Fish Oil Contamination - Whats going on with Omega 3?

Fish Oil Contamination - Whats going on with Fish Oil and Omega 3?

“Although taking fish oil or cod liver oil has been seen as essential, to get you omega 3, study after study has shown that these supplements are contaminated by harmful toxins such as mercury and dioxins.  However, a new study has shown that high street brands are free from these toxins, so what exactly is going on?”

Reports Finding Fish Oil Contamination

European countries have long had more restrictive laws governing their food production and distribution, as well as regulations on different healthcare supplements, than their American counterparts.  This is probably why the majority of studies published citing contamination as a concern in fish oil consumption has been conducted in a European Country.
The Food Standards Agency out of the UK sited such contamination in 2006, as did the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.  Proponents of these studies argue that the majority of studies conducted that result in “proof” of contamination have been done utilizing fish oil in solid or powdered form.

Why do you need omega 3?
It has been proven that Omega 3 is essential for brain development and function based upon the brains need for DHA and EPA to generate growth.  Mothers with sufficient intake of DHA and EPA while pregnant gave birth to higher weight babies, were more likely to carry to full term, and their offspring often tested higher on IQ tests once they became of school age.
Fish oil has been found to be beneficial in some psychological ways as well.  It can reduce depression and delay the onset of Schizophrenia.  The oils lower overall aggression by aiding in the neuronal growth of the frontal cortex.
Omega 3 is an antiatherosclerotic, antithrombotic, antiarrythmic and improves endothelial function.  It also helps to lower cholesterol, blood pressure and triglycerides.
There have been some recent studies that have suggested that the daily consumption of fish oil can have anti cancer effects, particularly when in reference to breast and ovarian cancer.

So why are the new studies finding NO contamination?
Present studies that have more recently been published from testing centers at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as the National Medical Services of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, have discovered NO significant values of contamination in over 40 brands of fish oil supplements.  These recent studies have been mainly conducted in America, which has long been known for not having as high of testing standards or regulations as their European counterparts.
There has been an increase in the number of companies that are now voluntarily participating in the distilling process of fish oil.  This is most likely in response to a decrease in fish oil sales due to fear of mercury contamination.
Fish with significantly lower levels of mercury are being used more frequently now.  These fish are also being caught in waters surrounding less industrial nations which means that their waters are less contaminated hence resulting in lower levels of mercury.

Does distilling reduce beneficial properties?
Molecular distillation of fish oil may reduce some beneficial properties of omega 3.  It has long been known that once omega 3’s hit a certain temperature point, the chemical compound changes which makes the component hard if not impossible for ones body to use and process.

Better sources:

Dr. Mercola and other renowned omega 3 supporters have recently been pushing the switch to Krill in order to obtain the daily dose of omega 3’s.  This switch is justifiable on many levels.  Krill happens to be more sustainable than fish.  Legitimate studies have not yet been conducted to determine the predicted sustainability of krill but it is estimated to be twice as high as fish’s current projection of 40 years.
Krill is naturally high in antioxidants and therefore does not require additional supplements to be taken with it.  It provides DHA and EPA and the provided EPA is actually in the form of a double chain phospholipid structure which in turn makes them more absorbable in the human body.
Other vegetarian options that can be used in place of fish oil and krill include algae.  Afterall, this is where the fish obtain their beneficial stockpiles of omega 3’s anyways.

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