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Mercury poisoning and heavy metals contamination makes eating fish a high-risk meal

 

by JB Bardot
See other articles by JB Bardot

(The Best Years in Life) Now that eating more fish is encouraged as a healthy protein source laden with desirable omega-3 fatty acids, people must be more concerned than ever with contamination from hydrocarbons, noxious chemicals, radiation and heavy metals poisoning from mercury, cadmium and arsenic. Scientists say that although hydrocarbons in the Gulf of Mexico are carcinogenic, they do eventually break down over time, allowing for the dissolution of contaminants. This does not mean those fish are safe to eat, but at least there is hope. However, mercury and other heavy metals in fish may remain in the food chain indefinitely, with no one knowing how long it will take for those fish to be really safe to eat.

Mercury is a toxic heavy metal and is considered one of the most dangerous poisons on earth. It's been found to contaminate many inland waterways in the US, to some degree, reports Scientific American and The U.S. Geological Survey. Findings of a study were reported in August 2009 after 291 rivers and streams were tested between 1998 to 2005. The study found 75% of all fish in these streams to have detectable amounts of mercury, and 25% have dangerous levels above what is considered safe for human consumption.

Although these numbers don't necessarily apply to commercial fish and seafood found in grocery stores, health-conscious individuals who consume certain commercially farmed fish may still be at risk, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Their list, based on reports from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indicates the different levels of mercury found in a wide variety of fish species used for commercial consumption.

Symptoms of Mercury Poisoning

Symptoms of mercury poisoning and toxicity are pervasive and range from central nervous disorders, loss of memory, insomnia, depression, cardio vascular effects, immunological disorders, kidney and liver diseases, and a list so long there is not enough room to list the problems in this article.

Below are some guidelines to help identify those groups who are at highest risk for heavy metals toxicity and a list of fish to avoid and those that are safer to eat.

Groups Showing Extra Sensitivity to Heavy Metals Poisoning

At higher risk than normal for heavy metals poisoning are pregnant woman or women attempting to get pregnant, children, the elderly and anyone with existing weakened immune systems. People who fall into one of these groups should avoid eating any fish contaminated with mercury or other heavy metals.

People, who know they are extra sensitive to foods and chemical additives in general, should avoid eating fish contaminated with mercury.

 

Levels of Heavy Metal Contamination Vary in Different Fish

· Canned white meat tuna is one of the biggest culprits because the proteins in the white meat tuna bind more readily to heavy metals and have a higher incidence of mercury contamination. Limit consuming tuna to less than once a week and only eat the dark meat.

· Shark, swordfish, tilefish, orange roughy and king mackerel have extremely high mercury levels. These fish should be avoided.

· Dark meat tuna, anchovies, sardines, small white fish chubs, Alaskan salmon, scallops and talapia are lower heavy metal contamination and are marginally safer to eat.

· Farmed Atlantic salmon has a high concentration of heavy metals contamination and other dangerous chemicals, according to a study commissioned by the Pew Foundation and reported by Dr. Andrew Weil. Wild salmon from the northwest coast of the U.S. is much safer to consume.

In spite of learning as much as possible about how fish are contaminated with heavy metals, PCBs and mercury, it still remains a favorite protein source for thousands of people. That being said, if fish is an integral part of a person's diet, then an occasional detox with pectin can be done to clear the body of heavy metals and other unsavory contaminants. Use caution and common sense when choosing your next fish dinner.

Sources:

http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/guide.asp
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=one-in-four-fish-contaminated-with-mercury
http://healthresearchforaction.org/downloads/pub_perspectives4.pdf
http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/QAA324437
http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20331905_2,00.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/029148_pectin_heavy_metals.html


Copyright 2013 Jean JB Bardot, all rights reserved worldwide. Permission is granted to copy the title and first one hundred words with the provision that the author's name be included and a link to the original article be added.

About the author:

JB Bardot is trained in herbal medicine and homeopathy, and has a post graduate degree in holistic nutrition. Bardot cares for both people and animals, using alternative approaches to health care and lifestyle. She writes about wellness, green living, alternative medicine, holistic nutrition, homeopathy, herbs and naturopathic medicine.

See other articles by the author here:

The JB Bardot Archives: http://www.jbbardot.com
Natural News: http://www.naturalnews.com/Author1686.html
AlignLife: http://alignlife.com/author/bardotj/
Real Health Talk: http://www.realhealthtalk.com/JB_Bardot_Published_Articles.html

 

     

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