African Journal of
Pure and Applied Chemistry

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pure Appl. Chem.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0840
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPAC
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 332

Full Length Research Paper

Determination of mercury and cadmium levels in omega-3 food supplements available on the Ghanaian market

Adolf Oti-Boakye
  • Adolf Oti-Boakye
  • Department of Chemistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
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Akwasi Acheampong
  • Akwasi Acheampong
  • Department of Chemistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
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Ohene Gyang Nathan
  • Ohene Gyang Nathan
  • Department of Science, Akrokeri College of Education, Ghana.
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Akorfa Akosua Agbosu
  • Akorfa Akosua Agbosu
  • Department of Science, Akrokeri College of Education, Ghana.
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Amoah Charles Agyei
  • Amoah Charles Agyei
  • Department of Science, Ola College of Education, Ghana.
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  •  Received: 04 February 2016
  •  Accepted: 17 March 2017
  •  Published: 31 December 2017

Abstract

The numerous reputed health benefits of the omega-3s (eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA] and docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]), particularly, their cardio-protective effects have led to the manufacture of omega-3 supplements by various pharmaceutical companies resulting in their flooding of the Ghanaian market. Coldwater fishes which are the primary sources of the omega-3 fatty acids are known to have high levels of mercury and cadmium in them. There is therefore the potential of mercury and cadmium poisoning in the course of people taking the omega-3 food supplements. Mercury and cadmium levels in ten products of omega-3 food supplements have been determined in order to ascertain their safety for human consumption. All the levels of mercury and cadmium 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.
 
Key words: Metals, omega-3, cardio-protective, pharmaceutical.