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Fish Oil Health Scare

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

After years of encouragement for people to increase their intake of fish and fish oil, fish oil supplements are currently taking something of a battering in the press due to health scares caused by increased levels of sea pollution.

The Boots chemist chain has withdrawn two batches of its own Super Strength Fish Oil Capsules after they were found to contain illegal levels of dioxins. This has happened less than a month after Seven Seas removed several fish oil supplement products from the shelves due to a similar contamination.

Dioxins, which are environmental pollutants and are usually removed during the manufacturing process have been linked to cancer and can cause harm to unborn babies and the immune system.

However, the levels in Boots’ capsules are said to have only been slightly higher than the recommended safe limit of two micrograms per kilo. A spokesman for the Food Standards Agency has stated that “The threat from dioxins comes from exposure over a long period of time – continued exposure at high levels. These are above the statutory level but do not pose a threat to health.”

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