Assessment of Mercury Levels in Omega-3 Food Supplements Available on the Ghanaian Market


  • Akwasi Acheampong Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi -Ghana
  • Godfred Darko Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi -Ghana
  • Joseph Apau Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi -Ghana
  • Adolf Oti-Boakye Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi -Ghana


Mercury, omega-3, cardiovascular, foetus, pharmaceutical.


As a measure to prevent cardiovascular diseases and enhance in-utero development of the foetus, adequate omega-3 intake has been recommended. This has led to the manufacture of omega-3 supplements by various pharmaceutical companies and these products have flooded the market. Coldwater fishes are the primary sources of the omega-3 food supplements but these fishes are known to have high levels of mercury in them. There is therefore the potential of mercury poisoning in the course of people taking the omega-3 food supplements. Mercury levels in ten products of Omega-3 food supplements have been determined in order to ascertain their safety for human consumption. The mean mercury levels determined for the ten brands were 0.017±0.003 µg/g, 0.093± 0.002 µg/g, 0.021±0.003 µg/g, 0.273±0.005 µg/g, 0.123±0.004 µg/g, 0.0658±0.001 µg/g, 0.018±0.005 µg/g, 0.026±0.008 µg/g, 0.428±0.002 µg/g, 0.428±0.002 µg/g, 0.029±0.004 µg/g. All the levels of mercury determined were within the acceptable limits stipulated by Food and Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization, and therefore do not pose any health threat to consumers.



Author Biographies

Akwasi Acheampong, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi -Ghana

Lecturer and researcher, Department of Chemistry

Godfred Darko, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi -Ghana

Senior Lecturer and researcher, Department of Chemistry

Joseph Apau, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi -Ghana

Lecturer and reserecher, Department of Chemistry,

Adolf Oti-Boakye, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi -Ghana

PhD student, Department of Chemistry



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How to Cite

Acheampong, A., Darko, G., Apau, J., & Oti-Boakye, A. (2014). Assessment of Mercury Levels in Omega-3 Food Supplements Available on the Ghanaian Market. Asian Journal of Applied Sciences, 2(5). Retrieved from