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Does all fish contain mercury?

By November 5, 2008 - 2:30pm
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I have read that a person shouldn't eat fish more than three times per week, especially pregnant women, due to mercury levels.

My question is - does mercury naturally occur in fish or is it a contaminant due to environmental conditions?

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I can tell you from personal experience that most predator fish carry mercury. Alysiak mentioned the most commonly sold in the United States. In 2001 I was symptomatic but mercury poisoning was not diagnosed at first. I was eating tuna, swordfish, shark and farmed salmon almost every day of the week thinking that it was the healthy thing to do for me and my family. After almost two years thinking I was developing Alzheimers I insisted on getting tested for mercury levels. Sure enough, not only me but my husband and two children blood levels came back positive for mercury toxicity. I learned that the kids and I had organic mercury poisoning (via the digestive system) and my husband had both organic and inorganic (environmental exposure). Soon after my diagnosis I contacted Dr Hightower from San Francisco who had recently presented data on mercury toxicity from fish eating at a Fishing Industry conference. Her study consisted on following about 200 patients who ate fish frequently and were symptomatic. When I spoke to her she told me to stop eating fish for at least 2 years. Being a sushi lover I thought that was a death sentence. But we followed her advice, detoxify the whole family and removed all the silver fillings in my mouth. When I got back to eating fish I avoided shark and swordfish but I still eat seared tuna once or twice a year. I also learned that farmed salmon contains arsenic so I never ate it again. Instead I buy my delicious wild salmon on line from the best source www.vitalchoice.com Top quality and mercury free.

Since my experience I always recommended fish lovers to get a baseline mercury levels test at least once a year. Most doctors can ordered it. There are more especialized laboratories that performed more accurate tests and those can be ordered by a doctor trained in heavy metals toxicity. You can find doctors in your area listed on this website www.acam.org. Mercury poisoning can produce symptoms that may appear to be other conditions. Mercury molecules travel throughout the blood stream and end up clinging to fatty tissue such as the brain and breast. Someday medicine will be opened to understanding and accepting the effects of heavy metals toxicity and its relationship with certain health conditions.

The lesson I learned from my own experience is that everything in moderation is OK but we are also living in a more toxic world where mercury is an ingredient on many products. So detoxifying the body once every 6 months is always a good idea.

November 15, 2008 - 12:52am

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury." Both the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and EPA have advised that children and pregnant women avoid certain types of fish and eat seafood that is low in mercury.

EPA's three recommendations regarding eating fish are:

1. Do not eat Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury.
2. Eat up to 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury.
* Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish.
* Another commonly eaten fish, albacore ("white") tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna. So, when choosing your two meals of fish and shellfish, you may eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) of albacore tuna per week.
3. Check local advisories about the safety of fish caught by family and friends in your local lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. If no advice is available, eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) per week of fish you catch from local waters, but don't consume any other fish during that week.

For more information, see: What You Need to Know About Fish and Shellfish, EPA (2004)

November 5, 2008 - 7:21pm
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