Mercury levels in fish

Mercury in fish

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Mercury found in fish is actually known as methylmercury is has been shown to be harmful in developing nervous systems of babies and young children. It has been shown to affect cognitive, motor and sensory functions. As methylmercury builds up in a persons bloodstream the more severe the potential health issues are. The FDA and EPA advises against eating fish that contains high levels of mercury and I personally advice two fish servings per week as it does take the body a good amount of time to push the mercury out of your system.

While mercury is naturally occurring, methlymercury is a result of industrial pollution. As mercury enters our oceans and rivers through rain and snow, it combines with bacteria and a chemical transformation happens that makes the methlymercury toxic. Fish absorb mercury and as the bigger fish eat the smaller fish they accumulate mercury.  In 2000 the National Academy of Sciences released a study called Toxicological Effects of Methlymercury and said

Because of the beneficial effects of fish consumption, the long term goal needs to be a reduction in the concentrations of mercury in fish rather than the replacement of fish in the diet by other foods. In the interim, the best method of maintaining fish consumption and minimizing mercury exposure is the consumption of fish known to have lower methylmercury concentrations.

How do I reduce my exposure to mercury?

The best way to reduce mercury exposure is by eating a variety of fish. While the FDA and EPA recommend that women who are or may become pregnant and nursing only consume 2 meals of fish per week, I’m recommending only 1 serving.

What fish is high in mercury?

The fish that contain the highest amount of mercury are…

  • Bluefish
  • Crab (blue)
  • Grouper
  • Mackerel
  • Marlin
  • Orange Roughly
  • Salmon
  • Seabass
  • Shark
  • Swordfish
  • Tilefish
  • Tuna

What fish contain a medium amount of mercury?

The fish that contain a medium amount of mercury are…

  • Bass
  • Carp
  • Cod
  • Croaker
  • Halibut
  • Lobster
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Monkfish
  • Perch
  • Sablefish
  • Skate
  • Snapper
  • Tuna (canned, chunky, light, skipjack)
  • Sea Trout

What fish are low in mercury?

The fish that are lowest in mercury are…

  • Arctic Cod
  • Anchovies
  • Butterfish
  • Catfish
  • Crab
  • Crawfish
  • Croaker
  • Flounder
  • Haddock
  • Hake
  • Mackerel
  • Mullet
  • Oyster
  • Perch (ocean)
  • Plaice
  • Salmon (wild)
  • Sardine
  • Shad
  • Sole
  • Tilapia
  • Whitefish
  • Whiting
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