[box]The National Resources Defense Council reported that many predatory fish (tuna, swordfish, shark and mackerel) can have dangerous levels of mercury concentration in their body, 10,000 times higher than those of their surrounding habitat.[/box]
Mercury is not broken down or dissolved in the body, therefore it is passed up the food chain from link to link. As smaller fish are eaten by bigger fish, the level of mercury in the predatory fish accumulates, eventually being passed on to humans through seafood as well as fish oil supplements.
Dangers of Fish Oil Supplements
A high quality Omega 3 fatty acid supplement is critical for our health and to maintain our cognitive function as we age. However, depending on the source of this Omega 3 oil, the results can vary hugely.
EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids sourced from fish such as halibut, herring, mackerel, sardines, salmon, cod and tuna is extremely low in antioxidants and is therefore prone to oxidation which leads to rancidity. Due to the low level of antioxidants many fish oil supplements we consume today are rancid before we ever get to ingest them. Once we do supplement with these fish oil supplements they can actually release damaging free radicals inside our body, counteracting any health benefits promised.
The alarming fact about fish oil supplements sourced from predatory fish is the high level of mercury, PCB’s and toxic metals like cadmium, lead, chromium and arsenic. Toxins and heavy metals that are then passed onto humans through the regular consumption of fish or the use of Omega-3 fish oil supplements.
Benefits of Krill Oil Supplements
Working your way down the food chain, it doesn’t get much lower than krill. They feed on plankton and are not a predatory species. Because krill do not consume fish, they do not accumulate harmful substances like mercury and heavy metals in their body. By taking a high quality krill oil supplement you can rest assured you are not poisoning your body with high levels of methylmercury.
One common question regarding krill oil supplements is the fact they often contain far less EPA and DHA than competing fish oil supplements.
This is true, it is about 14% EPA and DHA as oppose to the 30% from Omega-3 oil sourced from fish. However the krill oil contains a phospholipid structure that makes these fatty acids far more bioavailable. Meaning we are able to absorb far more EPA and DHA from krill oil than we are able to from fish oil.
Krill oil contains a high quantity of antioxidants including, Vitamins A, E and D as well as Astaxanthin. Helping to prevent oxidative damage which causes rancidity, as well as the numerous health benefits these antioxidants have for the consumer.
Final Thoughts on Omega 3 Supplements
As the research continues to prove that Omega 3 fatty acids are crucial for optimal health, it is important to understand where your supplements are coming from and how they are processed. The quality can vary greatly between supplements, making it extremely important to do your research and understand where your supplements are coming from.
It is important to know that fish oil and krill oil are not recommended for everyone. Individuals with a shellfish or seafood allergy should not take a fish or krill oil supplement. Always work closely with your doctor to ensure your supplement routine does not negatively affect your health and current medications.