In 2012, researchers from the University of California–Davis, published an analysis of the diets of California kids aged two to seven. Chemicals and heavy metals in children’s bodies from the foods they ate were indeed found to exceed safety levels by a larger margin than in adults. Cancer risk ratios, for instance, were exceeded by a factor of up to one hundred or more. For every child studied, benchmark levels were surpassed for arsenic, the banned pesticide dieldrin, and potentially highly toxic industrial by-products called dioxins. They were also too high for DDE, a by-product of the banned pesticide DDT.
Which foods contributed the most heavy metals? The number-one food source of arsenic was poultry among preschoolers and, for their parents, tuna. The top source for lead? Dairy. For mercury? Seafood.
Those concerned about exposing their children to mercury-containing vaccines should know that eating just a single serving of fish each week during pregnancy can lead to more mercury in their infant’s body than injecting them directly with about a dozen mercury-containing vaccines. We should strive to minimize mercury exposure, but the benefits of vaccination far exceed the risks. The same cannot be said for tuna.
An elite group of Floridians, mostly corporate executives, was studied. They ate so much seafood that at least 43 percent exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s safety limit for mercury, and it appeared to have an effect. The researchers found that excessive seafood intake, which they defined as more than around three to four servings per month of such fish as tuna or snapper, elevates mercury levels and appeared to cause cognitive dysfunction, about a 5 percent drop in cognitive performance.
The information on this page has been compiled from Dr. Greger’s research. Sources for each video listed can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab. References may also be found at the back of his books.
Image Credit: Pixabay. This image has been modified.
Popular Videos for Seafood
All Videos for Seafood
How to Cultivate a Healthy Gut Microbiome with Food
Our gut flora is determined by what we eat, for good or for ill.
Supplements for Hair Growth
Might biotin or zinc supplements prevent hair loss in men and women?
Pesticides (DDT) and Alzheimer’s Disease
How can we avoid the breakdown product of pesticides that may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease as much as if you carried APOE e4, the so-called Alzheimer’s gene?
Can Vegan Fecal Transplants Lower TMAO Levels?
If the microbiome of those eating plant-based diets protects against the toxic effects of TMAO, what about swapping gut flora?
Pine Mouth Syndrome: Prolonged Bitter Taste from Certain Pine Nuts
Why do some pine nuts cause a bad taste in your mouth that can last for weeks?
The Healthiest Natural Source of Iodine
How much nori, dulse, or arame approximate the recommended daily allowance for iodine?
Are Vegans at Risk for Iodine Deficiency?
Most plant-based milks are not fortified with iodine.
The Human Health Effects of Cultivated Meat: Chemical Safety
More than 95 percent of human exposure to industrial pollutants like dioxins and PCBs comes from fish, other meat, and dairy.
Which Foods Have the Lowest Carbon Footprint?
How much greenhouse gas does the production of different foods cause measured in miles driven or lightbulb hour equivalents?
What Not to Eat for Stroke Prevention
What is the relationship between stroke risk and dairy, eggs, meat, and soda?