What's lurking inside your fish oil? – nothingfishy

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What's lurking inside your fish oil?

Posted on November 15
fish oil mercury toxins

Fish oil supplements are used by millions of people around the world who hope to avoid omega 3 deficiencies and lead healthier lives. Unfortunately, many people who rely on fish oil supplements to bring their diets into balance are unknowingly consuming more than just essential fatty acids. Supplements made from saltwater fish have been shown to contain a number of toxins that can pose serious health risks with repeated exposure.


The most common toxins and contaminates in fish oil:


Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

Studies conducted by third-party laboratories, including one sponsored by the trusted publication "Consumer Reports" have revealed that many well-known brands of fish oil contain polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs. Although these chemicals once used to make electrical appliances have been banned since the 1970s and 80s, traces of the chemicals have been found in ocean waters around the world. PCBs have been linked to certain forms of cancer and have been shown to impair the immune system and interfere with reproductive heath and the nervous and endocrine systems.



A natural chemical element, mercury is found throughout the environment. Pollution from industry and power plants have led to high levels of mercury in ocean waters, and studies have found that repeated ingestion of this toxic substance can lead to a build-up in the human body. Mercury has been shown to have harmful effects on the nervous and immune systems and to harm the lungs, kidneys, eyes and skin. Mercury contamination in fish has become so commonplace that health experts recommend limiting consumption of certain species to avoid the ill effects of mercury.



Dioxins are chemical by-products of certain types of manufacturing like bleaching paper and are found in a number of pesticides and herbicides. Found in some fish oil products, dioxins have been found to reduce fertility, cause developmental delays in children, disrupt immune system function and contribute to hormonal imbalances. In addition, the toxins have been linked to some types of cancer.


How do toxins end up in fish oil?

So how do toxins like mercury end up in fish oil in the first place? The answer lies in the food chain. Krill and small fish absorb chemical substances and heavy metal contaminants found in ocean water and then are consumed by big fish, which in turn are eaten by even bigger fish. As you travel up the food chain, levels of toxins become more and more concentrated in the bodies of sea life, and when fish are used to produce fish oil, traces of those toxins can end up in supplements.


A safer way to get Omega 3

NothingFishy algae oil omega 3 supplement provides an optimal dose of DHA essential fatty acid without the mercury and other toxins found in fish oil. Our algae is a completely vegetarian source of omega 3 grown in a controlled environment where it isn't exposed to harmful contaminants. As a result, it's the best way to get the omega 3 your body needs while protecting yourself from the toxins that you want to avoid. You can learn more about our algae oil omega 3 supplement here.