Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fish eaters run lower risk of heart attack, despite some mercury content, study suggests

Date:
September 24, 2012
Source:
Ume universitet
Summary:
Eat fish, but avoid fish with the most pollutants. This is the conclusion drawn by a group of researchers after having weighed the risks of mercury content against the advantages of healthful fatty acids.

Eat fish, but avoid fish with the most pollutants. This is the conclusion drawn by a group of researchers at Ume University in Sweden after having weighed the risks of mercury content against the advantages of healthful fatty acids.

Related Articles


The work was done as part of an international collaborative effort.

Fish is healthful food, and several studies have shown that people who eat fish have a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases than those who eat very little or no fish. At the same time, some fish contain environmental pollutants that can be hazardous to our health. One such pollutant that is suspected of increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease is methyl mercury, which is found in varying degree in different kinds of fish. If people eat fish with much pollutants, this would lead to increased risk of disease, but at the same time if people are overly cautious and eat too little fish, the risk of disease also increases.

In order to attain a better understanding of what the golden mean might be, researchers at Ume University, in collaboration with researchers from Finland and elsewhere, examined how the risk of heart attack (acute myocardial infarction) is contingent on the amount of omega-3 fats and mercury from fish that people have in their body. The content was measured in blood and hair samples from people that had previously participated in health studies in northern Sweden and eastern Finland. The Swedish blood samples were from the Medical Biobank in Ume. Those who experienced a heart attack after the health check-up were compared with those who did not.

The findings are now being published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN). It turned out that mercury was linked to increased risk, and omega-3 fatty acids to decreased risk, of having a heart attack. The increased risk from mercury was noticeable only at high levels of this environmental pollutant in the body and if the level of the protective omega-3 fatty acids was concomitantly low. In other words, what is important is the balance between healthful and hazardous substances in fish. The environmental pollutant in this study was mercury. For organic pollutants like PCB and dioxin, the problem complex is similar, but no study of this kind has yet been undertaken.

The conclusion is simple: Eat fish, but avoid fish with the most pollutants. The Swedish National Food Agency recommends that people should eat fish 2-3 times a week, but their intake of predatory fish (e.g. pike, perch, pike-perch), which contain a great deal of mercury, should be limited (see link below). This study supports that recommendation. According to a recent study from the National Food Agency, 7 of 10 Swedes eat too little fish.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ume universitet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Wennberg, U. Stromberg, I. A. Bergdahl, J.-H. Jansson, J. Kauhanen, M. Norberg, J. T. Salonen, S. Skerfving, T.-P. Tuomainen, B. Vessby, J. K. Virtanen. Myocardial infarction in relation to mercury and fatty acids from fish: a risk-benefit analysis based on pooled Finnish and Swedish data in men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2012; 96 (4): 706 DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.111.033795

Cite This Page:

Ume universitet. "Fish eaters run lower risk of heart attack, despite some mercury content, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120924080303.htm>.
Ume universitet. (2012, September 24). Fish eaters run lower risk of heart attack, despite some mercury content, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120924080303.htm
Ume universitet. "Fish eaters run lower risk of heart attack, despite some mercury content, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120924080303.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins