Fish Oil under attack

Wading into fish oil supplement safety

The health industry's love of fish, fish oil and fish oil supplements came under attack this week

In San Francisco omega 3 fish oil supplement manufacturers are being sued over toxin levels.

(From San Francisco Chronicle)
Ten over-the-counter fish oil supplements - of the at least 200 brands estimated to be on the market - were tested by Mateel and found to contain toxins called polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. The levels, not disclosed on labels, varied widely; some were far above what requires a warning label under California's Proposition 65 disclosure rules, which mandate that manufacturers list certain toxins in their products. Among those toxins are PCBs because of their carcinogenic risks as well as their link to reproductive problems. California has set an acceptable risk level for PCBs as carcinogens: a scant 90 billionths of a gram a day (90 nanograms). No acceptable risk level has been set for reproductive effects.
The tests, conducted on manufacturers' recommendations for daily dosages, which vary widely, found that three of the 10 products contained PCB levels above that benchmark for carcinogens. David Roe, an attorney for the environmental plaintiffs, says Mateel tested daily dosages because the results would yield a true measure of daily intake because most consumers follow label recommendations. The lowest level, found in Solgar's Norwegian Cod Liver Oil, was 70 times below the highest, found in Now Foods Salmon Oil. Different dosages could account for some of the variance among the products, but the tests found that concentration levels of PCBs varied as well.
Toxicity can vary widely in fish oil, depending on what kind of fish is used and the contamination in its habitat waters, scientists say. Older, bigger fish tend to build up more PCBs in their fatty tissues than smaller fish, but habitat is still key.
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In another report resurfacing from last summer fish and fish oils are accused of increasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes by up to 22% if consumed more than 5 times a week

A Harvard study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition links fish and omega-3 oil consumption to type 2 diabetes. Following 195,204 adults for 14 to18 years, researchers found that the more fish or omega-3 fatty acids participants consumed, the higher their risk of developing diabetes. The risk increase was modest for occasional fish eaters, but rose to a 22 percent increased risk for women consuming five or more fish servings per week.
Prior studies have suggested that fat accumulation within muscle cells can lead to insulin resistance which, in turn, contributes to diabetes. People who eat no animal products have less fat in their cells and much less risk of developing diabetes. A low-fat vegan diet has been shown to improve type 2 diabetes.
Kaushik M, Mozaffarian D, Spiegelman D, Manson JE, Willett WC, Hu FB. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, fish intake, and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jul 22.

Safer , sustainable , toxin free omega 3 long chain essential fat alternatives are now being offered from EPA and DHA rich Algae oils and plant oils such as Echium oil


Thank you for posting this informative article on the relationship found between high intake of fish and insulin resistance.

A review of omega 3 fatty acids in type 2 diabetes was recently published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association with the goal of clarifying the role of fish or fish oils intake among individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Researchers determined that the literature to date points to the benefit of fish intake in improving dyslipidemia, but the evidence of the impact of fish to treat some other cardiovascular complications, such as metabolic syndrome, is poor.

For the most part, researchers concluded that the literature is favorable for the role of fish oil in reducing cardiovascular risks in individuals with type 2 diabetes; the authors state that "favorable effects outweigh the modest increase in low-density lipoprotein levels that may result from increased omega 3 intake."

Omega 3 long change polyunsaturated fatty acids in type 2 diabetes: a review. Journal of American Dietetic Association. 2005;105;428-440Nettleton JA, Katz R.
Bhathiya99 said…
These fish oil post is very useful to me thanks for sharing.
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Jim said…
I try to limit my fish intake even though I enjoy it (because of the mercury etc.) I believe the fish oils need to be refrigerated or they go bad. You can get good essential fatty acids (Omega 3's) from flax seeds. Just don't grind them up until you are ready to eat them. Or you can soak them for a day so they soften up and can get absorbed by your body. This makes a substance that can be mixed well in smoothies and desserts!

To Your Health!
James Reno