What are the pros and cons of liquids and soft gels with particular attention to absorption?
The main difference between liquids and softgels is preference. Absorption is similar between the 2 as long as both liquids and softgels are in the same molecular form, meaning that triglyceride (TG) liquids will be similarly absorbed to TG softgels. For example, the absorption of NutraSea, NutraSea softgels, and NutraSea 2x concentrated softgels will be similar so the best choice for you is the one that you will actually take on a regular basis. Since ethyl ester (EE) fish oil softgels are the more predominant form of fish oil products on the market, you should be aware that the overall scientific evidence suggests that TG fish oils are better absorbed in comparison to EEs. Therefore, liquid oils in TG form are likely going to be better absorbed than softgels in EE form.
Are your capsules enteric coated? Am I going to burp fish?
Ascenta’s softgels are not enteric coated. They are therefore broken down in the stomach where the first stage of fat digestion occurs. Some fish oil companies use an enteric coating, which prevents the softgels from breaking down in the stomach. The only need to use an enteric coating is to reduce the fishy reflux associated with oils that have a fishy taste or smell. Ascenta’s oils are high quality and very stable so they do not have a fishy taste or smell. If you find that Ascenta’s products are causing reflux, then you should try consuming the products with food as this can usually resolve the problem.
Are your products non-GMO?
Ascenta makes every effort to avoid the use of ingredients derived from GMO’s (genetically modified organisms). In cases where GMO ingredients are the only available with the right characteristics, we continue to evaluate other sources that are non-GMO. All of our omega-3 oils come from non-GMO sources. Our NutraSea DHA was certified non-GMO in May 2014 and we currently have other products under review in the verification process.
Do you use organic ingredients in your products?
Ascenta uses organic ingredients in our products whenever this is possible. For example, our borage, sunflower, and evening primrose oil are certified organic. All three of these organic plant oils are certified with the National Organic Program (NOP), which is part of the USDA. Wild sources of fish, such as sardines, anchovies, and mackerel cannot be certified organic.
What allergens are present in your products?
The ingredients in Ascenta’s products do not contain any of the common allergens, including wheat, gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy or egg. One exception is Ascenta Skin, which contains a small amount of soy. In addition, most of our products also contain mixed tocopherols from refined soy, which is likely not an allergen but is disclosed in case of extreme allergy. NutraSea DHA contains squid oil and may contain traces of shellfish.