Upcoming Webinars Archived Webinars Training Vitals Host A Webinar About Get Updates Contact

Farmed Salmon Has Half The Omega-3s It Did Five Years Ago

XTALKS VITALS NEWS

Salmon

While the news is worrying, the researchers say that farmed salmon is still one of the best sources of the essential nutrient.

Tweetables from this article:

Tweet: Farmed #salmon is still one of the best sources of #omega3 http://ctt.ec/UD11l+ Farmed salmon is still one of the best sources of omega 3.

Share this!

October 11, 2016 | by Sarah Hand, M.Sc.

A new study conducted by researchers at Stirling University in Scotland, suggests that on average, farmed salmon has about half the level of omega-3 fatty acids it had five years ago. While the news is worrying, the researchers say that farmed salmon is still one of the best sources of the essential nutrient.

“About five years ago, a portion of Atlantic salmon of 130g was able to deliver three-and-a-half grams of beneficial omega-3,” Professor Douglas Tocher, lead researcher on the study, told BBC News. “This is actually our weekly recommended intake.”

Omega-3 fatty acids are integral to a number of biological processes, including maintaining good heart health. The feed given to farmed salmon is being blamed as a potential reason for the decline.

“Now, the level of omega-3 has halved,” said Tocher. “Therefore, instead of eating one portion of farmed salmon, we would need to eat two portions of farmed salmon.”

While Tocher stressed that consumers should continue to buy farmed salmon in order to meet their recommended intake of Omega-3s, he expressed concern that the levels could continue to decrease if no action is taken. “If nothing was done, the level of the beneficial omega-3 can only really go down,” said Tocher.

Farmed salmon are fed a diet supplemented with smaller oily fish, which allow the salmon to build up their own levels of the fatty acid. While the salmon feed used to contain about 80 percent oily fish, it now only contains around 20 percent.



As the worldwide consumer demand for salmon has increased, the industry was forced to reduce the number of oily fish – namely, anchovies – in their feed, because of concerns around over-fishing. As a result, the supply of oily fish has continued to be spread even thinner amongst salmon producers.

“We have a fixed amount of fish oil, and we are making sure that we are using that as efficiently as possible,” said Dr. Paul Morris, of Marine Harvest, a worldwide producer of farmed salmon. “That won't get us further than a certain amount of the way, so ultimately we will have to look at other sources of (beneficial) omega-3.”

According to Morris, the availability of oily fish in the past has allowed companies to search for a solution to the current shortage. The farmed salmon industry is currently looking to alternative sources of omega-3 supplements – including marine algae and (genetically modified) GM rapeseed plants – but the solution must be economical to work on a large scale.

“You could grow this crop on a thousand acres, or 10,000 acres or a million acres,” said Professor Jonathan Napier of Rothamsted Research in Harpenden, on the benefits of GM rapeseed for omega-3 production. “So, basically, the production of omega-3 fish oils is no longer limited by the amount of fish you can catch from the ocean.”

But the potential GM crop solution could face pushback from regulators in the EU, where GMOs are highly controversial. Even if they were introduced into the farmed salmon’s fish meal, consumers would still need to come to terms with buying meat produced using GMOs.

“It is going to be helped by what we can produce by agriculture,” maintains Napier. “We think this is a great potential solution to help fish farming become more sustainable and continue to grow as an industry.”


Keywords: Food, Heart Health, Omega-3


| NEXT ARTICLE | MORE NEWS | BLOGS | VIDEOS | POLLS & QUIZZES | WEBINARS |

Share this with your colleagues!

MORE NEWS
Exclusion Criteria for Clinical Trials Poses Major Barrier to Patient Enrollment

August 17, 2017 - UT Southwestern researchers say that clinical investigators continue to increase the number of exclusion criteria, preventing more patients from participating in clinical trials.

Featured In: Clinical Trials News


Targeting Cellular Nitrogen Metabolism Could Offer a New Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer

August 17, 2017 - An enzyme involved in regulating the amount of nitrogen in the cell could be a new drug target for pancreatic cancer, according to researchers from Boston Children's Hospital and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Featured In: Life Science News


Regeneron’s Drug for Respiratory Syncytial Virus Fails in Phase III Clinical Trial

August 16, 2017 - Biotechnology company Regeneron has announced it will not continue development of its antibody drug, suptavumab, after a failure in a Phase III clinical trial.

Featured In: Clinical Trials News


LEAVE A COMMENT
 
  
THE XTALKS VITALS INDUSTRY BLOG

One Patient’s Perspective on Clinical Trials

REGISTER FOR THESE WEBINARS

Planning and Conducting Trials of the Latest Immunotherapies


ISO 13485:2016 for Medical Device Manufacturers: Ensuring a Smooth Transition through Effective Preparation


Medical Devices: Reviewing Regulatory Changes in the US and EU


Moving Beyond Regulatory and Performance Metrics in Starting Clinical Trials


Copyright © 2016-2017 Honeycomb Worldwide Inc.