Eating salmon healthier than fish oil

December 8th, 2008 - 1:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Dec 8 (IANS) Swallowing fish oil capsules may just be as good as eating a fillet of salmon for boosting brain and health-giving omega-3. But salmon fillet has an edge over fish oil, it provides you with a dose of selenium as well - an element many are lacking, said researchers.

Selenium is an important antioxidant in the body and has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.

Researchers at Massey’s Institute of Food, Health and Human Nutrition, Albany, investigated which of salmon or fish oil tablets is better for people to increase their omega-3 fatty acid status.

“People who took the capsules complained of burping, unpleasant breath, tiredness and nausea, but those who are salmon tolerated it very well,” said Welma Stonehouse, who coordinated the study.

Omega-3 is gaining in popularity for its well-documented benefits including protection from heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and eye diseases as well as enhancing brain function and helping combat depression.

Omega-3 can be obtained from a range of plant sources such as flaxseeds, walnuts and canola and soybean oil as well as animal sources such as fish, meat and eggs, said a Massey release.

However, the best source is fish oil, in the form of salmon or fish oil capsules, said Stonehouse, associate professor at Massey.

When researchers compared a group of healthy volunteers who ate a 120 gram portion of salmon twice a week with another group who took salmon oil capsules containing the equivalent omega-3, participants were found to have similar levels of omega-3 in the blood, she said.

“What we also found was that the people who consumed salmon were able to significantly increase their blood concentrations of selenium compared to the group who took capsules,” she said.

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