Researchers at Massey University have compared a group of healthy volunteers who ate a 120g portion of salmon twice a week, with another group who took salmon oil in the form of capsules containing the equivalent amount of omega 3 fatty acids. Although both groups were found to have a similar level of omega 3 fatty acids in the blood, those who consumed salmon significantly increased their blood concentration of selenium.
Selenium is an important antioxidant in the body and has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. The selenium status of the New Zealand population is low and fish and seafood are one of the best sources of this mineral in the diet – providing around one third of our intakes.
In general, eating a wide variety of foods as part of a balanced diet is a better way to achieve optimal nutrient intakes than taking supplements, as foods provide a whole package of nutrients. This is clearly demonstrated in this study, with the improvement in selenium status in those who consumed the salmon, compared with those who just took the supplements.
Further information can be found on the Massey University website.