALA.
Sardine/ Anchovy oil- has DHA but must be subjected to molecular distillation for purity.
Herring oil- has DHA but must be subjected to molecular distillation for purity.
Menhadden oil- has DHA but must be subjected to molecular distillation for purity.
Atlantic salmon oil- farmed fish, has DHA but must be subjected to molecular distillation for purity.
Wild Alaskan salmon oil- excellent source of DHA, more pure than others even without molecular distillation.
Wild Alaskan Pollock oil- excellent source of EPA and DHA with the same purity as our wild Alaskan salmon oil.
Krill oil- source of DHA. High cost, limited availability, very low levels of EPA & DHA.
Algal oil- excellent source of DHA. High cost, limited stability- very short shelf-life.
All Alaska seafood is wild and sustainable, and it is managed for protection against overfishing, habitat damage, and pollution. Sustainability means fisheries can exist long-term without compromising the surrounding ecosystem. Since 1959, the Alaska constitution has mandated that “fish be utilized, developed and maintained on the sustained yield principle”. Fish farming is illegal in Alaska. If it’s from Alaska, no matter what specie, it is wild.

Every aspect of Alaska’s fisheries have been strictly regulated, closely monitored and rigidly enforced for nearly five decades. Alaska sets the standard for precautionary resource management and its successful management practices are considered a model of sustainability for the entire world. Alaska’s commercial salmon fishery has been certified as sustainable under Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standards.

For a short period of time in 2008 we switched production to 100% wild Alaskan Sockeye salmon (Red salmon) oil believing it was a superior product. Sockeye oil is visually appealing with a deep dark red color. Unfortunately the analysis that we kept getting showed only 16% Omega 3 content compared to 31 -34% we consistently see with our original oil made with wild Alaskan Silver and Pink salmon. Compounded with quality control issues with the Sockeye plant we utilized, we came to the conclusion that Sockeye oil is not a premium product and does not belong with our brand. The oil in our bottles today is a blend of wild Alaskan Silver (Coho) salmon and wild Alaskan Pink salmon and is orange-red in color with the highest DHA content..
We regularly conduct testing of our product for the presence of heavy metals, pesticides and PCB’s. Although usually present in farmed fish, wild Alaskan salmon continually test free, one more reason why farmed Atlantic salmon oil must go through molecular distillation. Another benefit of Alaskan salmon is that the State of Alaska also regularly tests for heavy metals, pesticides and PCB’s and you can find their results online.

The Cook Inlet region of South-central Alaska near Anchorage is the most populated in the state. Studies performed for the U.S. Minerals Management Service report that Cook Inlet’s waters and sediments are remarkably free of hydrocarbons and metals. One of the research teams, University of Alaska’s Environmental and Natural Resources Institute, said “The physical, chemical, and bioassay results of this study show that Cook Inlet has very low environmental concentrations of hydrocarbons, and that sediments and water are generally free from toxicity. Results also show no immediate evidence of heavy metal pollution in Cook Inlet.”

All Life Line products/ ingredients are non-GMO, including our natural mixed tocopherols, and are routinely tested by third party laboratories for heavy metals, microorganisms, pesticides and dioxins along with fatty acid content, moisture, guaranteed analysis and peroxide value to meet stringent international standards for products destined for human consumption.

We triple protect our product. First, at processing we immediately blend in natural mixed tocopherols (vitamin E) to protect the oil. Second, we utilize a nitrogen environment during processing and packaging and keep the oil super-saturated with nitrogen at all times. The bottles and oil are flushed yet again during filling. Nitrogen is an inert gas that is used to displace oxygen. Third, we package in the safest bottle available that not only performs the function of oxygen barrier but also ensures that absolutely no UV light penetrates. This is the same bottle that is used to safeguard the finest oils produced for human use. Only when you break the seal on first use is the oil subjected to oxygen and that is why mixed tocopherols are included. Once opened it is best to use the oil within the next 6 months or so. Refrigeration is not required but is recommended for any oil.

We test each batch as it is made and again at 12 months and 24 months. At 24 months the oil consistently tests out exactly the same as when bottled with no detectable signs of degradation.

Although we use human food grade oil we have made the decision to market our products for pet use and focus 100% of our efforts on research and development for pets. Due to insurance and FDA licensing limitations we are not permitted to sell for human consumption and cannot legally make a “human use” claim.
When I first started researching oils many years ago I found that most “fish” oils either came from the gulf (menhaden) or Chile (anchovy and herring). Salmon oils were predominantly from Norway or Nova Scotia (Atlantic salmon) and farm raised in standard net pens or “deep sea” net pens common in the North Atlantic. One of the major suppliers of fish oils in the US told me their “Salmon” oil was mostly anchovy oil and had little to no salmon oil at all and if it did it was from farmed fish. The problem with anchovy, menhaden, tuna etc. is that the oils must go through molecular distillation to make them safe thereby reducing the natural benefits the oils provide. Wild Alaskan salmon oil that is “polished” or “cold filtered” has lower heavy metal counts than most “fish” oils that have gone through molecular distillation except that all of the Omega fatty acids remain intact.
You have to trust your source. Fish farming is unlawful in Alaska so you can be sure it is wild if it truly is Alaskan salmon oil.
No. Not every producer in Alaska uses state of the art pharmaceutical grade extraction equipment. In fact, some producers use a very crude extraction method and actually use the salmon oil in place of diesel to run the facilities generators. I would not want to feed this product to any living being.

Also, most “natural” mixed tocopherols and “rosemary” natural preservative systems are derived from soy based vegetable oils of which you can be certain are GMO.

We utilize a 100% NATURAL mixed tocopherol derived from a certified non-GMO vegetable source.

One of the benefits of using Alaskan salmon is that Alaska does not allow fish farming at all. Wild caught Alaskan salmon are naturally very high in astaxanthin due to the fact that their diet is very high in krill. Nothing is added to this oil during processing except mixed tocopherols to act as a natural antioxidant.

“Astaxanthin is a red pigment occurring naturally in a wide variety of living organisms. Most crustaceans, including shrimp, crawfish, crabs and lobster, are tinted red by accumulated astaxanthin. The coloration of fish is often due to astaxanthin; the pink flesh of a healthy wild salmon is a conspicuous example. In commercial fish and crustacean farms, astaxanthin is commonly added to feeds in order to make up for the lack of a natural dietary source of the pigment.” Torrissen, O.J., R.W. Hardy, and K.D. Shearer. (1989) Pigmentation of salmonids–carotenoid deposition and metabolism. CRC Crit. Rev. Aquat. Sci., 1: 209-225.

There is misinformation circulating implying that plastic bottles break down and impart chemicals back into the food product contained within. Hexane is mentioned as the toxic chemical. Food grade PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) bottles are made up of Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen. No hexane is used in its production or is present in the finished material. There is a specialized form of PET called PETG (Eastman Chemical and SK Chemicals are the only two manufacturers) that is used for specific non-food chemical products but is not generally available on the market. Our bottles are food grade.

HDPE, high density polyethylene is also food grade and also used in millions of consumer food product packages. Hexane is not used in its manufacture or finished product. This material is resistant to even the harshest of chemicals and insoluble in organic solvents. When burned both produce Carbon, Hydrogen and Water.

Our food grade PET and HDPE bottles and caps are produced in North America and are easily recycled. Most Aluminum bottles are sourced in China. Because our landfills are so full of aluminum cans, some landfills incinerate extra aluminum. This isn’t just a huge waste, it also pours toxic metals and gases into the atmosphere.

We utilize non-GMO natural mixed tocopherols (vitamin E) as a natural antioxidant preservation system. The mixed tocopherols start to work when the oil is exposed to oxygen and will provide sufficient protection for up to six months of opening the bottle. Always store oil in a cool location. Though not required we usually suggest refrigeration as yet another form of protection for any oil product.
We add approximately 400 ppm non-GMO natural mixed tocopherols which are a source of Vitamin E and acts as a natural antioxidant to help preserve the oil.
1 mg alpha = 1 alpha-tocopherol equivalent (commonly referred/indicated as a-TE)
1 mg beta = 0.5 a-TE
1 mg delta = 0.03 a-TE
1 mg gamma = 0.1 a-TE.
To convert to IU, sum all a-TE and multiply by 1.49.
Since we are adding about 0.4 milligram per gram, this only calculates to about 0.1 IU/gram of oil.
Alaskan salmon oil contains an extremely low amount of Vitamin A and D. You want to be concerned with them if you are using Cod Liver oil because of the high levels in that product.
The exact same amount as everyone else. No exception. Air will displace the volume of fluid that is dispensed in ANY package. If it didn’t the bottle would “panel” excessively and look all sucked in. When fluid is dispensed it creates a vacuum inside the bottle and it quickly equalizes with the surrounding atmosphere, either down the pump mechanism or through the valve.

As previously stated we triple protect our product. This is the reason we triple protect our product. First, we immediately blend in non-GMO natural mixed tocopherols (vitamin E) to protect the oil. Second, we utilize a nitrogen environment during processing and packaging and keep the oil super-saturated with nitrogen at all times. The bottles and oil are flushed yet again during filling. Nitrogen is an inert gas that is used to displace oxygen. Third, we package in the safest bottle available that not only performs the function of oxygen barrier but also ensures that absolutely no UV light penetrates. This is the same bottle that is used to safeguard the finest oils produced for human use. Only when the consumer breaks the seal is the oil first subjected to oxygen and that is exactly why mixed tocopherols are included. Once opened it is best to use the oil within the next 6 months or so. Refrigeration is not required but is recommended for any oil.

The USDA Organic certification program accredits agencies that provide certification services outside of the US. The Icelandic kelp we source is originally certified by T.U.N. in Iceland and is based on the sustainability, protection of bio-diversity, harvest methods, effects on the environment, processing techniques and so on. Additionally it is certified by QAI, a USDA accredited certifier, to the standards of the National Organic Program (NOP). Life Line Pet Nutrition, Inc. is then certified as a handler of organic products by WSDA. According to the National Organic Standards Section 205.207, wild crops, including wild berries, may be certified as long as the below conditions are met:

§ 205.207 Wild-crop harvesting practice standard.
(a) A wild crop that is intended to be sold, labeled, or represented as organic must be harvested from a designated area that has had no prohibited substance, as set forth in § 205.105, applied to it for a period of 3 years immediately preceding the harvest of the wild crop.
(b) A wild crop must be harvested in a manner that ensures that such harvesting or gathering will not be destructive to the environment and will sustain the growth and production of the wild crop.

Zinc is an important mineral for maintaining skin health. Zinc supports the metabolism, function and maintenance of skin and supports healthy immune activity, tissue synthesis and the production and function of RNA and DNA. Zinc supports the enzymatic activity of over 100 enzymes associated with energy metabolism, protein synthesis, heme biosynthesis, carbon dioxide transport and many other biochemical reactions. Organic chelated zinc propionate is more bioavailable to the dog than inorganic zinc oxide.
Pollock is an Alaskan fish that is harvested twice a year and used to make fish sticks and imitation crab among other things. There is an abundance of raw material to manufacture fish oil and the fishery is very stable. As the demand for Wild Alaskan Salmon increases on the human use side of the business the price and availability become very uncertain for us pet people as we are using the same oil that could be sold to pharmaceutical companies for a much higher price.

I have researched many different Alaskan fishes over the past ten years and Pollock is my second favorite choice next to salmon. It shares many of the same properties of salmon such as no heavy metals, high Omega-3 content and our ability to cold filter it. The oil is slightly darker but has the same consistency and smell as fresh salmon. In addition it also has a much higher ratio of EPA.

Our Fish Oil also utilizes non-GMO natural mixed tocopherol as an antioxidant.

From the State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation July 31, 2014:

JUNEAU- The Alaska departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Health and Social Services (DHSS) have received further results from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the latest radiation testing of Alaska seafood. The results confirm information from federal, state and international agencies that seafood in Alaska waters poses no radiation-related health concerns to those who consume it.

This testing of cod and three species of salmon (chinook, chum, and sockeye) showed no detection of the Fukushima-related radioisotopes iodine-131, cesium-134, or cesium-137. The results indicate no appreciable risk from any tested radionuclide in these fish and support previous radionuclide testing results of sablefish, pollock and halibut from Alaska waters. DEC and DHSS have posted the findings on their websites and will update the web pages with any future sampling results.

All samples were analyzed by standard techniques routinely used by the FDA to evaluate food safety. The fish samples were composites, containing tissue from several fish, and were collected using a statistical protocol. Samples were collected from the Aleutian/Bering Sea, Bristol Bay and Gulf of Alaska.

The state of Alaska continues to collaborate with its partners, including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Cook Inlet Keeper, North Slope Borough, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), FDA, and others to compile and evaluate additional environmental sample data.

For more detailed information on the analyses, visit DEC’s website:
http://dec.alaska.gov/eh/Radiation/index.html

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