Studies Find Fewer PCBs in Fish Oil Capsules Than In Farmed Fish

Pronova Biocare Strives to Produce the Best Quality Products to the Nutritional Supplement Market

LYSAKER, Norway --- According to studies conducted by an independent laboratory, AXYS Analytical Services Ltd. of Sidney, B.C., results concluded fish-oil capsules contain only a fraction of the PCBs found in fresh-farmed fish. The results stated that a person would need to consume as many as 312 fish-oil capsules to be exposed to the amount of polychlorinated biphenyls found in a single serving of farmed salmon. Even the cleanest serving of farmed fish had as much PCB as 63 fish-oil capsules.

"Many industrial pollutants are fat-soluble and will therefore end up in fatty fish. At the Pronova Biocare factories the crude fish-oil is purified in several steps, some of which are patented processes unique to our products," stated Morten Bryhn, M.D., Ph.D., director of research and development for Pronova Biocare, makers of EPAX® Omega-3 fish-oils. "The environmental toxins in focus are PCBs, heavy metals like mercury and lead, dioxins and polybrominated flame retardants (the recent industrial pollutant coming from PC- and TV-waste). The EPAX concentrates are lower in these pollutants than the fish sold in the region where the products are marketed."

As part of the research, a dozen fish-oil manufacturers were asked to provide their laboratory results on contaminant levels. All the capsules tested contained well below one nanogram per gram of PCBs. A 250-gram serving of salmon contains about five grams of omega-3s. That is the equivalent of about five fish-oil capsules. Not only were the capsules less contaminated; they also contain a greater concentration of the most important fish oils for the body.

A second set of tests commissioned by The Globe and CTV, conducted by NutraSource Diagnostics of Guelph, Ont., found about 30 times the amount of the key omega-3s, DHA and EPA, in capsules as in a single fish meal.

The health benefits of marine omega-3 fatty acids are increasingly being accepted worldwide. The scientific evidence continues to mount, representing an opportunity for the treatment and prevention of common diseases. The American Heart Association and the World Health Organization both support the addition of omega-3 fatty acids to diets citing their importance in maintaining good health.

Pronova Biocare, headquartered in Lysaker, Norway, is one of two producers in the world qualified by the US Food and Drug Agency for producing omega-3 pharmaceuticals. Pronova Biocare offers Omega-3 EPA/DHA oils in the B2B segment under the brand name EPAX. EPAX is available in a wide range of top quality products from low to high concentrated oils and with different EPA/DHA ratios.

For further information on Pronova Biocare and EPAX products visit .

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1) Global Assessment of Organic Contaminants in Farmed Salmon, Science
2004 303: 226-229 Ronald A. Hites, Jeffery A. Foran, David O. Carpenter, M.Coreen Hamilton, Barbara A. Knuth and Steven J. Schwager

2) Safety aspects of Fish Oils. Experiences with an Omega-3 concentrate
of re-esterified triglycerides. Drug Invest. 1994;7(4):215-220 Schmidt EB, et al.

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