Does mercury contamination outweigh the well being advantages of consuming fish?


The danger of getting an excessive amount of mercury or different contaminants from fish is usually outweighed by the well being advantages that omega-3 fatty acids have. The primary varieties of toxins in fish are mercury, dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The quantity of poisons will depend on the kind of fish and the place it is caught.


Mercury happens naturally in small quantities within the atmosphere. However industrial air pollution can produce mercury that accumulates in lakes, rivers and oceans, which turns up within the meals fish eat. When fish eat this meals, mercury builds up within the our bodies of the fish.

Giant fish which might be larger within the meals chain — akin to shark, tilefish, swordfish and king mackerel — are inclined to have larger ranges of mercury than do smaller fish. Bigger fish eat the smaller fish, gaining larger concentrations of the toxin. The longer a fish lives, the bigger it grows and the extra mercury it may gather.

Take note of the kind of fish you eat, how a lot you eat and different data akin to state advisories. Every state points advisories concerning the secure quantity of regionally caught fish that may be consumed.

Ought to anybody keep away from consuming fish due to the considerations over mercury or different contaminants?


For those who eat sufficient fish containing mercury, the toxin can accumulate in your physique. For many adults, nevertheless, it is unlikely that mercury would trigger any well being considerations. However, mercury is especially dangerous to the event of the mind and nervous system of unborn youngsters and younger youngsters.


Nonetheless, the Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Safety Company (EPA) advocate that these teams restrict the quantity of fish they eat:

  • Girls who're pregnant or making an attempt to develop into pregnant
  • Breast-feeding moms
  • Younger youngsters

Pregnant girls, breast-feeding moms and kids can nonetheless get the heart-healthy advantages of fish by consuming fish that is sometimes low in mercury, akin to salmon, and limiting the quantity they eat to:

  • Not more than 12 ounces (340 grams) of fish in complete per week
  • Not more than 6 ounces (170 grams) of canned tuna per week
  • No quantity of any fish that is sometimes excessive in mercury (shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish)

Are there some other considerations associated to consuming fish?


Some latest research have linked excessive ranges of omega 3 fatty acids within the blood to an elevated danger of prostate most cancers. However, different research have instructed that omega 3 fatty acids may stop prostate most cancers.

None of those research have been conclusive, so extra analysis must be carried out. Within the meantime, discuss along with your physician about what this potential danger may imply to you.


Are you able to get the identical heart-healthy advantages by consuming different meals that comprise omega 3 fatty acids, or by taking omega3 fatty acid dietary supplements?


Consuming fish wealthy in omega-Three fatty acids and different vitamins seems to supply extra heart-healthy advantages than does utilizing dietary supplements. Different nonfish meals choices that do comprise some omega-Three fatty acids embody flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnuts, canola oil, soybeans and soybean oil. Nonetheless, just like dietary supplements, the proof of heart-healthy advantages from consuming these meals is not as robust as it's from consuming fish.