All About Fish, Shellfish Allergies

in Fish & Shellfish
Published: October 4, 2010

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Seafood Allergy Myths

There is some confusion about the safety of both fish oils and iodine for people with shellfish allergy.

Fish oils are popular as nutritional supplements, because they are very rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids – but are they safe for people with allergies? According to Health Canada, most of the oils are so highly refined that they no longer contain the allergenic protein, and they should be safe to consume.

However, if you have a seafood allergy, it’s important to discuss any fish products with your allergist before trying them out; it may also be a good idea to contact the company and ask them about the processes they use.

Because many types of shellfish are rich in iodine, some shellfish-allergic people are told that they must avoid iodine – a common ingredient in everything from table salt to x-ray dyes. This is incorrect: the allergen in shellfish is in the flesh of the food, and not in the iodine, so iodine should be safe to consume. (Some people cannot tolerate iodine, but this is a separate issue.)