Mercury rising

| Post published on July 25, 2012
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The journal Environmental Research published a study investigating the effects of fish consumption on children’s health. It confirmed that regular fish intake is responsible for increased levels of mercury in the blood. Even though the levels of fish-consuming children were below the potential risk level, researchers found that they had disrupted hormone (adrenocortical) function that may result in the development of physical and psychological disorders. These fish-consuming children also had elevated markers of inflammation, which are a sign of the body’s emergency response in trying to fight infection. The authors also pointed out that children are more sensitive to environmental pollutants than adults and this is a first study of its kind. The results will probably have broad public health implications.

Gump, B.B., MacKenzie, J.A., Dumas, A.K., et al., 2012. Fish consumption, low-level mercury, lipids, and inflammatory markers in children. Environmental Research. 112: 204-211.

About the author
Dr. Justine Butler
I joined Viva! as a health campaigner in 2005 after graduating from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology. My scientific training helped me research and write numerous reports, guides and fact sheets for Viva! including Meat the Truth, Fish-Free for Life, One in Nine (breast cancer and diet) and the substantial report on the detrimental health effects of consuming dairy; White Lies. This accompanied Viva!’s report The Dark Side of Dairy which spelt out the inherent cruelty of dairy farming. We were the first UK group to take on the dairy industry in this way, and many of our supporters go vegan after reading these reports.

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