Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More

PCBs in Children’s Fish Oil Supplements

number so-called case control studies like this one have found that giving kids cod liver oil supplements may increase their risk of asthma later in life Keith’s control studies have done by asking about past behavior in cases those with asthma versus controls those without asthma to see if certain past behaviors were more common among the disease group the problem is you’re asking people to remember what they’re doing years ago and most people can’t remember what they had for breakfast last week and you can’t rule out something called reverse causation maybe cod liver oil didn’t lead to the asthma maybe the asthma led to the use of cod liver oil so be nice to see a cohort study you take people without ask them at the beginning and you see if those that you know are taking cod liver oil or more likely to develop it that gets around the problem of recall bias and reverse causation and here it is 17,000 people free of asthma we know who’s taking cod liver oil and who isn’t and then we see who gets asthma over the next 11 years and they indeed found cod liver oil intake was significantly associated with the development of asthma they think it may be the excessive vitamin A in the cod liver oil that was causing the problem but there are a number of things in fish oil we may not want our children exposed to researchers recently looked at 13 over-the-counter children’s dietary supplements containing fish oil to assess potential exposure to PCBs toxic industrial pollutants that have contaminated our oceans PCBs were detected in all products could you just stick to the supplements made from the small short lived fish like anchovies instead a big predator fish like tuna or use the purified fish oils no they’ve found no significant different PCB levels between the supplements labeled as molecularly distilled or however high up the food chain the fish were so while children’s dietary supplements containing the long-chain omega-3 from fish oils may claim to benefit young consumers daily ingestion of these products may provide a vector for contaminant exposure that may offset the positive health effects what positive health effects are they talking about one infants given D eight a fortified formula may have better development of their eyes and brains compared to infants getting nan DHA fortified formula DHA is one of these long-chain omega-3 fatty acids but what was the source of the DHA not fish it was algae derived DHA she can get the benefits of the mega threes without the contaminant risks of course breast milk is the gold standard significantly better than either of the formula fed infants so the best source of omega threes is mom you

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