Dioxins

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Dioxins are persistent environmental pollutants that can also be found in our food supply. These pollutants can persist for years in our bodies. Those eating plant-based diets appear to have the lowest levels of dioxins and other industrial pollutants. Phytonutrients found in plant foods may protect against the toxic effects of dioxins through the Ah receptor system.

Most human dioxin exposure comes from eating fish such as salmon and tuna. Farmed fish have more dioxins than wild caught. In fact, human biomarkers for fish consumption now include dioxins, PCBs, and mercury. The negative health effects of dioxins and other pollutants in fish may outweigh any benefit from omega-3’s. Dioxins found in fish may be linked to increased risk of atrial fibrillation, lower sperm count and semen quality, diabetes, cancer, and impaired child neurobehavioral development. We may also be exposed to dioxins through the consumption of chicken, meat, dairy, and eggs. Dioxins found in chicken may explain the link between chicken consumption and cancer.

Topic summary contributed by Crystal.


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