University of Southern California School of Pharmacy Detects No PCBs in Fish Oil Supplements Made by Leiner Health Products for Americas Top Retailers
CARSON, Calif., Jan. 9 -- As more Americans eat fish to protect themselves against heart disease and other illnesses, the scientific community debates whether toxins found in fish can do more harm than good. A recent study to be published in the journal Science found that farm raised salmon contained high levels of pollutants like PCBs and pose a health risk to humans. While the debate will continue on acceptable levels of PCB consumption in fish, consumers should understand that fish oil supplements can be purer than fish and are still safe to take.
Recognizing the serious health risks associated with PCBs found in food, Leiner Health Products asked the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy (USC) to test fish oil supplements it sells to the nation's top retailers. Using analytical procedures approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), USC randomly analyzed fish oil supplements from 18 different lots. No PCBs, dioxins or heavy metals such as lead, cadium, mercury or arsenic were detected in any of the samples.
"We used EPA's best method (Gas Chromatography-Electron Capture Detector (GC-ECD) to test Leiner's fish oil capsules for PCBs. This is a complex, confirmed method of analysis that has been used for over 30 years. Our analysis supports the American Heart Association's findings of the health benefits from consuming fish oil in the form of dietary supplements. Our research proves that people can take fish oil supplements without risking their health due to possible environmental contaminant intake," remarked Dr. Roger Clemens, Director of Analytical Research & Services, USC School of Pharmacy.
Additional samples of Leiner's fish oil capsules were also independently evaluated by Covance Laboratories in Madison, Wisconsin. Those findings were consistent with the USC results.
As America's largest manufacturer of store brand vitamins, minerals and supplements, Leiner Health Products produces store brand fish oil capsules for 20 of the country's largest retailers. Leiner voluntarily manufactures supplements to US Pharmacopoeia Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) standards for food, the most stringent in the industry.
"Consumers can rest assured that taking our fish oil supplements means they get the purest possible dose of omega-3 fatty acids," noted Gale Bensussen, president of Leiner Health Products. "More importantly, Leiner regularly has its fish oil tested for quality and purity by independent laboratories so retailers can confidently put their name on fish oil brands we create exclusively for them," added Bensussen.
Some people believe fish oil supplements contain higher concentrations of PCBs than fish but this is not true. In order to produce the purest possible fish oil, Leiner uses a process called molecular distillation to remove pollutants. This process is similar to a water purification process that traps virtually all contaminants, resulting in a "clean" oil.
Molecular distillation is an excellent way to rid fish oil of PCBs, other toxins and heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadium and arsenic to below detectable levels. While it is impossible to remove 100% of all impurities, Leiner fish oil processed using molecular distillation exceeds purity standards set by California's Proposition 65 requirements and the EPA requirements, which are much more rigorous than FDA.
Leiner requires all fish oil suppliers to use wild fish caught in deep water rather than farmed raised fish referenced in the above study. Americans can conveniently find Leiner fish oil supplements on the shelves of the nation's leading retailers packaged under their own store brand label.
Background on Leiner Health
Founded in 1973, Leiner Health Products, headquartered in Carson, Calif., is America's largest manufacturer of store brand vitamins, minerals, supplements and diet aids. The company also is the fastest growing store brand manufacturer of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Selling products exclusively to its retailers, Leiner provides nearly 40 food, drug, and mass and club merchants with over 3,000 products to create extraordinary store brands at bargain prices. It also is the largest supplier of vitamins, minerals and supplements to the US military. Leiner markets its own brand of vitamins under YourLife(R) and sells over the counter drugs under the Pharmacist's Formula(R) name. Last year, Leiner produced 27 billion doses offering consumers affordable choices to improve their health and wellness.