Fish Oil: An Environmental Concern

Tomorrow is Friday, and I have to get up at 3:45 am to catch a flight, so this is going to be short. But, it will be informative and interesting, too...

One of my most dedicated readers (who also happens to be my dad) sent me a recent article from Time magazine on fish oil. And tonight in my Nutrients class, I had to present "Nutrition in the News," so I presented this fish oil article. Here are some highlights:

- Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to decrease risk or symptoms of many ailments, including heart disease, Alzheimers and depression

- The market for omega-3s has doubled since 2006 and is now at $1 billion

- However, this new demand may be threatening our ecosystem

- The best source of omega-3s are the oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines

- These fish feed on menhaden, which are smaller fish who eat algae; the algae is what contains the large amounts of fatty acids; when these fish feed on algae, the waters are cleaned and stay healthy and thrive

- When fish oil companies fish off the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, underwater "dead zones" are created because there are no fish to feed on the algae

- 13 of the 15 Atlantic states have banned certain fish oil companies from fishing their waters

- One solution to the problem is to produce omega-3 fatty acid supplements directly from the algae, which is full of the fatty acids, rather than from the fish - this is something being explored right now

I found this article very interesting. Fish oil supplements are such a big thing now. Many people take them and don't even know why, they just know that everyone else is doing it so they should too. Besides interfering with the ecosystem, another repercussion of fish oil's newfound popularity is very low quality supplements being produced. Remember the rule of thumb with supplements: you get what you pay for. If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Send me an e-mail (annpierce09@gmail.com) if you have questions about which supplement brands are best to try for fish oil!

Have a great weekend everyone!

1 comment:

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