Fish oil contributes to the prevention of certain conditions. (Photo: Stock File)
Consumers should only seek fish oil from small fish
Thursday, September 20, 2012, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
A group of natural health and fitness researchers warns about the possibility of the existence of high levels of toxins in some fish oil sources. And for that reason they advise consumers to only seek fish oil originating from small fish because they have a lower contamination risk.
The group, called Natural Health Sherpa, also encourages the public to be discerning when selecting and using fish oil supplements from fish and select seafood.
In its website, the group stresses that fish oil prevents “a wide range of medical conditions, including heart disease, high cholesterol, depression, anxiety, cognitive function, inflammation, arthritis, eye disorders and skin conditions.”
Nevertheless, it warns that while the benefits of consuming fish oil are many, the issue to be careful about is the sources.
The organisation explained that smaller fish are preferable as a fish oil source because bigger ones contain more toxins, as they consume smaller fish and get more fats from them. Therefore, even though bigger fish have higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acid precisely because they eat smaller fish, they should be avoided because of their high level of toxicity.
Some of the toxins that big fish get from smaller ones are mercury, chlordane, arsenic, lead, cadmium, PCB’s and dioxin.
The website recommends fish oil rich in EPA and DHA.
“If all of these toxins can be found in large fish, it stands to reason that they could end up in fish oil supplements made from these fish. Turns out, that can be the case when it comes to less expensive, more cheaply produced brands,” Natural Health Sherpa said.
The team also revealed a list of brands with excessive levels of PCB’s that it obtained from a lawsuit by the California environmental group. The list includes CVS, Rite Aid, GNC, Nature Made, Solgar, Now Health, Twinlab, Pharmavite and Omega Protein.
“Sardines and anchovies are very rich sources of fish oil, and they are at significantly lower risk of toxic contamination than salmon because they’re much lower on the food chain,” Natural Health Sherpa concluded.
- Some fish oil supplements are contaminated with toxins: study
By Natalia Real