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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Rob and Dawn

Unlike whole plant foods, fish is low in antioxidants and phytonutrients and contains cholesterol, saturated animal fat, and is relatively high in methionine, an amino acid that one may want to reduce consumption of to maximize longevity and reduce cancer risk.

Modern-day fish is also a leading source of industrial pollutants such as mercury, dioxins, neurotoxins, arsenic, DDT, AGE’s, PCB’s, PDBE’s, alkylphenol endocrine disruptors and even prescription drugs that may end up in waterways.

Fish consumption has been linked to a wide range of conditions including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), type 2 diabetes, kidney stones, atrial fibrillation, lower IQs among children, smaller infant brain size, shortened telomeres— a sign of cellular aging, lower sperm counts, lower testosterone, more symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress, and earlier puberty.

Fish consumption may also be responsible for certain parasitic infections, gold dust retinopathy, a variety of toxin-related food poisoning syndromes, and keriorrhea.

Analysis of fish oil capsules has revealed toxic contaminants, which may counteract the benefit of the omega-3 fatty acids. Advice to eat oily fish or take fish oil capsules to lower risk of heart disease, stroke or mortality is no longer supported by the balance of available evidence.

Image Credit: SvetlanaK / Thinkstock. This image has been modified.

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