Flax Seed instead of Fish Oil because of potential mercury?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by AJME, Dec 17, 2002.

  1. AJME

    AJME New Member

    Dear All,

    I have read several articles about Mercury Poisoning in fish and how it could possibly get into the Fish Oil we
    consume. (very rare from what I read) I'm currently take Milled Flax Seed and Fish oil also. I'm thinking of totally going with Milled Flax Seed to be totally safe. Interesting article on the subject below....


    Omega 3 fats are essential to the body. Many people eat fish regularly to obtain the benefits of these oils.

    As the article above states, one needs to exercise great caution when consuming fish.

    Though fish are a healthy food, mercury pollution from the coal plants used to generate 55% of the electrical power in the US has so contaminated the waterways and the fish that live in them. One needs to be aware that all fish are potentially contaminated with mercury.

    This is such a significant issue that the conservative US government has advised pregnant women to avoid fish as more than 60,000 children are born in the US every year with brain injury as a result of eating this food.

    My list of safe fish:

    Summer Flounder
    Wild Pacific Salmon

    Not a very big list. It is important to note that farmed fish are very similar to commercial beef. The fish are fed grain products and the beneficial omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are totally distorted. Additionally, non-organic grain is used, so the fish pick up the pesticides that were used on the grains and also that run-off from neighboring farmland.

    So I would recommend limiting fish consumption and suggest you consider replacing it with cod liver oil. NOT the cod liver oil you typically think of from many decades ago.

    Most cod liver oil from the past was improperly processed and as a result was rancid and tasted terrible. My current favorite is from Carlson Labs. Their lemon flavored cod liver oil tastes like lemon melted butter.

    The cod liver oil also has the additional advantage of providing vitamin D, which is necessary for most of us in the US to take in the cold winter months when we don't get very much sun exposure on our skin to make vitamin D.

    I do a fair amount of hair analysis in my practice and have observed that it is an incredibly sensitive indicator of mercury exposure in the last few months. I can generally tell a person how many times they ate fish in the last three months by the level of mercury in their hair.

    Now, please recognize that mercury is a poison. It is a toxin that has absolutely no biological purpose in the human body. Any mercury in the body is too much.

    As the article above implies, supplements and cod liver oil do not seem to be contaminated with mercury. I have not seen an elevation in the many hundreds of people who take cod liver oil, that I have done hair analysis on.

    There are two additional ways to increase omega 3 fats in your diet. The simple way would be to use freshly ground flax seeds (use an inexpensive coffee grinder). I use about 1/3 of a cup a few times a week and put it on top of my vegetable pulp.

  2. Information

    Information New Member

    The way fish get DHA is by eating algae. You can get the same stuff directly from a product known as "neuromins" made by several companies (nature's way is among them, but there are others) that provide the essential fatty acid directly from algae. Flax seed oil can be problematic for folks with poor digestion, since a fairly complicated process is needed for converting it to DHA. --Jo
  3. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    Watch out for flax if your digestion is affected by your FMS. Even 1/8 tsp. of flaxseed oil can make me have cramps and diarreha non-stop for 24 hrs.! I waited 3 weeks and tried again because I could not believe such a small amt. could do something like that....I was wrong, since it happened all over again.
    I love Dr. Mercola and subscribe to his Newsletter. I owe my recent weight loss success (23 lbs. so far) to his pushing of The Metaboic Typing Diet. But, he is a pretty radical guy, and his advice on fish oil resulted in my ending up at an ENT doc, having a scope put down my throat because the fish oil "repeated" on me so much I lost my voice. I'm eating fish again, since it does not do that to my throat.
    So, as usual, trust your instincts, do your own research and be careful.:)