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Time Trend Investigation of PCBs, PBDEs, and Organochlorine Pesticides in Selected <i>n</i>-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Rich Dietary Fish Oil and Vegetable Oil Supplements; Nutritional Relevance for Human Essential <i>n</i>-3 Fatty Acid Requirements

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  • Diets
  • Fish Oils
  • Pcb
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Medicine


In addition to being used in the food and animal feed industry, fish oils have also been used traditionally as dietary supplements. Due to the presence of long-chain n-3 fatty acids, fish oils have therapeutic benefits in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular, immunological, and arthritic diseases, as well as childhood deficiency diseases such as rickets, because of a high content of vitamin D. However, fish oils are also susceptible to contamination with lipophilic organic chemicals that are now ubiquitous contaminants of marine ecosystems. Many vegetable oils are sources of the shorter chain precursor forms of n-3 fatty acids, and in recent years the specialist dietary supplement market has expanded to include these oils in a variety of different formulations. This paper reports analytical results of selected contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls, organochlorine pesticides, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers, for a range of commercially available n-3 fatty acid rich fish and vegetable oil dietary supplements. Using principal component analysis, the values are compared with historic samples to elucidate time trends in contamination profiles. Levels of contaminants are discussed in relation to the nutritional benefits to the consumer of long- and short-chain forms of n-3 fatty acids.

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