Do Some Fish Oil Supplements Contain Mercury?

Fish oil supplements are increasingly popular, but it has sometimes been suggested that they could also expose you to the harmful pollutants found in some species of fish.
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However, studies have found that most of the widely available supplements contain little or no mercury, dioxins or PCBs.

Most companies use species of fish that are lower on the food chain, like cod and sardines, that accumulate less mercury. Many companies also distill their oils to help remove contaminants.

A report by ConsumerLab.com, which conducts independent tests of supplements, examined 41 common fish oil products and found none contaminated with mercury or PCBs. Another report, by researchers at Harvard Medical School and at Massachusetts General Hospital, studied five popular brands of fish oil and found that the brands had “negligible amounts of mercury.”

Resources:
New York Times March 23, 2009
Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Dec 2003;127(12):1603-5 (Free Full Text Article)

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