Fish oil study retracted after error discovered

A fish with some fish oil capsules.
A fish. Photo credit: Getty

Researchers have retracted a recent study on fish oil capsules that claimed the products contained less fatty acids than promised.

Staff from the University of Canterbury tested capsules bought from stores and suggested many were lacking in the acids DHA and EPA.

Lead author Julia Rucklidge told The AM Show when the study came out that some of the capsules had 48 percent of what was claimed on the label.

But on Friday the study's authors, including Dr Rucklidge, announced errors were made calculating the EPA and DHA in five of the supplement capsules, resulting in the doses being underestimated.

"All are now within 15 percent of label value. This, in turn, affects our assessment of compliance with health claims; however, they remain variable. Our assessment of mercury risk is unchanged," the researchers said in a statement.

"We apologise for this error."

Natural Health Products New Zealand spokesperson Lorraine Moser isn't happy though and still wants a further apology.  

"We are actually looking for a further public apology to clarify that the products mentioned and researched in this paper did actually meet label claims."

The study was initially published in the New Zealand Medical Journal but it has since been removed from the journal's website.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: