Mozaffarian D, Rimm EB. Fish intake, contaminants, and human health: evaluating the risks and the benefits. JAMA 296, 1885-1899

Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass 02115, USA.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 35.29). 11/2006; 296(15):1885-99. DOI: 10.1001/jama.296.15.1885
Source: PubMed


Fish (finfish or shellfish) may have health benefits and also contain contaminants, resulting in confusion over the role of fish consumption in a healthy diet.
We searched MEDLINE, governmental reports, and meta-analyses, supplemented by hand reviews of references and direct investigator contacts, to identify reports published through April 2006 evaluating (1) intake of fish or fish oil and cardiovascular risk, (2) effects of methylmercury and fish oil on early neurodevelopment, (3) risks of methylmercury for cardiovascular and neurologic outcomes in adults, and (4) health risks of dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls in fish. We concentrated on studies evaluating risk in humans, focusing on evidence, when available, from randomized trials and large prospective studies. When possible, meta-analyses were performed to characterize benefits and risks most precisely.
Modest consumption of fish (eg, 1-2 servings/wk), especially species higher in the n-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), reduces risk of coronary death by 36% (95% confidence interval, 20%-50%; P<.001) and total mortality by 17% (95% confidence interval, 0%-32%; P = .046) and may favorably affect other clinical outcomes. Intake of 250 mg/d of EPA and DHA appears sufficient for primary prevention. DHA appears beneficial for, and low-level methylmercury may adversely affect, early neurodevelopment. Women of childbearing age and nursing mothers should consume 2 seafood servings/wk, limiting intake of selected species. Health effects of low-level methylmercury in adults are not clearly established; methylmercury may modestly decrease the cardiovascular benefits of fish intake. A variety of seafood should be consumed; individuals with very high consumption (> or =5 servings/wk) should limit intake of species highest in mercury levels. Levels of dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls in fish are low, and potential carcinogenic and other effects are outweighed by potential benefits of fish intake and should have little impact on choices or consumption of seafood (women of childbearing age should consult regional advisories for locally caught freshwater fish).
For major health outcomes among adults, based on both the strength of the evidence and the potential magnitudes of effect, the benefits of fish intake exceed the potential risks. For women of childbearing age, benefits of modest fish intake, excepting a few selected species, also outweigh risks.

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    • "The teratogen MMHg is most dangerous to the developing fetus and continued elevated exposure to MMHg in the uterus may lead to central nervous system damage (Korbas et al., 2010). A major source of exposure to MMHg for humans is seafood which at the same time also provide important sources of energy, protein and a range of essential nutrients not easily found in other food (Kuntz, Ricco, Hill, & Anderko, 2010; Mozaffarian & Rimm, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Eight laboratories participated in an inter-laboratory method-performance (collaborative) study of a method for the determination of mono methylmercury (MMHg) in foodstuffs of marine origin by gas chromatography inductively coupled plasma isotope dilution mass spectrometry (GC–ICP-IDMS) after dissolution, derivatisation and extraction of the species. The method was tested on seven seafood products covering both a wide concentration range and variations in the MMHg concentrations as well as matrix compositions. The samples were mussel tissue, squid muscle, crab claw meat, whale meat, cod muscle, Greenland halibut muscle and dogfish liver (NRCC DOLT-4), with MMHg concentrations ranging from 0.035 to 3.58 mg/kg (as Hg) dry weight. Repeatability relative standard deviations (RSD r) for MMHg ranged from 2.1% to 8.7%. Reproducibility relative standard deviations (RSD R) ranged from 5.8% to 42%. All samples showed HorRat value below 1.0, except for the sample with the lowest MMHg content, mussel tissue, with a HorRat value of 1.6.
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    • "Pollution due to heavy metal ions causes adverse effect in the environment and consequently on human health [1]. Among various heavy metals, Hg 2+ is highly toxic and ubiquitous pollutant to the mankind because its accumulation in human body causes kidney, endocrine and neurological disorders [2] [3] [4]. Its annual release is 4400-7500 metric tons, revealed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) [5]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Preparation, characterization and ion sensing property of water-dispersible fluorescent carbon nanoparticles (CNPs) is reported. These CNPs are prepared from inexpensive source (candle soot) with a water-based preparation without using organic solvent. Excitation-independent fluorescence behavior is a notable feature of these CNPs, which is found in limited reports in the literature. These CNPs exhibit selective dual metal ion (Hg2+ and Fe3+) recognition in aqueous media out of a large number of metal ions investigated. They also exhibit green fluorescence under UV light (365 nm) exposure, which disappears upon addition of Fe3+ and Hg2+. The fluorescence quenching due to the aggregation of CNPs in presence of Hg2+ and Fe3+ is supported by TEM and AFM studies. Detail studies on stability of CNPs, selectivity, interference, reversible binding of metal ion and optimum experimental conditions for sensing of metal ions were carried out. The detection limits for Hg2+ and Fe3+ (80 and 40 nM) and the range of concentration through which quantitative measurement can be done (160 to 2000 nM) are also determined. These CNPs have been used for quantitative estimation of Hg2+ and Fe3+ in aqueous media.
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    • "Recent trends in contaminant reduction (LaKind et al. 2009, Carlson et al. 2010, Venier and Hites 2010, Sadraddini et al. 2011a, Sadraddini et al. 2011b, Chang et al. 2012, Salamova et al. 2013) and confirmation of PUFA-3 in Great Lakes fish has renewed interest for these sources of fish nutrients (Daniels et al. 2004, Dellinger 2004, Cohen et al. 2005a, Cohen et al. 2005b, Cohen et al. 2005c, Mozaffarian and Rimm 2006, Turyk et al. 2012, Moths et al. 2013). In general, people who consume Great Lakes fish are vaguely aware of advisories and try to follow them, but far fewer report being aware of specific advice needed to decide whether or not to consume different types of sport-caught fish (Niederdeppe et al. 2015). "
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    ABSTRACT: The Inter-Tribal Fisheries and Assessment Program (ITFAP) of the Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority (CORA) in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, has been monitoring contaminant concentrations in the fillet portions of lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) and lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformus) from the waters of lakes Superior, Huron, and Michigan since 1991. The primary purpose of this paper is to present a risk quantification of Methylmercury (MeHg) that is adjusted for nutritional benefit, originally presented by Ginsberg and Toal (200925. Ginsberg, G. L., and B. F. Toal. 2009. Quantitative approach for incorporating methylmercury risks and omega-3 fatty acid benefits in developing species-specific fish consumption advice. Environ Health Perspect 117:267–275.View all references, 2015) on trends in contaminant concentrations in fillet portions of these commercial fish that we recently reported in Dellinger et al (201416. Dellinger, J. A., M. D. Moths, M. Dellinger, and M. P. Ripley. 2014. Contaminant Trends in Freshwater Fish from the Great Lakes: A 20 Year Analysis. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment 20:461–478.View all references). Both species of fish caught by tribal fishermen showed clear benefits to cardiovascular health and infant neurodevelopment if consumed at a rate of 6 ounces per week. Whereas other popularly consumed fish such as cod, tuna and tilapia are estimated to have only marginal benefit or net negative effects on cardiovascular health and infant neurodevelopment. This dynamic assessment of benefits and risks further demonstrates the importance of traditionally-caught fish for tribal health.
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