According to an article published in the Taipei Times in March 2012, fish oil supplements derived from tuna were found to contain 31.4 ppm of the phthalate compound DEHP (bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate). The level of phthalates found in the capsules, which were manufactured by Taiwan-based company Hsu Yin Co., is 628 times the Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) set by the country’s Department of Health. It is not known whether the phthalates were present in the fish before they were caught, or if the compounds were introduced at some point along the supply chain.
Phthalates are a group of organic chemicals that are commonly used as plasticizers to increase the flexibility and other tactile characteristics of plastic products. Although phthalates are found in a variety of consumer goods including dietary supplements, cosmetics and food packaging, these compounds have been reported to have negative health and safety effects for the consumer.
While the majority of phthalates do not pose serious health risk, the following compounds are a concern:
• DEHP (bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate)
• DBP (di-n-butyl phthalate)
• DINP (diisononyl phthalate)
• BBP (butyl benzyl phthalate)
• DIDP (diisodecyl phthalate)
• DEP (diethyl phthalate)
• DNHP (di-n-hexyl phthalate
Given that the source of the phthalates detected in the tuna fish oil capsules is unknown, it is important that dietary supplement and natural health product companies test products for phthalate content to ensure they are safe for consumption. Nutrasource can analyze product samples including fish oil for the above phthalates.
Source: GOED (Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3); Taipei Times
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