Avoid cheap Fish Oil to treat arthritis! I’ve blogged in the past about the need for high doses of concentrated fish oil to effectively treat arthritis pain. Most patients that I talk to buy the cheapest stuff they can find, not understanding that it’s likely oxidized (fishy smelling). In addition, when they buy concentrated forms, they don’t realize that the distillation process that concentrates the fractions of the oil wreck the natural triglyceride form and produce a toxic form of fish oil that will easily burn through a styrofoam cup. Now a case report brings up another issue that’s been talked about before, heavy metal poisoning via poor quality fish oil. In this case an old woman showed up with suddenly increasing loss of feeling in her feet and was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy. Her smart doctor looked for environmental toxins and found a very high Arsenic level. After a review of her exposures, she was asked to stop taking fish oil and her Arsenic level and numbness cleared up. The upshot? Many cheap brands of fish oil have been shown to have heavy metals. A California lawsuit in 2010 named several brands with high PCBs:
The products named in the PCB lawsuit are:
Notice that most on the list are Cod Liver or Shark sourced oils, so avoid these sources. One way to reduce or eliminate heavy metals is an expensive process called molecular distillation. Look for this when buying fish oil. Also make sure there is certificate of analysis available where the levels of heavy metals are measured. Regrettably, converting the concentrated fish oil back to it’s natural triglyceride form and molecular distillation are expensive processes, so expect to pay between $35-60 for a month’s supply of concentrated fish oil. So, perhaps consider cutting out a few lattes a week or save money on other things, but avoid cheap fish oil to treat arthritis.
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About the Author
Christopher J. Centeno, M.D. is an international expert and specialist in regenerative medicine and the clinical use of mesenchymal stem cells in orthopedics. He is board certified in physical medicine as well as rehabilitation and in pain management through The American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.…