The Problem with Organic Salmon

The Problem with Organic Salmon
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Much of our fish supply is so polluted that algae-derived sources of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids may be safest option.

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The endocrine-disrupting industrial toxins in fish don’t just affect our gonads, but other glands, too. Like getting thyroid disruption from the flame-retardant chemicals, which literally just settle out of the atmosphere, such that even fish who swim only around Antarctica are contaminated. Levels in the United States, though, are higher than anywhere else in the world.

Researchers recently looked at U.S. retail salmon. And where do you think they found the most contamination? Six choices: wild-caught with skin; wild-caught without skin; organically farmed salmon with, or without skin; or conventionally farmed salmon with skin, or without?

The differences were really marginal, but the worst? Organic farmed salmon with skin. The wild-caught was least contaminated. Note, also, that it didn’t really seem to matter much whether you took off the skin, which suggests that the toxins are actually concentrated into the fish muscle itself.

PBDEs aren’t the only new industrial toxin we’re finding in fish. This year, researchers looked at the amount of polychlorinated naphthalenes in fat that was sucked out of the butts of New Yorkers (in liposuction samples). Where in the diet was it coming from? Out of about 52 daily nanograms, 50 came from fish.

What’s the bottom line? Until safer and more renewable sources of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids—plant-based sources—become more generally available, it would seem responsible for physicians to refrain from advocating that people should increase their intake through fish.

But it is available now. There are a half dozen brands of microalgae-derived DHA on the market now—I just show this one because I’ve found it to be the cheapest. And it’s 100% bioequivalent to what’s in fish. A “safe and convenient” source, and less likely to go rancid than fish oil. As you can see on the little handout that came with this DVD, I recommend people take about 250mg of microalgae-based DHA every day, which is about 5 times the average American intake.

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.

The endocrine-disrupting industrial toxins in fish don’t just affect our gonads, but other glands, too. Like getting thyroid disruption from the flame-retardant chemicals, which literally just settle out of the atmosphere, such that even fish who swim only around Antarctica are contaminated. Levels in the United States, though, are higher than anywhere else in the world.

Researchers recently looked at U.S. retail salmon. And where do you think they found the most contamination? Six choices: wild-caught with skin; wild-caught without skin; organically farmed salmon with, or without skin; or conventionally farmed salmon with skin, or without?

The differences were really marginal, but the worst? Organic farmed salmon with skin. The wild-caught was least contaminated. Note, also, that it didn’t really seem to matter much whether you took off the skin, which suggests that the toxins are actually concentrated into the fish muscle itself.

PBDEs aren’t the only new industrial toxin we’re finding in fish. This year, researchers looked at the amount of polychlorinated naphthalenes in fat that was sucked out of the butts of New Yorkers (in liposuction samples). Where in the diet was it coming from? Out of about 52 daily nanograms, 50 came from fish.

What’s the bottom line? Until safer and more renewable sources of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids—plant-based sources—become more generally available, it would seem responsible for physicians to refrain from advocating that people should increase their intake through fish.

But it is available now. There are a half dozen brands of microalgae-derived DHA on the market now—I just show this one because I’ve found it to be the cheapest. And it’s 100% bioequivalent to what’s in fish. A “safe and convenient” source, and less likely to go rancid than fish oil. As you can see on the little handout that came with this DVD, I recommend people take about 250mg of microalgae-based DHA every day, which is about 5 times the average American intake.

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

Also check out my more recent videos on omega-3 fatty acids:
The Mediterranean Diet or a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet?
PREDIMED: Does Eating Nuts Prevent Strokes?
Mercury vs. Omega-3s for Brain Development
PCBs in Children’s Fish Oil Supplements

And check out my other videos on fish and my other videos on industrial toxins

For more context, see my associated blog post: EPA dioxin limit has National Chicken Council worried products could be declared “unfit for consumption”.

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

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