The claim: Fish oil supplements may contain mercury
The facts: Fish oil supplements are increasingly popular with people who are attracted by claims of their cardiac benefits. However, could they expose you to the harmful pollutants found in some species of fish?
Studies have found that most of the widely available supplements contain little or no mercury, dioxins or polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs, an industrial compound). Most companies use species of fish that are lower on the food chain, like cod and sardines, which accumulate less mercury. Many companies also distil their oils to remove contaminants.
A report by ConsumerLab.com, which conducts independent tests of supplements, said that 41 common fish oil products were examined and none were consummated with mercury or PCBs.
Another report by researchers at Harvard Medical School and at Massachusetts General Hospital studied five brands and found they had “negligible amounts of mercury”.
The bottom line: Studies suggest that fish oil products contain little or no contaminants.
- The New York Times