Fish is health food favorite, and is often recommended as a great source of lean protein. But there have been some concerns surrounding the safety of fish and fish oil. Nearly every fish contains some level of mercury, a naturally occurring element that can be dangerous in high doses.
So are you risking mercury poisoning by taking fish oil daily? Probably not. According to The Arch Pathol Lab, fish oil may be a safer way to get all the health benefits of fish. Because fish oil is made from fish that don’t contain much mercury like herring, tuna, halibut, salmon, mackerel, and cod liver, these supplements contain much less mercury than high risk fish like shark and swordfish.
The Safe Way To Benefit From The Nutrition In Seafood
One study conducted by the Environmental Defense Fund found that all of the different fish oil companies they were able to reach reported that they followed strict purification methods. These methods include steam deodorization and molecular distillation to remove pollutants from the healthy omega-3 fatty acids that compose healthy fish oil. When oils goes through this stringent purification processes, the FDA says that 3 grams of fish oil per day is generally regarded as safe.
The Benefits of Seafood
When it comes to the nutrition in seafood, most of the benefits come from the high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. These acids reduce swelling, pain, and prevent the blood from clotting too easily. Fish oil is often used to lower blood pressure and has been linked to the prevention of stroke and heart disease when taken correctly. Fish oil has also been linked to brain health, and is often taken for conditions like Alzheimer’s, depression, psychosis, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Every health supplement will have side effects to consider. If you are interested in incorporating the nutrition from seafood into your healthy eating plan using fish oil, the best course of action is to talk to your doctor first.
- “Measurement of mercury levels in concentrated over-thecounter fish oil preparations: is fish oil healthier than fish?”, Arch Pathol Lab Med
- “Fish oil”, U.S. National Library of Medicine
- “Fish Oil”, WebMD
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