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Fish Oil For the Environment

The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are known for reducing inflammation that leads to joint pain as well as heart disease, but an Irish study found this type of fat helpful in reducing something else: methane produced by farm animals. Essentially, fish oil reduces flatulence produced by cows. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and is considered 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping solar energy. In fact the EPA estimates that 28 percent of methane emissions related to human activity comes from cows and other farm animals like goats and sheep. That's a lot of gas.

The cattle were given a diet containing 2 percent fish oil, which reduced the amount of gas they produced by 21 percent. I must admit at first I found this news humorous. With two small children in the house, potty humor reigns. But I am curious about two things. Did the fish oil make the cows burp, since my omega-3 supplement certainly revisits me? Secondly, were the cows in the study fed grass and other plants they evolved to eat or corn, which is known to create stomach issues in cows?


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Join The Conversation
valancyjane valancyjane 6 years
Oh, aaroohii, that’s an awesome trick! I’ve been thinking about starting on fish oil but the burps put me off. I saw some chewable fish-oil supplements once but I could never find them again. I might have to try your trick!
aaroohii aaroohii 6 years
My doc told me that the burps are due to the gelatin coat on the tablets. So now I puncture my fish oil pills and squeeze the oil into my fav juice. No more burps!
Antioxidant Antioxidant 6 years
"Did the fish oil make the cows burp, since my omega-3 supplement certainly revisits me?" Exactly what I was thinking. I hate fishy burps and I'm sure fishy cow burps are even less pleasant. Plus, it's not the cows passing gas that's supposed to release the most methane, it's their burps. Hmm.
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