Salmon have a dash of romance about them! The fish swims upstream to lay eggs, and feeds on rare algae, storing omega 3 fatty acids from them which confer a slew of health benefits upon humans who feast on them. And yet, that’s only true of wild salmon… not the salmon fish oil that most of us are fond of.
And that form can be dangerous.
Fish oil omega 3 fatty acids help to reverse heart disease, boost immune function, fight degenerative disease, help increase fertility, improve mental health and prevent prostate cancer.
What makes fish oil rich sources of long-chain omega 3 fatty acids? No salmon, or any fish for that matter, manufactures omega 3. Wild salmon get them by eating particular algae that make these important nutrients. The omega 3 is then concentrated and stored in the salmon’s body fat.
Farmed fish, however, are different. Each underwater cage houses up to 50,000 fish. The water is contaminated by their accumulated wastes. Only by administering drugs, hormones and antibiotics can they even be kept alive! And so, farmed fish have much higher levels of toxic chemicals and pollutants than wild fish.
Wild salmon is pink-orange. This comes from their eating krill. Farmed salmon, however, are a dull gray in color. To make them more attractive to consumers, a chemical called astaxanthin is added for color!
Farmed fish frequently contain toxins and pollutants that can potentially harm your central nervous system, your immune system, and cause cancers or birth defects. A two-year long study conducted at Cornell by leading experts on industrial pollution, and published in the journal ‘Science’, found very high levels of PCBs, dioxins and banned insecticides like toxaphene in farmed fish – and this could be harmful to consumers!
And then there’s mercury! Sadly, many of today’s fish are contaminated with methyl mercury, a relic of industrial waste disposal practices in the past. Mercury is harmful to many organ systems and tissues, as well as being likely to harm developing fetuses when ingested by pregnant women. Humans are exposed to methyl mercury primarily by eating fish.
So what’s safe? An option that allows you to enjoy the benefits of salmon fish oil, without the risks, is to take fish oil capsules. 3 grams a day of salmon fish oil supplements provide 1000 milligrams of long chain omega-3s.
The best brands use fish caught in the cleanest and coldest waters far from industrialized areas. By molecular distilling, this fish oil is made even safer, by removing any trace of mercury, dioxins, and other contaminants.
You may also find this short report helpful. It outlines a set of factors to help you choose the best brand of salmon fish oil. Read it here.