Vitamins and Minerals 5 MIN READ 33 VIEWS October 13, 2021

Mercury in Fish Oil – Matter Of Concern?

Mercury in Fish Oil
Why do we need Fish Oil
Fish Oil With Mercury
Harmful Effects Of Mercury in Fish Oil
Pregnant Women & Fish Oil With Mercury
How To Ensure You Are Consuming Fish Oil Mercury Free
Conclusion

With growing health awareness, many of us consume fish oil for its numerous health benefits. From aiding weight loss to giving you smooth skin or suppressing inflammation, fish oil is excellent for the human body in many ways. However, does mercury in fish oil bother you? Have you also been reading about it and worrying if your supplement gives you fish oil with mercury? Do you also wish you knew how to ensure you are only consuming fish oil mercury free? 

Fish oil is a rich source of omega 3 and the deficiency of the same can lead to several health concerns, such as mood disorders, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, certain malignancies, and more. 

However, it is equally important to ensure that what you are consuming to keep these health concerns at bay is mercury-tested fish oil,  which is safe for consumption and does not lead you to other serious ailments instead. 

Why do we need Fish Oil?

Our body cannot produce omega 3-fatty acid, so it balances its needs from dietary sources such as fish, particularly seafood which is rich in omega 3-fatty acids. However, the amount of Omega-3 that we get from our regular diet is minuscule and inconsistent. This is where fish oil supplements come in. 

We need to supplement our body with fish oil supplements because the benefits are many. Here are some of them – 

  1. Fish oils help to maintain heart health by managing healthy cholesterol levels. It increases HDL, which is good for health and decreases LDL, harmful for the  body.
  2. It lowers triglycerides and also helps to reduce Blood pressure.
  3. According to research, fish oil supplements can help prevent or alleviate certain mental disorder symptoms as well. It has the potential to reduce the likelihood of psychotic disorders in those who are at risk.
  4. According to some studies, taking fish oil supplements, a healthy diet, and exercise can help you lose weight.
  5. Omega 3 helps to maintain eye health. People who do not consume enough omega-3 fatty acids are more likely to develop eye diseases.

We know that omega 3 is great for the body, but what if you are consuming omega 3 mercury through your intake? Will that be safe? 

Fish Oil With Mercury

Fish and fish oil are consumed at a larger scale for the enormous health benefits they are known to provide. However, the fish we consume for its beneficial fish oil might turn harmful for us if they contain mercury. Larger fish at the top of the food chain have higher levels of methylmercury in their bodies than small fish. 

This is because many industries and factories near water bodies contaminate the water, contaminating these fish. Mercury turns into methylmercury when reacting with water. Thus fish and other sea animals might be contaminated with mercury when exposed to it. Fish tend to absorb the methylmercury, which is mixed in the water. The rule is simple, the larger the fish, the higher the content of methyl mercury. 

High methylmercury levels are usually found in fish like — swordfish, tilefish, shark, king mackerel, and white albacore tuna. We might thus be consuming fish oil rich in omega3-fatty acids but adulterated with mercury. Thus, we must be super cautious and check the name of the fish from which our fish oil is derived to ensure you get your fish oil mercury free. 

Harmful Effects Of Mercury in Fish Oil

Fish oil and mercury have always been a matter of concern for healthcare specialists. It is not uncommon to find mercury in fish oil — which can seriously harm the human body, in the following ways: 

Mercury can be harmful to the human body in the following ways – 

  • Mercury poisoning may lead to kidney toxicity.
  • It can also cause corrosion of skin cells and the digestive tract.
  • It can harm the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Our immune system could suffer hugely due to this harmful chemical.
  • It can also cause problems in walking.
  • Cognitive problems like stumbling over words can also be caused due to this highly toxic substance.
  • A lot of people also suffer hair loss after the consumption of mercury.
  • People often also complain about stomach distress.

Overall, mercury can be poisonous to the human body. And therefore, similar can be side effects if there is mercury in fish oil. 

Pregnant Women & Fish Oil With Mercury

Pregnant women are advised to consume fish oil mercury free as fish oil with mercury contamination may lead to severe problems such as loss of vision and hearing and even brain damage in infants. Thus expecting mothers must always consume mercury tested fish oil. Moreover, one must also be aware of the omega 3 mercury content, as this can be super harmful in similar ways.

How To Ensure You Are Consuming Fish Oil Mercury Free?

Fish oil is incredible for the body, right from the heart to the mind; it helps us in plenty of ways. However, if you decide to obtain the benefits of fish oil from natural sources, such as fatty fish, you could be at the risk of consuming mercury along with the fish oil, which can do more harm than good. So how do you ensure that you receive all of the goodness of fish oil without the mercury?

The answer is simple. Switching to fish oil supplements would help you get the best possible advantages out of it, without putting your body at risk. These supplements are carefully formulated and besides being mercury-free, fish oil supplements offer the following benefits – 

  • Fish oil supplements like Omega-3 helps reduce abnormal heart rate rhythm
  • These supplements also prevent the chance of a stroke
  • It also helps in slowing down the development of plaque in the arteries.

One great advantage that you can derive out of fish oil supplements is that the dosage would be fixed, which would not be in the case of fish oil derived from fatty fish. Here is how most people can take their fish oil supplements:

  1. For Children – A child should consume a supplement which is 200mg. Up and above, 
  2. Adults – People with no severe health condition can consume a 250-500 mg fish oil supplement. 
  3. Elders – Older adults should not consume more than 250 mg of fish oil supplements in a day. 
  4. Pregnant & breastfeeding mothers – Pregnant women should be highly cautious while consuming fish oil supplements. Generally, supplements of 200 mg are prescribed to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

How much of a supplement your body needs is for your doctor to decide. Therefore, before starting health supplements, always consult your physician. 

Conclusion

While having fish oil and fish oil supplements can be great for the human body, one must be super cautious about the mercury in fish oil, as this can do more harm than good. Although there are negligible fish oil side effects, fish oil with mercury can be bad for the health. Therefore, it is always better to opt for smaller saltwater fish or fish oil supplements for the maximum possible benefits from fish oil. 

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