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Mercury: Lists of fish you can eat | Dr Terry Simpson

Of all the toxins, parasites, bacteria, and bugs that can affect seafood, the most ubiquitous and dangerous is methyl mercury. This compound continues to threaten fish as a healthy and sustainable food. The main sources of mercury levels in seafood are from coal-fired power plants.

Mercury Cycle

Mercury is an inorganic element of the earth’s crust comprising about 0.5 parts per million. Coal burning and incinerators are responsible for the release of about half of the inorganic mercury  into the atmosphere. Coal “aficionados” will point out the low levels of mercury in the coal, however the large amount of coal used in power plants overcomes even the small amount of the toxin. “Clean coal” promises that mercury levels will be much lower but the technology has not been not widely implemented.

The mercury is effectively scavenged out of the air by the forests, and as the wood or leaves decay the mercury finds its way into the water catchments, wetlands, creeks, streams, rivers, lakes, and ultimately the ocean. Because of the effective nature of forests in scavenging inorganic mercury from the atmosphere, forest fires yield high levels of mercury into the environment that ultimately find their way into food sources.

This inorganic mercury is changed to methylated mercury (MeHg) by the bacteria in the process of recycling the organic matter from the trees. As the leaves fall, they begin decay that recycles their material back to earth. The multiple types of bacteria that potentiate the change to methyl mercury and  are found in water, from fresh to saltwater.

The food chain goes from the bacteria into the algae (phytobenthos). It is in these algae that the water quality can be measured, as in Europe where the periphyton are used to monitor mercury content. These algae and other phytobenthos find there way into the filter feeding creatures that are then preyed up on by fish. The concentration of methyl mercury rises as it goes up the food chain.

The variability of methyl mercury in fish is large, depending upon the consumption of the prey and growth rates of the fish. Rapidly growing fish can have reduced concentration of the toxin secondary to dilution.

In the United States even the most pristine lakes are affected, with the forests surrounding them being effective scavengers for environmental mercury. While clearly lakes and areas next to industrial sources of mercury have high levels, the levels of the most native lakes have been affected. Over 3,000 lakes in the United States have been closed to fishing because of high mercury levels.

Many lakes have not been tested, at risk in particular are those lakes within a few thousand miles of coal burning power plants, cement manufacturing plants, gold mines, waste burning facilities, or large combustion boilers. The unwary sports fisherman thinking he is catching healthy fish in a pristine lake may be inadvertently poisoning his family with a mercury-laden catch.
Fishing

Restaurant and home chefs need be wary of wild caught fish in areas where the mercury levels have not been tested, and should consider submitting samples of a fish to a laboratory but knowing that mercury levels in fish vary widely depending upon how fast the fish has grown.

Mercury Toxicity -How it Makes You Sick

Methyl mercury easily binds to the amino acids cysteine, and the complex, methylmercuric-cystein appears as the essential amino acid methionine, an essential amino acid that is actively transported into the bloodstream. The body does not recognize this as different and this complex is incorporated across many proteinst, and easily crosses into the blood brain barrier where it does its major damage.

The mercury interferes with DNA transcription and protein synthesis – the methyl mercury complex is placed into a protein, but forms an unstable and the intended protein molecule is then degraded by the cell. In particular a developing brain is susceptible to this damage. Methyl mercury poisoning has been linked to cerebral palsy as well as developmental delays in cognitive function of newborns to children under the age of 12. This is the reasoning behind the warnings to pregnant or potentially pregnant women, and children under the age of 12,  to avoid fish that are known to be high in mercury content.

Mercury is also reactive with selenium, an essential micronutrient. Selenium based enzymes are responsible for reversing the oxidative damage done to the brain and endocrine organs. This also explains the neurological symptoms in the brain as well as the peripheral nervous system, and the interference with the adrenal access, thus patients acting as if they have constant high levels of epinephrine and cortisol.

Adults are not spared mercury symptoms. Food supplies have been contaminated with high levels of methyl mercury: in Iraq in the 1960’s and 1970’s wheat was treated with methyl mercury and the grain fed to animals that were then consumed. Industrial waste in Japan, in two areas, resulted in poisoning of the population. The result was primarily neurologic symptoms, numbness, loss of coordination, difficulty with speech, visual field deficits and blindness, hearing loss, and death were the result of acute toxicity.

Chronic long-term toxicity has been linked to heart disease but not to cancer. It is the chronic effects of mercury poisoning that most individuals will suffer. These include peripheral nerve sensations of pins-and-needles (paresthesia), typically in the hands and feet, and around the mouth.  In addition, tremors, cognitive changes, and vision changes can be noted. Skin can also present with itching, or burning, or pain in those areas. Pink cheeks, fingertips and toes are noted, as well as an increase in shedding of the skin. There may also be sweating, tachycardia (fast heart beat), increased salivation, as well as high blood pressure which leads one to rule out adenoma tumors.

The difficulty with chronic mercury poisoning is there is no reliable test to determine total mercury levels in a human. Mercury is widely distributed throughout the proteins of the body, and not in a uniform equilibrium with blood or urine. Methyl mercury concentrates in the brain, liver, kidneys, as well as the placenta and fetus. There is no blood or urine test that provides a level where toxic symptoms won’t occur. Hair analysis only shows the acute phase but not what may be left inside. Placing a human into a cold room and allowing the mercury to go to the feet, and measuring that level has yet to be tried – much like a thermometer.

Mercury’s half-life in the body is estimated between 50 and 70 days. If toxicity is suspected there are chelating agents that facilitate removal. The liver is the primary mechanism of excretion, sending mercury on the way through the biliary system, where methyl mercury has been altered such that it won’t absorb again and will be excreted in stool.

SAFE TO EAT DAILY:    Wild Alaska Salmon, oysters, pollock , tilapia (Alaskan halibut)

SAFE TO EAT OFTEN: Arctic char, Atlantic mackerel, herring, rainbow trout, sardines, canned light tuna or speciality US tuna

SAFE TO EAT SOMETIMES: Catfish, halibut (note below), jackfish, kingfish, perch snapper, commercial canned albacore

NOTE THAT Alaskan Halibut is extensively tested and mercury levels are very low and these fish are able to be eaten about  4 times a week for pregnant mothers and children under 12. Others can have unlimited amounts. Non-Alaskan halibut should be eaten no more than twice a week.

AVOID (or eat rarely):  Barracuda, escolar, marlin, orange roughy, shark, tuna steak

Mercury is biomagnified through the food chain and the highest concentrations of mercury being found in long-living predatory fish that are at the top of the food chain. Highest levels of mercury are found in sharks, swordfish, tilefish, and king mackerel. Lowest levels of mercury are found in salmon, herring, sardines, Arctic char, Atlantic Mackerel, and rainbow trout.

Tuna and Mercury

Tuna represents the major fish consumed in the United States and as a source of mercury the content varies. Pacific Albacore have low levels of mercury compared to albacore caught from other areas. The larger species of tuna, such as the Bluefin have the highest concentrations of mercury, but have been fished into near extinction. Most tuna fish in cans is a combination of multiple tunas that are tested collectively for their mercury content. Where these are caught is Skipjack, yellowfin, and tongol tuna have the lowest concentrations of mercury with albacore being intermediate.

Specialty US canned tuna that is frequently tested for mercury is safe to eat. This brand, Oregon’s Choice, submits their samples for testing frequently

Responsible tuna fish will periodically send their tuna in for mercury testing, such as Oregon’s Choice Tuna, where the mercury levels are nearly undetectable and quite safe.

Extra Information About is arctic char high in mercury That You May Find Interested

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Fish and Mercury: Lists of fish you can eat | Dr Terry Simpson

Fish and Mercury: Lists of fish you can eat | Dr Terry Simpson

  • Author: yourdoctorsorders.com

  • Rating: 5⭐ (75849 rating)

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  • Sumary: Mercury is the main threat to seafood. The article addresses the root causes, and lists fish that are safe to eat.

  • Matching Result: Lowest levels of mercury are found in salmon, herring, sardines, Arctic char, Atlantic Mackerel, and rainbow trout.

  • Intro: Fish and Mercury: Lists of fish you can eat | Dr Terry SimpsonOf all the toxins, parasites, bacteria, and bugs that can affect seafood, the most ubiquitous and dangerous is methyl mercury. This compound continues to threaten fish as a healthy and sustainable food. The main sources of mercury levels…
  • Source: https://www.yourdoctorsorders.com/2014/04/fish-and-mercury-causes-symptoms-fish-you-can-eat/

Arctic char | Seafood Selector

Arctic char | Seafood Selector

  • Author: seafood.edf.org

  • Rating: 5⭐ (75849 rating)

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  • Sumary: What kinds of arctic char are healthiest for you and the oceans? Use Environmental Defense Fund’s Seafood Selector to find out and support sustainable fisheries.

  • Matching Result: What kinds of arctic char are healthiest for you and the oceans? … The advice is based on EPA guidance and the latest mercury data. More on contaminants ».

  • Intro: Arctic char Thank you for visiting the Seafood Selector. We are currently performing a website update, and we are in the process of refreshing our ratings. Please come back soon! Eco-rating Mercury Omega-3s +-Arctic char (farmed) Best Low More about Arctic char Arctic char are closely related to salmon and…
  • Source: https://seafood.edf.org/arctic-char

Is Arctic char high in mercury? – Foodly

Is Arctic char high in mercury? - Foodly

  • Author: foodly.tn

  • Rating: 5⭐ (75849 rating)

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  • Sumary: Arctic char eat shrimp, insect larvae, snails, clams and some small fish. Fish that are low on the food chain (like Arctic char) tend to have low levels of mercury. Although land locked char tend to have higher…

  • Matching Result: Arctic char eat shrimp, insect larvae, snails, clams and some small fish. Fish that are low on the food chain (like Arctic char) tend to …

  • Intro: Is Arctic char high in mercury? Arctic char eat shrimp, insect larvae, snails, clams and some small fish. Fish that are low on the food chain (like Arctic char) tend to have low levels of mercury. Although land locked char tend to have higher levels of mercury than sea- run…
  • Source: https://foodly.tn/tips/4-3890/

Researchers hope Arctic char hold key to mercury mystery

  • Author: nunatsiaq.com

  • Rating: 5⭐ (75849 rating)

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  • Sumary: Scientists from the University of Waterloo hope tissue samples taken from char across the eastern Arctic will help determine how mercury, a harmful

  • Matching Result: Arctic char, a staple food for Inuit, seals and polar bears, all contain mercury, which can be passed along to people. Previous studies have …

  • Intro: Researchers hope Arctic char hold key to mercury mystery | Nunatsiaq News Researchers from the University of Waterloo are trying to find out how mercury enters the Arctic food chain. (FILE PHOTO) Scientists from the University of Waterloo hope tissue samples taken from char across the eastern Arctic will help…
  • Source: https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/250810_Researchers_hope_Arctic_char_hold_key_to_mercury_mystery/

Is Arctic char high in mercury?

Is Arctic char high in mercury?

  • Author: foodmorning.fr

  • Rating: 5⭐ (75849 rating)

  • Highest Rate: 5⭐

  • Lowest Rate: 2⭐

  • Sumary: Arctic char eat shrimp, insect larvae, snails, clams and some small fish. Fish that are low on the food chain (like Arctic char) tend to have low levels of mercury. Although land locked char tend to have higher levels of mercury than sea-…

  • Matching Result: Arctic char eat shrimp, insect larvae, snails, clams and some small fish. Fish that are low on the food chain (like Arctic char) tend to …

  • Intro: Is Arctic char high in mercury? Arctic char eat shrimp, insect larvae, snails, clams and some small fish. Fish that are low on the food chain (like Arctic char) tend to have low levels of mercury. Although land locked char tend to have higher levels of mercury than sea- run…
  • Source: https://foodmorning.fr/tips-and-tricks/is-arctic-char-high-in-mercury-132082/

Arctic Char Side Effects + Benefits – HEALabel

Arctic Char Side Effects + Benefits - HEALabel

  • Author: healabel.com

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  • Sumary: Arctic char side effects and benefits. Is arctic char vegan? Is is sustainable? See arctic char pros and cons.

  • Matching Result: No. Arctic char may be high in protein but it contains purines, cholesterol, sodium, mercury and antibiotics even if farmed. arctic char is …

  • Intro: Arctic Char Side Effects + BenefitsWhat are arctic char side effects and benefits every ethical consumer must know? Here are arctic char pros and cons and how buying it will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all…
  • Source: https://www.healabel.com/arctic-char-side-effects/

Frequently Asked Questions About is arctic char high in mercury

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic is arctic char high in mercury, then this section may help you solve it.

Are Arctic char and salmon equally healthy?

Arctic char is a great substitute for salmon if you can’t find wild-caught salmon nearby because it has a similar flavor and appearance and is full of omega-3 and other essential nutrients.

The fish Arctic char is it healthy?

Arctic Char is nutrient-rich and a superb source of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, with a distinctive light, sweet flavor and firm pink flesh that is similar to salmon but milder.

Which seafood contains the most mercury?

These include shark, swordfish, fresh tuna, marlin, king mackerel, tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, and northern pike (5). Larger fish tend to eat many smaller fish, which contain small amounts of mercury.

Which seafood contains little mercury?

Children should only be fed fish from the “Best Choices” list, which includes fish such as anchovies, Atlantic mackerel, catfish, clams, crab, crawfish, flounder, haddock, mullet, oysters, plaice, pollock, salmon, and those even lower in mercury, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Can Arctic char be consumed daily?

The benefits of eating arctic char outweigh the risks of contaminant exposure, making it one of the healthiest foods available and safe to eat.

What kind of frozen fish is the healthiest?

We advise choosing products with 200mg or more omega-3 per 100g, which can be found in oily fish like salmon or tuna as well as white fish like hoki or tarakihi.

Is there fish that doesn’t contain mercury?

Mercury levels are typically low in small or short-lived species like sardines, shrimp, crab, and tilapia. Wild salmon, which eat plankton and small fish, are low in mercury, as are farm-raised salmon, which are fed fish meal low in mercury.

How is mercury removed from the body?

Chelation therapy, which involves administering a medication (the chelator) that goes into the body and grabs the metal (chelos is the Greek word for claw) then carries the metal out of the body, usually into the urine, is frequently used in addition to the traditional treatment for mercury poisoning of stopping all exposures.

What fish doesn’t contain a lot of mercury?

White (albacore) tuna consumption should not exceed 6 ounces per week; instead, choose a variety of fish lower in mercury, such as salmon, tilapia, shrimp, tuna (canned-light), cod, and catfish.

How can I tell if I’m overly mercury-exposed?

Symptoms of organic mercury poisoning from prolonged exposure include tremors (uncontrollable shaking), an unsteady gait, and numbness or dull pain in specific areas of the body.

How does one remove mercury from their body?

Chelation therapy, which involves using drugs called chelators that bind to mercury in your body and help it to leave your system, is likely to be advised by your doctor if you have mercury poisoning and a very high level of mercury in your blood.

What causes the body to absorb mercury?

When swallowed, elemental mercury is absorbed in the GI tract at a rate of less than 0.01%. However, when inhaled, over 80% of the mercury is absorbed by the lungs and quickly distributed throughout the body.

What causes the body to expel heavy metals?

People may refer to a heavy metal detox as chelation therapy, and doctors use specific chelator medications to treat heavy metal poisoning. A chelator is a substance that binds to heavy metals, and the process that transports them out of the body is called chelation.

How can you tell if you have high mercury levels?

Elevated levels of mercury in urine typically indicate exposure to an elemental or inorganic source of mercury, such as from a job that uses mercury. Both tests typically measure levels of total mercury (elemental, inorganic, and organic).

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