Fish – is it Good or Bad?


For everyone here in the USA, I hope you had a great day yesterday, it’s nice to have a day off in the middle of the week, and I know some of my friends have extended it so they are off the rest of the week but only needing to take two days off from work.

I read an interesting article in Dr. Andrew Weil’s column. He stated: I have long recommended fish as part of a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet. However, not all fish provide the same benefits, and consumption of some species should be limited or avoided altogether. I suggest minimizing the following:

1.Large predatory fish. Shark, swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel and white (albacore) tuna may have high levels of mercury. Pregnant women and children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of contaminants, and should avoid these species.

2.Omega-6 rich fish. Farm-raised tilapia is one of the most highly consumed fish in America, yet it has very low levels of beneficial omega-3s and very high levels of potentially detrimental omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory, and inflammation is known to cause damage to blood vessels, the heart, lung and joint tissues, skin and the digestive tract.

3.Farmed salmon. Avoid farmed salmon (also called Atlantic salmon), which is what you typically find in supermarkets, restaurants and fish markets. While less expensive than wild salmon, farmed salmon has a less favorable ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats and may contain residues of antibiotics and other drugs used to treat diseases in fish farming pens. What’s more, levels of PCBs and other contaminants in some farmed salmon have been found to be much higher than those found in wild salmon.

As you know, I’m so happy to be friends with Steven Chaney, PhD, the now-retired (as of June 30th) Professor of Nutrition and Biochemistry to medical students at UNC Chapel Hill. I’ve come to learn that no matter how reliable the source of information may seem, I always check with Dr. Chaney before I believe it. There have been too many times when someone is saying something and it’s only a half-truth, but because they are selling something they don’t give you the other half, or they blow something up to be bigger than it should be.

In this case, Dr. Chaney confirmed that the information is accurate, but there is more to it. As Dr. Weil mentioned, PCBs may actually be contaminating the fish, and I would imagine he’s suggesting that a person takes Omega 3 supplements. Dr. Chaney told me that unfortunately most of the manufacturer’s of fish oil actually have PCBs in the product. There was a company that was sued by the California Fair Labeling lawyers because they didn’t put PCBs on the label of their fish oil. The worst part of the problem is, this is a major company that sells its oil to many different vitamin companies so it’s difficult to tell which fish oil products are safe.

That again makes me so happy to be using Shaklee since Shaklee does many thousands of tests on the raw ingredients before they even start to become one of the Shaklee supplements. In fact, all of Shaklee’s products are made to pharmaceutical-grade purity, which means there is absolutely nothing in the raw ingredients that shouldn’t be there, and Shaklee has published over 100 peer-reviewed research papers. Shaklee can guarantee that there aren’t any PCBs in OmegaGuard. That makes me really happy because I take OmegaGuard twice a day.

Now I need to learn how to find safe fish. I didn’t ask Dr. Chaney about that, but I will when I talk to him again and I’ll tell you if he has any good ideas.

Wishing you well,


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