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Are cod liver oil supplements contaminated with mercury?

Q: Is it true that cod liver oil supplements are often mercury contaminated? Which are the recommended and safe supplements one can take?

A:Cod liver oil is a nutritional supplement derived from liver of codfish. It has high levels of the omega-3 fatty acids and very high levels of vitamin A and vitamin D. It is beneficial for almost everyone who cannot get regular sun exposure. Fish oils and cod liver oil provide many health benefits to their users in these ways:

  • Help promote heart health and normal cholesterol balance
  • Support immune system health, mood, memory, joint health, blood sugar health, and helps relieve stress
  • Help increase energy level and promote cognitive function
  • Provide immune system support
  • Aid in regulating cell growth and division
  • Support a strong skeletal system
  • Support a healthy inflammatory response
Mercury contamination in fish throughout the world is a concern. The risk of mercury impacting your health can outweigh the benefits of the omega-3 fats you consume when you eat fish. On the subject of mercury in fish oil supplements, some urge caution when taking these supplements since they may contain elevated levels of toxins such as mercury and PCBs found in fish. Some supplement companies regularly test cod liver oil for purity while others do not. The pharmaceutical grade products have gone through processing to remove any mercury. Therefore, fish oil and cod liver oil from a high quality source don’t pose the same risk as fresh fish as they are purified of mercury and many other contaminants.


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