Health benefits of eating fish outweigh risks from mercury

Wednesday, October 18, 2006 by: Ben Kage
Tags: omega-3 fatty acids, mercury poisoning, fish oils

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) Independent reports based on analysis of seafood studies were released Tuesday from both the Institute of Medicine and Harvard, stating that the health benefits of seafood outweigh the risks of exposure to environmental contaminants such as mercury.

The reports agreed that increasing media attention to seafood contaminants had obscured public health messages concerning seafood's benefits. Chemicals, metals, and harmful microbes can be found in seafood -- usually in different levels dependent on geographical region and species -- and the government issued a warning to pregnant women to reduce their consumption of certain species to reduce their risk of mercury exposure, but lead researcher of the Harvard study, Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, said the American public latched onto this warning.

"Somehow the message has gotten lost in the public," Mozaffarian said. He added that he was surprised at how little evidence there was suggesting harm from the mercury in fish. Although research involving mercury spills has shown that large quantities of the chemical are extremely harmful to the brain, the effects of mercury at the low levels found in fish are not known.

"Both studies came to the same conclusion: Seafood is safe and nutritious, and Americans should incorporate a variety of seafood in their diet," said William T. Hogarth, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, of which the IOM is a division.

Both studies also noted the conflicting public health information released about the risks of consuming fish, and that the Harvard and IOM studies were based on scientific evidence rather than "fear and speculation," Hogarth said.

The Institute of Medicine was requested to make its recommendations on consumer choices about seafood consumption. The recommendations include: Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or who could become pregnant can safely consume two 3-ounce servings of cooked fish per week, but should avoid predatory fish like shark and swordfish as they tend to contain higher mercury levels; children under 12 can eat the same amount as pregnant women, and up to 6 ounces of white (albacore) tuna per week, but they should also avoid the same large predatory fish; women who will not become pregnant, and healthy adolescents and adult males can eat seafood regularly and may reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease, but a variety of fish should be selected if they eat more than two servings a week, so that risk of contaminant exposure is reduced; the risk of coronary heart disease can be reduced in adult men and women who eat seafood regularly, and they should increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their diet, and also vary their seafood choices.

Several recommendations for the effective communication of health messages were also made by the IOM, such as federal agencies advising the public about the benefits of seafood and their potential to substitute beef and other protein sources higher in saturated fat. They also recommended both state and federal agencies establish an interagency task force in order to organize and synchronize information about seafood's benefits and risks.

The Harvard study, set for publication Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, agreed with the IOM study's assertion that the risk of environmental contaminants paled in comparison to seafood's health benefits. It also concluded that one or two servings of omega-3-rich fish a week can reduce the risk of fatality from a heart attack by 36 percent, and cut overall death rate by 17 percent, according to Mozaffarian and colleagues. Mozaffarian added that fish oil supplements would produce many of the same effects, but consumers would be depriving themselves of the protein and vitamins present in whole fish.


Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...


Now Available at

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...


Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...


Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at

Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.