The Effect of Canned Tuna on Future Wages

The Effect of Canned Tuna on Future Wages
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The mercury contamination in tuna and other fish may adversely impact future earnings by impairing brain function, and leading to a loss of intelligence (IQ).

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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.

Earlier this year, Consumer Reports published some new tests on tuna, confirming that just a single serving—like half a can of white tuna—would put women of childbearing age over the EPA mercury safety limit. Light tuna tends to have less than white tuna, but they found sometimes it can have twice as much.

Bottom line? They recommend children and premenopausal women eat no more than a can a week, and pregnant women should avoid canned tuna entirely.

Last year, scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health attempted to calculate what effect a reduction of mercury intake might have for our population, given that methyl mercury is “a known human developmental neurotoxicant, as well as may increase fatal heart attack risks.” They calculated that if we could just cut back our mercury exposure down 10%,we could save our country $860 million a year, most of which would be associated with reductions in fatal heart attacks, and the rest with IQ gains.

The CDC estimates that every extra IQ point we have translates into about 1% future higher earnings in life, in terms of hourly wages. So, lowering our mercury intake is healthy for our brain and bank account.

On a practical level, what does reducing our exposure mean? Well, we can try not to live next to a volcano or coal-fired power plant, but: “Fish consumption is the major source of methyl mercury intake.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

 

Image thanks to chippenziedeutch 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.

Earlier this year, Consumer Reports published some new tests on tuna, confirming that just a single serving—like half a can of white tuna—would put women of childbearing age over the EPA mercury safety limit. Light tuna tends to have less than white tuna, but they found sometimes it can have twice as much.

Bottom line? They recommend children and premenopausal women eat no more than a can a week, and pregnant women should avoid canned tuna entirely.

Last year, scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health attempted to calculate what effect a reduction of mercury intake might have for our population, given that methyl mercury is “a known human developmental neurotoxicant, as well as may increase fatal heart attack risks.” They calculated that if we could just cut back our mercury exposure down 10%,we could save our country $860 million a year, most of which would be associated with reductions in fatal heart attacks, and the rest with IQ gains.

The CDC estimates that every extra IQ point we have translates into about 1% future higher earnings in life, in terms of hourly wages. So, lowering our mercury intake is healthy for our brain and bank account.

On a practical level, what does reducing our exposure mean? Well, we can try not to live next to a volcano or coal-fired power plant, but: “Fish consumption is the major source of methyl mercury intake.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

 

Image thanks to chippenziedeutch via flickr

Doctor's Note

For more on the dangers of mercury contamination, check out these videos:
Mercury vs. Omega-3s for Brain Development
Nerves of Mercury
Hair Testing for Mercury before Considering Pregnancy
How Long to Detox from Fish before Pregnancy?
Fish Intake Associated with Brain Shrinkage

Be sure to check out my other videos on tuna

For more context, check out my associated blog posts: Mercury Testing Recommended Before PregnancyBest Nutrition Bang for Your Buck; and Tarragon Toxicity?

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

14 responses to “The Effect of Canned Tuna on Future Wages

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  1. Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. Be sure to check out the other videos on tuna. Also, there are 1,449 subjects covered in my other videos–please feel free to explore them!




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  2. Is this the place to post ask-the-doctor type of questions? If not, please remove this and post it in the appropriate place. My question is what is your opinion of the new book “Wheat Belly” which discourages the use of all grains, and wheat in particular. It’s confusing with so many divergent voices; one shouting High Carbs, and another, Low Carbs.




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    1. Hello Paul,

      To answer your question, when one looks through out human history, the primary source of nutrients has been a starch, such as grains or wheat. Obesity was never an issue in those times and carbohydrates are essential for energy. Carbohydrates are the most readily available fuel for our body and fat is only a secondary. Please view Dr. McDougall’s video on the starch solution and it will clear up a lot of your concerns. http://www.drmcdougall.com/video/starch_solution.html

      For more information on grains, check out these videos by Dr. Greger http://nutritionfacts.org/?s=grains




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    1. elayne: I am sorry to hear about your arthritis and leg pain. Dr. Greger has done several videos on this topic. Hopefully you can get some ideas that will help you. There are no guarantees, but other people have reported great success in stopping the arthritis pain after adopting a whole plant food based diet fortified with B12.

      For videos specifically about arthritis:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=arthritis

      For Dr. Greger’s nutrition recommendations (which should hopefully work for you situation):
      http://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/

      Bottom Line: Most vegetarians eat dairy and eggs – which are liquid meat in terms of their health effects. (At least according to my lay person’s understanding.) And some vegetarians also eat lots of processed foods. Getting rid of the diary and eggs and processed foods should help and at least wouldn’t be expected to hurt.

      Let me know if you would like some recommendations on switching to such a diet.

      Good luck!




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        1. Ahh. Thanks for the clarification. I do recommend checking out the videos specifically about arthritis that I linked to above.

          You might also check out what we know about fish:
          http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/fish/

          Fish is just another form of meat. So, if you become convinced by the videos that meat is detrimental to people with arthritis, you might want to consider cutting fish out of your diet.

          Best of luck to you.




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  3. it seems clear Dr. Greger doesn’t want to weigh-in on the topic of dental amalgams as a source of mercury. According to many sources, in many people, dental amalgams are, by a large margin, a larger source of mercury exposure than fish consumption. but commenting on this is only for the courageous, as it’s considered the territory of quacks and the anti-establishment. fyi, i think dr. Greger is an excellent contributor to public health science. i listen to him for information that i sometimes don’t want to hear, but think i need to hear. thanks, dr. Greger.




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  4. Any Idea why Mother Earth News would ignore the science and publish articles touting the benefits af animal fats? Were the bought by the meat industry?




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    1. Yes, please do!
      Dr. Greger wants to share this life-saving information as BROADLY as possible.
      Even consider writing us with any powerful stories.




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