A new study has revealed that, on average, omega-3 levels in farmed salmon have halved over the past 5 years. Therefore oily fish intakes should change to reflect this and be increased to two portions a week. The reason for this reduction seems to be due to the type of feed given to the fish. Previously this feed was made up from 80% of smaller oily fish whereas now it is as little as 20%.
This is worrying considering the importance of omega-3s’ to health as the omega-3s EPA and DHA support heart health, brain function, healthy joints, normal blood pressure and normal triglyceride levels.
The government advises that people should consume two portions of fish a week – one of which should be oily fish. However, currently only 25% of people in the UK eat the recommended one portion of oily fish each week. Increasing the recommendation to two portions of oily fish each week would mean even less people meet this requirement. However for those who do struggle to achieve the current, and possible new, recommendations a fish oil supplement should be considered.
Sprague, M. (2015) ‘Impact of sustainable feeds on omega-3 long-chain fatty acid levels in farmed Atlantic salmon, 2006–2015’, Scientific Reports, 6, p. 21892. doi: 10.1038/srep21892.