Assessment of Mercury Levels in Omega-3 Food Supplements Available on the Ghanaian Market
Keywords: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 0.017Â±0.003 Âµg/g, 0.093Â± 0.002 Âµg/g, 0.021Â±0.003 Âµg/g, 0.273Â±0.005 Âµg/g, 0.123Â±0.004 Âµg/g, 0.0658Â±0.001 Âµg/g, 0.018Â±0.005 Âµg/g, 0.026Â±0.008 Âµg/g, 0.428Â±0.002 Âµg/g, 0.428Â±0.002 Âµg/g, 0.029Â±0.004 Âµg/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.
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