Omega’s Research

Iceland Pure detoxification process removes virtually all toxins and heavy metals from its products to the point when they are below detectable levels and can be called "toxin-free." Their lab in Iceland uses a proprietary natural process to achieve these results and, subject to regulations of the European Good Manufacturing Practice and Pharmaceutical Production Commission and ISO 9002 (a European standards code), samples of its oils are tested frequently for toxicity levels by licensed third-party testing companies.

The use of fatty acids for canine and feline dermatological conditions is widespread and well respected. Benefits of a regular fatty acid protocol have been reported in many veterinary publications, such as Veterinary Forum, Veterinary Medicine, Current Veterinary Dermatology, and Compendium. Pets with inhalant allergies can especially benefit from supplementation with fatty acids. Among the positive effects are:

  • Inhibition of inflammation
  • Restoration of hair coat luster
  • Possible reduction of steroid dosage
  • A synergistic affect with antihistamines

This means that pets with allergies on a regular fatty acid supplement program are likely to be more comfortable and may be able to be on less medication.
Remember that when you use any supplementation, obvious changes may not immediately be apparent. Positive effects from fatty acid supplementation may take up to 2 to 3 months before they are recognized.

Iceland Pure fish oils helps support optimum cellular repair during cancer treatment, specially Shark Liver Oil. Our oils have natural vitamin E to enhance freshness.

Effects of Fish Oil on Dogs Health

1. Fish oils have long been suggested for dogs suffering from allergies, as they reduce irritation as well improve the condition of the coat. But the effects of fish oils on dogs' health are now being recognized as being far more widespread, with implications for other ailments such as heart disease, high cholesterol, kidney failure, arthritis and cancer.

Heart Disease

2. Many of the diseases dogs suffer are the same as those of humans, and heart disease is one of them. Dogs that are overweight, or do not get sufficient exercise, can experience the same heart conditions as people. And, just like humans, fish oils can help to ameliorate the condition Fish oils contain fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, and while both are beneficial, the omega-3s provide the main benefits. They reduce the triglycerides (the fats in blood), as well as lowering blood pressure and decreasing the rate of accumulation of arterial plaque.

High Cholesterol

3. Elevated cholesterol levels (hyperlipidermia) in dogs is caused by a build-up of fat in the bloodstream. Although this does not carry the same threat of heart disease as it does in humans, it can cause other health problems. The fats are produced naturally by the liver as part of the digestive system, but if too much fat is produced it will cause high cholesterol levels. According to a study carried out by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Uludag,in Turkey (and reported by "The Journal of Small Animal Practice" in March 2009), one possible indication of high cholesterol is a tendency for tail chasing--an obsessive compulsive disorder. Body fish oils have been shown to reduce triglycerides and cholesterol.

Renal Failure

4. Chronic kidney failure is another common problem in dogs, and it is often associated with cancer or heart disease. In some cases, the drugs used to treat those conditions have the undesirable side effect of undermining kidney function. The fatty acids from fish oil can slow the progression of kidney disease, and at the same time the oil's anti-inflammatory properties can reduce inflammation of the kidneys.


5. The omega fatty acid EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis, colitis and cystitis. In these cases, the relief certainly is beneficial, but fish oil does not actually treat the condition--although it may reduce the effect of the enzymes that damage cartilage in degenerative arthritis. A 2002 study by Dr. James K. Roush at Kansas State University's Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital found that dogs suffering from osteoarthritis, who were given supplements with fatty acids, "felt better."


6. Cancer is now the leading cause of death in dogs and often attributed to the commercially produced diets they are fed. Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to have beneficial results both in preventing and curing cancer.

New Studies Shows

Fats are necessary for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. They also provide protection from cold and protect the nerve fibers in the body. They provide more calories per gram than carbohydrates or protein, and improve flavor and palatability of the dog’s food. While many commercial dog food brands offer low fat diet to dogs for weight reduction, this in turn increases appetite in the dog, as fat is needed for energy and helps to satiate the dog’s appetite. Please note that fats do not affect canines like they do us when it comes to cholesterol or heart disease. Dogs as carnivores do not have the propensity for cholesterol clogging the arteries or producing strokes. High cholesterol or triglycerides in dogs can mean very different health considerations, such as hypothyroidism, diabetes or Cushing’s disease. If your dog tests high for cholesterol, always run blood tests to check for these causes.

Lastly, fats provide a source for essential fatty acids. The dogs’ diet must have a good source of fat in order to maintain sufficient levels of fatty acids. Rancid fat or poor quality fat can cause a deficiency of these fatty acids. Deficiencies of essential fatty acids are most commonly seen in poor coat and skin condition, such as pruritis (itching), dermatitis (skin inflammation) and seborrhea. A good source of vitamin E is also recommended for the best absorption of essential fatty acids. (3) The two essential fatty acids that are most commonly discussed for nutrition are Omega 6 fatty acids, and omega 3 fatty acids. The omega 6 fatty acids are found in animal sources, such as chicken and pork. Smaller amounts are found in beef. Larger amounts are found in plant sources, such as olive, safflower and other plant oils. Omega 3 fatty acids are less common, found in fish oil, flax seed oil and marine sources, such as spirulina and blue green algae. (4) Since the omega 6 fatty acids are found naturally in the diet (animal fats and plant sources) it is not necessary to add this fat to the dog’s diet. Research is still incomplete on the optimal balance of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids, but currently it is thought to be approximately 5:1 to 10:1. (1) Since most foods already contain high amounts of omega 6 (meat, fat and plant matter) it is important to add good sources of omega 3 daily to your dog’s diet.

The best sources for omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish body oils, such as fish oil or salmon oil. Cod liver oil is quite different, as it is lower in omega 3 and very high in vitamins A and D. Fish oil has a readily available form of omega 3, called EPA and DHA. Plant based oils such as Flax Seed Oil contains ALA, which needs to be converted in the body to be of use. Most dogs are unable to do this conversion which results in high amounts of omega 6 from this source, but not much omega 3. A high omega 6 to omega 3 ratio promotes inflammation, poor coat, allergies and skin conditions.

"While flaxseeds or flaxseed oil is not harmful to pets and does supply some essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed oil is a source of alphalinoleic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that is ultimately converted to EPA and DHA. Many animals (probably including dogs) and some people cannot convert ALA to these other more active non-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, due to a deficiency of desaturase enzymes needed for the conversion. In one human study, flaxseed oil was ineffective in reducing symptoms or raising levels of EPA and DHA. Therefore, I do not recommend flaxseed oil as a fatty acid supplement for pets with atopic
dermatitis (skin problems caused by environmental allergies). Instead, look for fish oil, which provides EPA and DHA." (5)

Other benefits of fatty acids include controlling inflammation, aiding in heart disease, cancer therapy, arthritis and renal disease. In heart disease and cancer, cachexia (muscle wasting) can cause a severity of side effects. Cathexia is caused by excess cytokine production. High doses of fish oil (1,000 mg per ten lbs of body weight) have been found to suppress cytokine, thus increasing life expectancy by maintaining integrity of the heart muscle and reducing loss of muscle mass in some types of cancer.

Because high doses of omega 3 fatty acids are found to reduce inflammation, fish oil is helpful for dogs with arthritis and orthopedic problems. The anti-inflammatory properties have also been found helpful for dermatitis and other skin conditions, as well as for certain gastro-intestinal disorders such as Irritable Bowel Disease and Colitis.

Lastly, omega 3 fatty acids are beneficial for kidney disease. They have been shown to be renal protective, and in certain kidney disorders such as glomerular disease, fish oil helps to reduce inflammation. (4) (6)

In conclusion, some considerations for fat in the diet include:
1. Always include fresh fat sources in your dog’s diet, including animal fat (whole milk yogurt, canned fish, meat, eggs) and fish or salmon oil.

2. Don’t reduce fat for weight loss in your dog, but rather lower the amount of food served.

3. A dog’s reaction to fat, such as loose stools or strong odor may simply mean reducing the amount of fat or food served, or it can mean other disease issues, such as Cushing’s disease, pancreatitis, Diabetes, liver disease or malabsorption problems.

Fat is indeed necessary for a dog’s diet and is important for energy, skin and coat, health of the kidneys, heart and to keep inflammation at bay in the joints. Fat is not the enemy of your dog, but in fact a very important and good friend

Essential Fatty Acids

Not just for Dermatology Anymore

Dr. Anthony Carr, DACVIM

VET MED, Dr. Tilley and Associates

Sante Fe, New Mexico


Essential fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). They cannot be produced from other fatty acids in the body. They have unique properties in that by dietary manipulation it may be possible to redirect certain aspects of the body’s metabolism to reduce inflammation and cytokine production.

A variety of pro-inflammatory products are created by the activity of cyclooxygenase on the Omega 6 family (linoleic acid is the primary source and also includes arachidonic acid). Less inflammatory leukotrienes are produced by lipooxygenase when metabolizing the Omega 3 family (linoleic acid). The predominant forms of Omega 3 fatty acids marketed include varying amounts of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA  (docosahexaenoic acid). For these effects to be seen, there must be sufficient time to incorporate more Omega 3 into the cell membrane. How EFA’s cause changes in the production of cytokines (tumor necrosis factor a, IL I, etc.) is not yet clearly understood, but has been documented to occur. Much early work concentrated on the benefits of EFA supplementation and manipulation in skin problems. Some very exciting work being done has focused on use in cardiology, renal disease and oncology. These areas may open up new indications for EFA supplements.


PUFAs can help with a variety of inflammatory and pruritic skin problems. Monotherapy with these products is generally not sufficient, however their use in combination with other products (antihistamines, corticosteriods) can be of benefit. It is especially valuable in that reduced dosages of corticosteriods can be used. This has been shown in multiple studies to date.


There are several potential indications for EFA manipulation in cardiology. It is known that EFA rich diets decrease platelet reactivity in people. This effect would be of great benefit in cats at risk for a saddle thrombus. Unfortunately, recent research has been performed that showed no effect of Omega 3 supplementation on clotting in cats, so that it is not likely to be of benefit in preventing thrombosis in this species, although further studies are needed to make sure that the lack of efficacy was not just related to the study design. A unique and potentially very important indication for n-3 supplementation in dogs with heart disease has recently been found. Cachexia is a major problem in dogs with CHF. Cachexia is probably related to excess cytokine production. Cytokine suppression has been seen with EFA supplementation so EFA supplementation at 27 mg/kg/day EPA and 18 mg/kg/day of DHA was compared to placebo.

Cachexia was reduced and some degree of cytokine suppression was documented. This could be a very important adjunctive therapy to dogs with advanced heart disease in that cachexia is one of the factors that influences the owner’s perception of the pet’s quality of life. Anything that can be done to improve the quality of life will likely increase the pet’s life expectancy by decreasing the likelihood the owner will have the pet euthanized. Increased n-3 levels in people have been associated with an anti-arrhythmic effect. Experimental studies in animals with induced arrhythmias have shown a benefit to n-3 supplementation. These effects can also be seen with the acute infusion of the fatty acids so that the effect may not completely depend upon incorporation of the fatty acids into the cell membranes. The benefits of this therapy to veterinary patients are yet unclear. Some of the benefit in man is likely to be associated with effects upon platelets in association with atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction, which would not apply to pets.


Cachexia is seen in many cases of cancer. This is probably also related to elevated cytokine levels. Benefits from supplementation with n-3 fatty acids have been seen in people with cancer associated cachexia as well as in animal models of cancer. There is also some intriguing information in regard to n-3 supplementation being able to favorably influence chemotherapy outcome as well as metastasis. In veterinary medicine, recent research has been able to show improved survival in dogs with lymphoma fed an n-3 rich diet supplemented with arginine. There also has been work done that shows that damage from radiation therapy to the nose can be significantly reduced with n-3 arginine supplemented diets.


At this time there is considerable controversy in regard to n-3 and n-6 fatty acids in renal disorders. Studies have shown a preservation of renal function in experimentally induced renal failure in dogs given increased n-3 amounts when compared to high n-6 diets or diets rich in saturated fats. The use of n-3 supplements may decrease the hyperlipidemia that is a common consequence of renal failure. It is thought that these changes in lipid profiles are one of the factors that lead to progression of renal disease. In other studies, increased n-6 supplementation resulted in increased GFR. Some argue however that increased GFR is bad for renal failure as it increases single nephron filtration pressure leading to further injury to the glomerulus and eventual loss of function. The role of n-3 supplementation in acute renal failure is intriguing. Acute renal failure induced by ischemia was ameliorated by fish oil supplementation, where as this effect was not seen with gentamycin induced renal failure. The problem with this is that the n-3 fatty acids would have to be given prior to induction of renal failure, not a situation likely to occur in practice. Fish oil supplementation did decrease the rate at which renal function was lost in association with IgA nephropathy in people. Experimental studies would suggest that there might be a benefit to n-3 supplementation with glomerular disease. This is an area that should be investigated at more length. An anti-platelet effect, which has been documented in dogs with n-3 supplementation, is generally agreed to be of benefit in


The use of EFA supplements and dietary manipulation of n-6:n-3 ratios have only been sparingly investigated in pets. Some benefit in regards to chronic inflammatory bowel disease would not be surprising. Fish oil supplementation has been shown to decrease relapses of Crohn’s disease in humans and may also be helpful in the management of ulcerative colitis.


EFA supplementation was suggested to be of benefit in the treatment of hip arthritis in a study. Approximately 50% of dogs had a good to excellent response when treated. There was no blinding or placebo control in this study. A study on the influence of Omega 6:Omega 3 ratio in dogs with elbow Degenerative Joint Disease did not show any benefit. Without active inflammation this would seem a less promising use of n-3 supplements, although further study would be indicated to determine this definitively.


The use of PUFA supplements seem to offer some very promising clinical benefits. There is still much to be done to clarify the roles of these supplements. Much of the work that has been done is difficult to interpret because of the study designs used. In cardiology and cancer therapy the benefits are clear, in other areas it may be worth seeing if a benefit can be achieved. glomerular disease as platelets are very likely involved in the progression of glomerular lesions.

In veterinary medicine, recent research has been able to show improved survival in dogs with lymphoma fed an n-3 rich diet supplemented with arginine. There also has been work done that shows that damage from radiation therapy to the nose can be significantly reduced with n-3/ arginine supplemented diets.

Atlantic Salmon
What is a Salmon?
The Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is an anadromous migratory fish found in the temperate and arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

What does anadromous mean?
The Atlantic salmon is referred to as being anadromous because of its habit of migrating from the sea into fresh waters to spawn. This is the exact opposite of the common eel which leaves fresh waters to spawn in the Sargasso Sea, and is therefore called catadromous.

Is there just one species of salmon?
When we speak of "salmon" we are referring to either Atlantic salmon or Pacific salmon. There is only one species of Atlantic salmon: Salmo salar. There are six species of Pacific salmon: pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha), chum (O.keta), chinook (O.tschawytscha), coho (O.kisutch), sockeye (O.nerka) and Masou (O.masou).

Do all Atlantic salmon go to sea?
No. Although most Atlantic salmon spend part of their lives at sea there are some which are non-migratory. In several lakes in eastern North America there is a form known as a land-locked salmon, Salmo salar sebago (Girard), though their access to sea is not barred. The fish is popularly called Ouananiche (Lake St. John) or Sebago salmon (Nova Scotia, Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and the New England States). In Lake Vänern in Sweden there is a non-migratory form of Atlantic salmon called "blanklax". Land-locked Atlantic salmon also occur in Lake Ladoga in Russia and in Norway in Lake Byglandsfjord. There are also land-locked Atlantic salmon in South Island, New Zealand.

How big can salmon grow?
Atlantic salmon can grow to a very large size and the biggest, which have reached up to around 70lbs (32kg), are usually caught in Norway and Russia. However, some very large fish have been recorded in Scottish rivers. It is generally accepted that the largest one caught on rod and line in the UK was taken by Miss Georgina Ballantyne in the River Tay: it weighed 64lbs (29kg). There is an 1891 report of a monster salmon of 70lbs, also caught in the River Tay, but on this occasion in a net belonging to a Mr. Speedie.

Do Atlantic salmon have a world-wide distribution?
No. Except for the land-locked varieties, they are naturally limited to the waters of countries bordering on the North Atlantic Ocean and Baltic Sea. The following countries presently have Atlantic salmon, in varying numbers: Canada, Denmark, England and Wales, Faroes, Finland, France, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, United States.

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