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Is That Healthy Fish Really So Healthful?

Is That Healthy Fish Really So Healthful?
Margot B

Is That Healthy Fish Really So Healthful?
By Margot B

ELLE Magazine’s April issue explores how the most health-conscious eaters may be exposing themselves to dangerous levels of mercury. For years fish has been a dietary staple among weight-watchers and the most health-conscious consumers. Many believe that the omega- in salmon and tuna can prevent heart disease and wrinkles as well as make their brains both brainier and less susceptible to depression.

However, Dr. , [an Internal medicine specialist] reports in ELLE’s April issue, that a of mercury is found in some very common types of fish: swordfish, shark, ahi, canned tuna. She discusses the three-year study that led to her concluding that too much of the wrong kind of fish can give you a of mercury poisoning.

the symptoms of mercury poisoning to include fatigue, headaches, hair loss, and neurological problems, ranging from numbness, muscle weakness, altered vision and hearing, slurred speech, to convulsions and dementia.

Hightower’s claim has touched off controversy from nationwide, pitting federal agencies and fishing industry against environmentalists and health enthusiasts. ‘Virtually all fish contain traces of ’ Hightower reveals. ‘In lakes and rivers, where pollution is often quite concentrated, even can have large amounts.’ ‘In oceans, it’s the big at the that ends up with

the most mercury; these fish may feast for years on smaller fish before becoming fillets themselves. Swordfish, which may be among the creatures regularly consumed by humans, may accumulate several million times the amount of mercury found in the surrounding water, according to the EPA.’
Some healthy hints from Dr. Hightower:

* Eat more salmon – the fish highest in omega-3-like salmon and

sardines, contain very low levels of mercury.

* Limit fish if you are pregnant [or trying]. Eat no more than 12-ounces

a week, and avoid swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish.

* Go for variety – eat different kinds of fish.

* Think small – little fish tend to be lower in mercury. Eating smaller

portions also helps.

* Don’t be afraid – occasionally bingeing on sushi or eating

swordfish all week on vacation won’t hurt you.

Source: ELLE
Web site:
Mar 14, 2003 09:23 ET


Margot B
Web site:

About the Author

Margot B is the author of a book and 100s of articles, specializing in health and the environment….and is a . Samples:

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