Salmon fish oil has pros and cons.
The good part is, it contains some valuable omega 3 fatty acids, which are the reason for using a fish oil supplement in the first place.
The bad part is, you can’t be sure what’s really in most salmon oi. And you can get much more of the essential DHA omega 3 for your money.
First, a word about salmon itself. It happens that salmon is my favorite fish for dinner. To me, the flavor is the best there is. Even so, I often avoid my favorite fish! Why? Because I always check to see if the available salmon is wild or farmed — and most of the time, it’s farmed.
Reports keep coming out, year after year, that farmed salmon consistently has much higher levels of pollution — PCBs and other toxic chemicals — than wild salmon. Farmed salmon also tends to have lower levels of the wonderful omega 3 oils DHA and EPA, and much more arachadonic acid. And most of us already have too much arachadonic acid in our bodies — it’s a central cause of inflammation!
In a restaurant, if the staff “doesn’t know” if the salmon is wild or farm-grown, forget it. Consider it farmed! If a restaurant is taking the trouble and expense to buy fresh wild salmon, they’ll brag about it. And for many years, I’ve never seen anything but farmed salmon in my local supermarket.
So the purity of oil taken from salmon is a concern. Also be sure to check the label on a bottle of “salmon oil” — it often reads “from salmon and other fish.” What other fish? Who knows? And why are you paying for salmon oil, then?
One last concern.
Like most fish, salmon has more EPA than DHA. These are the two essential omega 3’s, and once it was believed that EPA was more important. Not true. A major study done in 1999 in the scientific journal Pharmacological Research showed that DHA is more powerful than EPA in nearly all of fish oil’s major benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving brain function (DHA makes up about a third of the human brain, and must be replenished frequently), and others. In the decade since, the scientific evidence has kept on coming in favor of DHA.
And salmon oil simply doesn’t have a lot of DHA.
As for me, I’ll eat wild salmon as often as I get the chance, and enjoy its beautiful color and delicious, juicy flesh. But I make sure I get my omega 3’s from a much better source of DHA than salmon and with much more assurance of purity.
See my website for more on salmon fish oil and the much better omega 3 oil available.
What Are The Pros and Cons of Salmon Fish Oil? by Kathryn Lane