Fish Intake Biomarker

Fish Intake Biomarker
5 (100%) 4 votes

Blood arsenic levels may be an accurate indicator of seafood intake.

Discuss
Republish

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

One of the difficulties in doing nutrition research is to try to accurately assess what people eat. Not what they say they eat, or not what we eat during a three-day food record where someone basically follows us around with a clipboard, but what we actually eat, on average, when no one’s looking.

That’s why scientists love biomarkers—things you can actually physically measure in the blood or urine to tell you how much of a certain food someone is eating.

So, for example, there are these unique phytonutrients in cruciferous vegetables—like broccoli, kale, collards—that help prevent cancer. But you can’t just ask people if they eat their greens, because people want to look good, and so, they fib a little.

Well, not any more, though; now, there’s a urine test you can do to see if people are actually telling the truth. Some employers test for drugs; now you can test for greens—it’s like a broccoli breathalyzer!

The important thing is that now researchers can more accurately measure intake. Last year, scientists discovered a biomarker for fish consumption—like a tuna test. They take a sample of your blood, and without asking you a single question about your diet, can tell how much fish you’ve been eating.

What’s the biomarker? Arsenic. Arsenic turned out to be the best indicator. Blood arsenic appears to be a useful biomarker for total fish and seafood intake.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Joseph via Flickr.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

One of the difficulties in doing nutrition research is to try to accurately assess what people eat. Not what they say they eat, or not what we eat during a three-day food record where someone basically follows us around with a clipboard, but what we actually eat, on average, when no one’s looking.

That’s why scientists love biomarkers—things you can actually physically measure in the blood or urine to tell you how much of a certain food someone is eating.

So, for example, there are these unique phytonutrients in cruciferous vegetables—like broccoli, kale, collards—that help prevent cancer. But you can’t just ask people if they eat their greens, because people want to look good, and so, they fib a little.

Well, not any more, though; now, there’s a urine test you can do to see if people are actually telling the truth. Some employers test for drugs; now you can test for greens—it’s like a broccoli breathalyzer!

The important thing is that now researchers can more accurately measure intake. Last year, scientists discovered a biomarker for fish consumption—like a tuna test. They take a sample of your blood, and without asking you a single question about your diet, can tell how much fish you’ve been eating.

What’s the biomarker? Arsenic. Arsenic turned out to be the best indicator. Blood arsenic appears to be a useful biomarker for total fish and seafood intake.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Joseph via Flickr.

771 responses to “Fish Intake Biomarker

On NutritionFacts.org, you'll find a vibrant community of nutrition enthusiasts, health professionals, and many knowledgeable users seeking to discover the healthiest diet to eat for themselves and their families. As always, our goal is to foster conversations that are insightful, engaging, and most of all, helpful – from the nutrition beginners to the experts in our community.

To do this we need your help, so here are some basic guidelines to get you started.

The Short List

To help maintain and foster a welcoming atmosphere in our comments, please refrain from rude comments, name-calling, and responding to posts that break the rules (see our full Community Guidelines for more details). We will remove any posts in violation of our rules when we see it, which will, unfortunately, include any nicer comments that may have been made in response.

Be respectful and help out our staff and volunteer moderators by actively not replying to comments that are breaking the rules. Instead, please flag or report them by submitting a ticket to our help desk. NutritionFacts.org is made up of an incredible staff and many dedicated volunteers that work hard to ensure that the comments section runs smoothly and we spend a great deal of time reading comments from our community members.

Have a correction or suggestion for video or blog? Please contact us to let us know. Submitting a correction this way will result in a quicker fix than commenting on a thread with a suggestion or correction.

View the Full Community Guidelines

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This