Icelanders Taking Too Much Lýsi - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelanders Taking Too Much Lýsi

Published January 18, 2014

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photos by
Adrian Wold

New research shows that consuming recommended amount of popular
Icelandic staple, Lýsi (Cod Liver Oil) each day could be detrimental to health, reportsVísir.

This conclusion came as a result of a study conducted by Icelandic scientist Guðrún Valgerður Skúladóttir, who has been researching the effects of Omega 3 fatty acids on patients with cardiac arrhythmia following heart operations.

In recent years a number of studies have been conducted to see whether it is possible to treat patients with cardiac arrhythmia using Omega 3 fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory.

Lýsi, Icelandic cod liver oil which is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, has been a staple nutritional supplement in the Icelandic diet since the 1930’s and is sold both in gel tablet form and in liquid form. Recommended dosage for liquid Lýsi is one teaspoon (5 ml) per day for children aged 5 and under and two teaspoons (10 ml) per day for adults.

“What we saw was that those with very little Omega 3 fatty acids and
those with too much were more likely to develop cardiac arrhythmia than
those with a moderate amount.” said Guðrún, “I don’t think we know exactly how much is the right amount to take. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that people ingest between 300-500 milligrams of Omega 3 fatty acids daily. That is the daily recommended amount present in a dose of Lýsi gel tablets. If you take liquid Lýsi then it is recommended that you take 1 teaspoon which is 5 ml. That teaspoon contains about 800 milligrams of Omega 3 fatty acids.”

This suggests that the daily recommended dose for adults written on Lýsi bottles contains 1600 milligrams of Omega 3 fatty acids which is more than twice what is recommended by WHO and could be contribute to cardiac arrhythmia.

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