DDT in Fish Oil Supplements

DDT in Fish Oil Supplements
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Though banned decades ago, the pesticide DDT persists in the food supply.

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What about marine oil supplements, like fish oil? Packed with PCBs and insecticides.

But which is worse—fish, seal, or shark oil capsules?

Well, for PCBs, here’s how much is in fish oil. But seals eat fish. And sharks eat seals. And then if we eat sharks, or shark products, that puts us precipitously at the top of the food chain.

What about pesticides, like DDT? Though banned decades ago, after Silent Spring came out, it’s still found in the food chain, and will be for another few centuries.

But no worries. If you trusted the chemical companies at the time, you’d know that DDT was good for us. And our babies.

Similarly, if you trust the tuna companies, tuna’s safe for both mom and baby—and teddy bear! According to the Tuna Council, it’s not just safe, but a healthy choice, providing a boost for your baby’s brain.

Same corporate playbook. The only difference is now they’ve learned to use nicer names for their companies, like Starkist or Bumblebee. Harder to get nursing mothers to trust you when your company’s called Killing Salt Chemicals.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

What about marine oil supplements, like fish oil? Packed with PCBs and insecticides.

But which is worse—fish, seal, or shark oil capsules?

Well, for PCBs, here’s how much is in fish oil. But seals eat fish. And sharks eat seals. And then if we eat sharks, or shark products, that puts us precipitously at the top of the food chain.

What about pesticides, like DDT? Though banned decades ago, after Silent Spring came out, it’s still found in the food chain, and will be for another few centuries.

But no worries. If you trusted the chemical companies at the time, you’d know that DDT was good for us. And our babies.

Similarly, if you trust the tuna companies, tuna’s safe for both mom and baby—and teddy bear! According to the Tuna Council, it’s not just safe, but a healthy choice, providing a boost for your baby’s brain.

Same corporate playbook. The only difference is now they’ve learned to use nicer names for their companies, like Starkist or Bumblebee. Harder to get nursing mothers to trust you when your company’s called Killing Salt Chemicals.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

Here's a more recent video on fish oil:
Is Fish Oil Just Snake Oil?

And check out my other videos on fish oil

If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

4 responses to “DDT in Fish Oil Supplements

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  1. Just wondering if Krill Oil supplements are any better than fish oil capsules. Do you have any suggestions on the best way to get the benefits of fish without actually eating it?




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    1. The longest study I could find done on krill oil was only 3 months in duration, so long-term effectiveness and safety is unknown, but recent short-term studies suggest that krill oil would have comparable bioavailability and metabolic effects. They are lower on the food chain and would be expected to have lower levels of accumulated pollutants, though an upcoming paper in Environmental Pollution suggests that they do take up DDT metabolites. When it comes to industrial toxins, always seek as low as you can go on the food chain, in this case, algae that produce bioequivalent long-chain omega-3’s. Check out videos like Algae-Based DHA vs. Flax and The Problem with Organic Salmon.

      As an aside, you never know what you’re going to run into in the medical literature. In looking up krill oil for you I stumbled across a paper in the Journal of Plankton Research published this year (with pictures!) entitled: Ocean-bottom krill sex.




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