NutritionFacts.org

seafood

Fish has been found to be contaminated with dioxins (see here, here), toxic waste, mercury (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here), arsenic, PCBs, xenoestrogens (which have been associated with lower sperm counts in men and early onset puberty in girls), allergenic fish worms, pharmaceuticals (see here, here), obesogens (chemical pollutants that may be linked to obesity in people), arachidonic acid (which may cause negative mood states in people), and domoic acid (which causes a form of amnesia). The National Food Standards Guidelines for maximum fecal bacteria on ready to eat food items is 30,000; when tested, many types of sushi exceeded these limits.

Other potential risks associated with fish consumption include: diabetes, food poisoning (see here, here), gold dust retinopathy, increased pancreatic cancer risk, tongue worm infections in the human eye, rectal leakage, atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat rhythm associated with dark fish consumption), and there may even be a risk of prion disease (due to the feeding of cow’s brains to farmed fish).

It’s possible to get the healthy aquatic long chain omega-3 fatty acids from algae-based supplements, which are bioequivalent to those in fish flesh (see here, here) with without the contaminants. This might be an even more appealing option in the near future, as the seafood industry is pushing to get rid of zero tolerance policies on certain dangerous foodborne pathogens.

Topic summary contributed by Denise.
To help out on the site, email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org

Watch videos about seafood

  • Which Brand of Tuna Has the Most Mercury?
    Which Brand of Tuna Has the Most Mercury?
    In a survey of three national brands of tuna in the United States, most cans exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s safety level for human consumption.
  • Nerves of Mercury
    Nerves of Mercury
    Studies of the neurobehavioral toxicity of mercury on children suggest that no level of mercury exposure can be considered safe, but pressure from the fish industry may be preventing safety limits...
  • Hair Testing for Mercury Before Considering Pregnancy
    Hair Testing for Mercury Before Considering Pregnancy
    The EPA safety limit on mercury in fish may not sufficiently protect pregnant women in the United States. This has led to a recommendation that fish-eating women get tested for mercury before...
  • Red Fish, White Fish; Dark Fish, Atrial Fibrillation
    Red Fish, White Fish; Dark Fish, Atrial Fibrillation
    The consumption of dark fish, such as salmon, swordfish, bluefish, mackerel, and sardines, may increase one's risk of atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart beat rhythm associated with stroke,...
  • A Fine Kettle of Fluoxetine
    A Fine Kettle of Fluoxetine
    Excreted pharmaceutical drugs such as Prozac can end up polluting our waterways and may bioaccumulate in fish flesh.
  • Amnesic Seafood Poisoning
    Amnesic Seafood Poisoning
    There's a rare toxin called domoic acid that can turn up in tuna and other seafood and cause anterograde amnesia, the loss of short-term memory popularized in the movie Memento.
  • Plant-Based Diet & Mood
    Plant-Based Diet & Mood
    The putative role of arachidonic acid, a fatty acid found in animal products, in mood alteration as a result of brain inflammation.
  • Obesity-Causing Pollutants in Food
    Obesity-Causing Pollutants in Food
    Chemical obesogens in the food supply may be contributing to the obesity epidemic.
Page 6 of 10« First...45678...Last »