The livers of anchoy have a high content of omega 3 and omega 6. (Photo: Stock File)
Benefits of fish liver detected
Monday, May 02, 2011, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
A team of researchers from the University of Almería found out that fish liver is a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids and it is very beneficial to human health.
The liver is usually discarded by fishermen, except for the one of cod, which is used to produce medicinal oil.
According to a study published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) liver contains the largest amount of these acids, informed the Scientific Information and News Service (SINC).
According to José Luis Guil-Guerrero, lead investigator and professor of the Department of Food Technology, University of Almeria, edible fish livers are a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially of the family of omega 3: eicosapentaenoic acid ( EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Currently, the health sector uses them to prevent and treat various illnesses, certain types of cancer, depression, Alzheimer, schizophrenia, behavioral disorders and cardiovascular diseases.
Scientists devoted themselves to the study of 12 species of fish commonly consumed in southeastern Spain, such as anchovy, hake, white shark, sardine and aligote.
The researchers determined that the livers of anchovy and greater weever (Trachinus draco) have the highest content of these fatty acids: 47.9 per cent and 51.4 per cent, respectively.
They also concluded that all species show a rate of omega 3 - omega 6 that is "advantageous for human consumption, especially in the case of blue whiting (Micromesistiu poutasou).
For this reason, Guil-Guerrero complained that "when you discard these livers, all their nutritional properties are not being considered."
If these livers were taken into account, "the environmental pollution that comes from discarding offal into the water would be avoided and it is a problem inherent to the processing industry of fishery products in coastal areas," stated the researcher.
By Analia Murias