How can I be sure your oils are completely free from heavy metals and toxins?
We're the only company we know of that publishes full test results (certificates of analysis) for every single batch. We're also the only UK company certified by the International Fish Oil Standards program, an independent laboratory that tests every single batch of our oils. We have absolutely nothing to hide – we’re pure, and proud of it. You can find our independent test results on the shop pages.
We also get our batches tested a second time by IFOS (The International Fish Oil Standards Programme). Here are the reports for our current batches:
Life & Soul Liquid
Action Heroes Liquid
Life & Soul Daily Capsules
Life & Soul Mini Capsules
Mums & Bumps Capsules
Vim & Vigour Capsules
Rise & Shine Capsules
Doe your oil smell or taste fishy and do the capsules repeat on you?
Absolutely not. Lemon is the only thing you’ll smell or taste in our liquid oils. This is because they’re such good quality. Essentially, fish oils turn rancid when they come into contact with oxygen – which is why fish straight out of the sea don’t smell. Ours are super fresh, with much lower levels of oxidation than other brands.
Very fishy smelling or tasting oil is usually a sign that it’s turned rancid. As long as you keep your bottle closed and in the fridge, you’ll never experience this with our fish oils.
Is your fish oil the same as cod liver oil?
No – cod liver oil really does come from the livers of cod. As this is where toxins and contaminants are processed, this kind of oil is more likely to contain heavy metals, dioxins and PCBs.
Our oil comes from sardines, anchovies and mackerel. These have very high levels of omega-3, but are small and have short life spans – so they have little time to build up pollutants.
Also, our oil tastes amazing, whereas cod liver oil is a bit of an acquired taste.
What fish does your oil come from?
We only use wild sardine, anchovy and mackerel from deep waters.
Why do you use small fish?
We use small fish like sardine, mackerel and anchovy. This is because small fish are at the bottom of the food chain and therefore contain fewer heavy metals and other pollutants such as PCBs. The higher up the food chain you are, the more toxic build up you get. This means that larger fish like pollock, salmon and tuna are likely to carry more heavy metals and chemicals.
Are the fish sustainably caught?
Yes – we make sure of it. Our fish are caught within the strictest international guidelines. And we only work with Norwegian fisheries and manufacturers certified by both Friends of the Sea and IFFO-RS, the global responsible supply standard.
How soon after the fish are caught do you extract the oil?
As quickly as we can - always within 24 hours, in line with the EU regulation EC 852/2004. All the fishery plants we use are in Norway and registered and approved by the EU to produce fish for human consumption.
How is the oil extracted?
Our oils are extracted using molecular distillation. The oil in our pregnancy product, Mums & Bumps, uses this same process, but we add a further step using a natural enzyme to get to the highest DHA levels. This is a green chemistry process so it is very mild on the oil.
Do you use hexane or any other chemicals in the extraction process?
No, no toxic chemicals or solvents are used in any stage of the manufacturing process.
How do you purify your fish oil?
Very carefully. It goes through a variety of processes, including molecular distillation at a low temperature and filtration to remove saturated fats and other solids. This is all done by our expert manufacturer in Norway.
Is the oil cold pressed?
Our oils are not cold pressed. However, we do not use flash distillation either, which exposes the oil to high heat. During molecular distillation, the oil is exposed to heat but with a very low residence time and under extreme vacuum. We use a special deodorization process called think film; which means a gentler and very short time exposure. This is a far superior process to batch deodorization, which subjects all the oil to heat for a longer period.
We guarantee the low residence heat does not damage our oils by testing every batch for trans fatty acids throughout the entire production process. There are no trans fatty acids detected in any of our products.
What is the oxidation level in the oil?
Due to the nature of our products this may vary from batch to batch. However, we are one of the very few fish oil companies that are accredited 5 stars for purity and freshness from the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS). Among many other criteria, they test oxidation levels with every single batch we manufacture before sale. As far as we are aware, we're the only fish oil company that publishes every test in full on our website.In short, our oxidation levels are well within the range of the approved level for safety. You can find the most up to date analyses, including the current oxidation levels on each of our product pages on our online shop.
You can also take a look at the IFOS website to see their independent tests on each batch we produce.
Is the oil in its natural form or is it concentrated?
All our oils are in their natural triglyceride form for optimal absorption. We pride ourselves in creating products that are natural and as close to food as possible. For example, we only use Sicilian lemon oil to flavour, as opposed to the commonly used artificial flavours. We also use a small amount of Vitamin E as a natural preservative.
What is your Sicilian lemon oil made from
It is an essential oil expressed from the peel of lemons.
What is the shelf life?
The shelf life of our capsules, unopened, is 2 years from the date they were made. The shelf life of our liquids, unopened, is 2 years from the date they were made. For the expiry date for current batches, please see the Ingredients tab for each product.
How long will it keep once I've opened it?
Our liquids can taste good up to 4 months, depending on how well the lid has been sealed after opening. Our capsules are fine until the expiry date.
Do your oils need to be refrigerated?
Once opened Life & Soul Liquid and Action Heroes need to be refrigerated with the lid tightly screwed on. We advise you treat our oils like fresh food; we’ve kept our oils as pure as possible and have chosen not to laden them with preservatives so that you get more fish oil with every bottle.
Our capsules keep well in ambient or cool storage.
Can I take more than the recommended dosage on the packaging?
If you want to take a higher dose to address a particular health concern we recommend seeking guidance from a registered healthcare practitioner first.
Where are your fish oils and capsules made?
Our fish oil is made in Norway, we then bring it to the UK where it is bottled or made into capsules and packed into containers.
When is the best time to take fish oil?
Meal times, preferably at dinner. This helps your body absorb and digest it, and makes it easier to get into the habit of taking it at the same time every day.
Where should I keep my fish oil?
Our fish oils have a long shelf life, so you don’t need to store them in special conditions until they’re opened. Once you’ve opened our liquids – Life & Soul liquid and Action Heroes – please keep them closed and in the fridge. Just like you would something fresh such as juice.
You can keep our capsules wherever’s handy – in a cupboard or drawer, on the countertop, or in your bag – as long as it’s not excessively hot or cold.
How do I measure out a dose?
If you have any medicine spoons or teaspoons around the house, these are usually 5ml. Most medicine spoons also have 2.5ml markings. You can also use baking and cooking measuring spoons.
Action Heroes comes with its own handy syringe. But if you want to measure out 1ml of this with a regular teaspoon just pour a tiny amount – literally a drop.
I've heard that fish oils can repeat on you and cause reflux
It's a common misconception that it's normal for fish oils to repeat on you. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. Fresh fish oil, like Bare Biology's oils, shouldn't cause any reflux. Usually fishy burps are a sure sign the oil has gone off. Rancid fish oil is pro inflammatory and has been shown to be carcinogenic.
Is it essential to take with food?
It's not essential but, as with most supplements, our omega-3s are best taken with food because it helps apsorption. If taken at mealtimes, there are more contents in the stomach and intestines, so the capsules can be broken down much more effectively. As a side benefit, it may also increase absorption and utilisation of fat soluble vitamins and minerals in your meals.
The aim with establishing good nutrition is consistency. If you find it difficult taking your oil at meal times and it's easier not to, then by all means you can take the product on an empty stomach.
Where is your oil extracted and where is it tested?
The oil is extracted on the fishing boats, wherever they are. The oil is sent to Norway where it is purified. It is then tested in Norway by our manufacturer (we publish those results on our website for each batch) and is also tested by IFOS in Canada.
The oil is shipped in sealed drums (we check the seals when they arrive here) so no additional oxidation occurs. But to be safe, when the oil arrives at our encapsulators, the oxidation level is tested again before encapsulation. Likewise, after it is bottled, we test the oil here in the UK for oxidation and bacteria/microbes/contamination before it is bottled and after and IFOS test the finished bottled/encapsulated product.
So the oil is tested after manufacture, before bottling or encapsulation, and after bottling and encapsulation by two separate parties. We don't take any chances on oxidation!
Do you use nitrogen flushing?
Nitrogen flushing is used during the liquid oil bottling and capsule filling, to help minimise its exposure to oxygen.
For our capsules, the fish oil is tested for various things, including freshness, and any drums opened are purged with nitrogen prior to resealing. The oil is encapsulated under nitrogen and the flow is checked and confirmed hourly during production.
What kind of nets are used by your fishing boats?
The fish are wild caught by 'purse seine' fishing fleets. Purse seine is a type of trawler net.
How do I know that your fish oil is environmentally friendly?
Our fish oil manufacturer is Friend of the Sea certified, which strictly regulates the fishery.
Friend of the Sea sustainable fishery criteria requires:
- non-onverexploited target stock according to FAO, Regional Fishery Bodies and National Marine Authorities
- no relevant impact on the seabed
- selective fishing method (max 8% discards)
- no bycaught species included in the IUCN Redlist of endangered species
- compliance with legal requirements (incl. TACs, no IUU, no FOC, mesh size, min size, MPA, etc)
- energy balance and yearly fuel efficiency improvement
- waste management
- social accountability
Does omega-3 decrease over time once a fish oil is open?
We have absolutely no indications that omega-3 decreases in an open container exposed to oxygen and light, based on our experiences, testing and studies. However oxidation will start and continue once it’s been exposed which will affect taste and smell over time in a fish oil. We do not see any correlation between oxidation and omega-3 content.
What is the maximum temperature your oil can be exposed to?
We do not recommend exposure to temperatures above 40C.
Why are the TG and FFA levels different?
The TG values are for the fatty acids as triglycerides (in nature they exist as triglycerides, so three fatty acids joined together along with a molecule of glycerol). It means that some of the weight can be attributed to glycerol, hydrogen and oxygen.
The free fatty acid (FFA) values are for the fatty acids themselves (alone, no glycerol).
That’s why the TG values always look higher on the spec than the FFA values.
Effectively, the TG amount and the FFA amount are measuring the same amount but one is showing the weight as triglyceride and one is showing it without the added molecule of glycerol.
What are the other omega-3s in your fish oil?
The most important types of omega-3 for our health are EPA, DHA and to a lesser degree, DPA. We list these for obvious reasons. However, there are lots of kinds of omega-3 but each batch would need to be analysed in extreme detail to split them all out. This is very expensive and would mean the price of the fish oil would increase. We therefore don't do this analysis but, don't worry, they're all safe and for sure also have health benefits. Here's a table of the omega-3 types, courtesy of Wikipedia...