Omega 3 FAQs

Ocean Nutrition’s Frequently Asked Questions regarding MEG3   Omega3 Priority

What are EPA and DHA?

Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA, 20:5n-3)

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA, 22:6n-3)

Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) are biologically active Omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs).

They are key building blocks in your cells and are needed throughout your entire body for good health.

How is Omega-3 fish oil different from plant-derived Omega-3?

  • Plant-derived Omega-3 PUFA is in the form of Alpha-linolenic Acid (ALA).
    • ALA is considered an essential fatty acid (EFA) because the human body cannot synthesize it. The body converts ALA into EPA and DHA, which are biologically important to health.
    • Omega-3 PUFAs EPA and DHA are derived from ALA through enzymatic reactions in the body but this process does not efficiently supply the body with adequate amounts of EPA and DHA.
  • EPA and DHA are found in oily fish including Anchovies, Sardines, Mackerel, and Salmon, and commercially available Omega-3 oils derived from these fish.

What are the health benefits of Omega-3?

Omega-3s EPA and DHA are important building blocks in every cell in your body. As you grow and develop you need these as essential components of your diet. Omega-3 EPA and DHA are an integral part of cell membranes and precursors of several important cellular messengers.

EPA & DHA are also recognized for their health benefits in all life stages. Studies show that EPA is important for optimal brain function and contributes to the reduction of inflammation. DHA has been recognized for brain, visual, and nervous system health and development. EPA and DHA work together to contribute to good heart health.

What is the recommended daily intake?


Daily Dosage


Infants (0-12 months)

.50 g of EPA and DHA

Institute of Medicine

Ages 1-3

70 mg DHA (+ EPA)

The Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A.)

Ages 4-8

90 mg DHA (+ EPA)

The Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A.)

Ages 9-13 (girls/boys)

100/120 mg DHA (+ EPA)

The Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A.)

Ages 14-18 (girls/boys)

110/160 mg DHA (+ EPA)

The Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A.)

Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder

558 mg EPA/174 mg DHA

Oxford Durham Study

Expecting & Lactating Women

300 mg of DHA


Adults without documented coronary heart disease (CHD)

650 mg of EPA and DHA


Adults with documented CHD

1 g of EPA and DHA

American Heart Association

Patients who needs to lower triglycerides

2-4 g of EPA and DHA (under a physician’s care)

American Heart Association

What is the source of MEG-3® fish oil?

  • MEG-3® fish oil is sourced from the purest wild Sardine and Anchovy fished in cold, pristine waters off South America, where there are significantly less environmental impurities.
  • MEG-3® fish oil is the product of a healthy, fully sustainable fishery and is a renewable resource.

Does MEG-3® set the industry standard for quality?

  • MEG-3® fish oils are manufactured to cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices) and CFIA including HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) standards and are also in compliance with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Global Organization of EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED) standards.
  • MEG-3® is the purest, safest source of EPA/DHA fish oil. MEG-3® is the first and only fish oil ingredient to achieve US Pharmacopeia (USP) verification, which is the most rigorous quality assurance verification in the world.

What does the term "Pharmaceutical-grade" fish oil mean?

  • The term "Pharmaceutical-grade" fish oil is a commonly used marketing term to describe fish oil ingredients and is not recognized by standardization authorities, such as USP.
  • MEG-3® is the only fish oil ingredient to achieve USP verification, thus setting the standard for quality.

What is the difference between ethyl ester (EE) and triglyceride (TG) forms of Omega-3 concentrates?

MEG-3® concentrated fish oil ingredients are available in either EE or TG form.

  • Ethyl esters result from removing the glycerol backbone through a process called ethylation.
  • The TG form consists of either unconcentrated Omega-3 fish oil (18/12) or concentrated Omega-3 fish oil that has been reconverted or re-esterified to the TG form.

Most scientific literature shows our bodies have comparable absorption of Omega-3 from EE or TG.

What is molecular distillation?

Molecular distillation is a refinement process for the concentration and purification of EPA and DHA from starter fish oil material. As in any distillation process, it is based on molecular weight fractionation.

What is the difference between area percent and mg/g?

The EPA and DHA content of fish oils are measured by an analytical technique known as gas chromatography (GC). The EPA or DHA composition is described as either an area percentage (%) or an amount per gram of oil (mg/g).

Area percent is the area of the EPA or DHA peak measured by gas chromatography relative to the sum of the peak areas for all fatty acids. There is no direct mathematical correlation to mg/g values.

The amount per gram of oil (mg/g) is determined by comparison of the peak area of EPA and DHA in the sample oil relative to that of a pure sample of EPA or DHA. The result is slightly different depending on whether expressed as the free fatty acid, triglyceride or ethyl ester form of the oil. The mg/g value gives the true amount of EPA or DHA per gram of oil available for healthy benefits.

For example, the chart below outlines the area percent and mg/g for a number of MEG-3® fish oil ingredients.

MEG-3® Fish Oil Product

Area % EPA

Area % DHA

Min. mg/g EPA

Min. mg/g DHA

18/12 TG





40/20 EE





03/55 EE





What is the significance of peroxide values (PV) and p-anisidine values (P-AV)?

Peroxide values (PV) are used to measure primary oxidation of the fish oil and p-anisidine values (P-AV) are used to measure secondary oxidation. Increased PV and P-AV numbers reflect increased oxidation of the oil. Ocean Nutrition Canada measures both values to have a complete picture of MEG-3® the oil’s oxidation status, as part of our rigorous quality assurance processes.

What are mixed natural tocopherols?

Mixed Natural Tocopherols (MNT), including d-alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E), are antioxidants, which prevent the oxidation and degradation of the oil, thereby, extending the shelf life of the product.

How relevant is cholesterol content in MEG-3® fish oil ingredients?

A daily dose of MEG-3® concentrated fish oil contains less than 1% of the maximum recommended daily level of cholesterol. For example, MEG-3® 40/20EE averages 0.21mg/g cholesterol, which is 0.07 % of the maximum daily-recommended cholesterol intake of 300mg.