Onemia's main component is krill oil. The product, a medical food, is marketed by Acasti Pharma, a subsidiary of Canadian krill oil manufacturer Neptune Technologies & Bioressources. The Onemia shopping website requires a "Red Access Code provided by your healthcare professional" for each purchase. So even though Onemia is technically not a drug, one needs an approval code from a doctor or healthcare provider to get it. Tina Sampalis, president of Onemia, states in a 2011 Youtube video, that Acasti's Onemia is being recommended by doctors to patients for cholesterol management.
Onemia costs more than regular krill oil. Regular krill oil with 40% phospholipids and up to 1.5 mg astaxanthin can be found on the internet for around $20 per bottle with 60 capsules. Onemia krill oil costs $150 on the Onemia website, when we last price-checked.
What is in Onemia?
Onemia contains more phospholipids and more astaxanthin than regular krill oil. The label states that the product is "Omega-3 Phospholipid", and that it is a "natural extract". The Nutritional Facts box shows that Onemia contains 53% (or 530 mg in two capsules) "marin phospholipids". This compares with 40% marine phospholipids in a quality krill oil supplement. Astaxanthin, the second important component in krill oil, is 3 mg in 2 Onemia capsules, and that compares to 1.25 mg astaxanthin in a quality krill oil supplement and with 12 mg in some high end krill oil / astaxanthin blends.
Onemia is a medical food
Neptune’s subsidiary Acasti Pharma launched the trademarked Onemia in the US medical food market in May 2011. The product targets doctors and other healthcare practitioners as a "recommendation" for omega 3 deficiency. A medical food is formulated for consumption or administration under the supervision of a physician and is intended for the specific dietary management of a disease or condition.
LipiChol540 is virtually the same as Onemia
In late 2012 the US supplement company XYMOGEN started selling Onemia under the brand name LipiChol540. XYMOGEN shows the Onemia trademark on their label, and also confirmed in a press release that Onemia and LipiChol are virtually the same.
"We have seen incredible enthusiasm from doctors for LipiChol540™'s ability to lower triglycerides without raising bad low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in patients with omega-3 phospholipid deficiency for whom diet and exercise changes are not effective," said Brian Blackburn, President and CEO of XYMOGEN, in the press release. LipiChol sells for $98.00 per 60 capsule bottle on the internet when we last price-checked in October 2012. LipiChol has only 2,000 ppm astaxanthin, compared to 3,000 parts per million (ppm) astaxanthin in the original Onemia. Most of this astaxanthin comes from algae, and these astaxanthin levels are not spectacular compared to other potent krill oil / astaxanthin blends on the market.
Benefits of Onemia:
Tina Sampalis says in an October 2011 Acasti presentation, which can be found on Youtube: "This is our medical food; Onemia. Recommended by doctors, who are seeing the results of Onemia day by day. They see their patients that were not doing well on statins reducing triglycerides by 16%, reducing LDL -- not increasing, not leaving alone -- but actually reducing LDL by 58% and increasing HDL: the perfect blood trifecta that we were talking about, is now being proven at a less potent product, which is our medical food”.
Onemia main component is GRN242 krill oil
The main component in Onemia is krill oil, according to Acasti's description of Onemia. The company published a "Doctor Booklet" (note 1) in which it is said that "Onemia’s main component (NHP80006416 / GRN242) has been administered in a total of 203 subjects in 6 clinical trials and no serious side effects were observed at a dose up to 6g/day". The code name GRN242 refers to a Food and Drug Administration GRAS Notice (note 2) for a high phospholipid krill oil. One of the intended uses of the krill oil in the GRN242 notification is medical food. The brand name Onemia is not mentioned in the FDA GRAS notification.
More suggested reading about krill oil cholesterol management: