Mercury in fish: let's be clear

For those who consume fish, the fear of being poisoned by mercury it is directly proportional to the recommendations given from time to time by official bodies on the subject of nutrition and to the unsafe control and provenance of the catch.

Here's how you can safeguard yourself and how to be careful.


How fish contaminate

Fish is contaminated with the element mercury for 2 main reasons:

  1. the first can be defined as "natural", that is connected to mechanisms of "washout "and soil erosion by sea water; clearly where the minerals have a greater richness of mercury, in those areas the sea will present a higher concentration;
  2. the second reason is instead completely "unnatural", connected to polluting processes in factories, industries and ultimately man that spill contaminated waters in the sea.

Marine animals that come into contact with this substance assimilate it and transform it into methylmercury, present in them in various concentrations, which differ according to the period of life and position in their food chain.

The methylmercury of fish thus becomes bioavailable mercury for humans, who, by consuming contaminated fish, spreads it into their organs and tissues, where, especially at nervous level, can exercise his toxic action.


Mercury is also contained in dental amalgam: find out about any damage to health


Mercury toxicity limits

Japan, mid-XNUMXs: here many people who had consumed fish from a marine area contaminated by an industry became ill and demonstrated neurological lesions.

Since then, serious measures were taken and it was decided to organize procedures for control over food and impose mercury tolerance limits. These limits come from 0,5 and 1 mg of mercury per kg of fish.

More recently, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the EPA (Enviromental Protection Agency) have issued regulations recommendations for the consumption of fish during pregnancy, lactation and for the baby. Recommendations that go hand in hand with common sense and with making your own a balanced diet.

The general indication is in fact that of consume about 225-340 grams of fish per week, the equivalent of two or three servings. American agencies in particular recommend avoid fish with possible high mercury content, as shark, king mackerel and swordfish, also limiting the consumption of white tuna.

Among the fish they contain less mercury you are given the cod, tilapia and catfish. It should also be remembered that a tuna or swordfish, being further down the food chain, will have a higher concentration of mercury than the sardine.


Safety and nutrition

Thanks to the existing controls, it would tend to be said that the fish on the market is free from mercury related dangers, as they come systematically checked before undergoing processing.

A danger could instead derive from the consumption of fish from illegal markets, whose origin is not clearly certified, or caught in particularly polluted areas.


Purge yourself of heavy metals: here's how

To learn more:

> Toxic minerals: what they are

> Pescetarian diet, what is it



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