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tuna and mercury

Discussion in 'Nutrition & Supplements' started by xcom, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. xcom

    xcom Well-Known Member

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    Hi, i've looked around a few places, but no one has directly answered it. After looking through Johns food logs, i notice he usually eats tuna every day. Is this safe? Considering the mercury and such. I know a lot of tuna is made up of young tuna, therefore not exposed to much mercury. Should i be looking for "Mercury Free" tuna cans? or just not worry about it. Thanks for your advice.
     
  2. karatetricker

    karatetricker Well-Known Member

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    This has been asked here in the past several times. The usual agreement is that the effects are so minimal that one need not worry about it. Some disagree, but I've seen little evidence proving how harmful mercury is, so I see no problem with it.
     
  3. joecan

    joecan Well-Known Member

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    I believe that if the amount of mercury in tuna was at a harmful level, the government would have either stopped the sale of it, or taken other measures. Don't believe this? For years it was almost impossible to buy swordfish steaks. The government prohibited the sale of it due to the level of mercury in swordfish. It is still very hard to find swordfish in most places and when you do, it is very expensive.

    The government may not be very effective in dealing with medicines that are not good for you, but when it comes to something like this, they are like flies on s_ _ _ _.
     
  4. Jaybird

    Jaybird Well-Known Member

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    As a biologist, I think it's important that I chime in. My two cents:

    You should not have more than two servings of tuna a week. The mercury in tuna is very high because of biomagnification--tuna are at the top of the marine food web. Women wishing to become pregnant, are pregnant, or are nursing, should have no tuna.

    The government isn't a reliable metric to base food's safety. Look at all the crap on the grocery store's shelves. Most of it is not healthy, but it is a money-making machine.

    Trust me on the tuna. Two cans a week. No more. You're going to damage your nervous system in the longrun if you overload on it.

    Consider this: you take the time to balance your diet, get proper supplements, and eat as healthy as you can get the physique you want. You won't risk eating pizza six times a week because you want to uncover your six-pack. Why risk your nervous system on loading up on tuna? Eat chicken instead. Or wild salmon (farm-raised is actually worse for you).
     
  5. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    Those warnings did come from the Government - the FDA. Do they have any real science to back that up? Isn't this all based on Minamata Bay in Japan? Do we have a single clinical case of mercury poisoning associated with fish consumption to be found in the scientific literature besides the Japan instance, where tons of industrial mercury was dumped in the bay?
     
    #5 RTE, Nov 11, 2004
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2004
  6. Jaybird

    Jaybird Well-Known Member

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    There are a fair number of published reports out there, but I get my main facts from a professor of mine. One of his main foci of research is mercury in fish--including tuna--and his work shows that the mercury concentration in tuna is higher than the FDA wants to fully acknowledge, and that eating high amounts of tuna passess the mercury into the human body. Will it kill you? Who knows. Certainly not tomorrow. Will it damage your nervous system? Probably, sometime down the road if you continue to eat large amounts of tuna. When it comes to stuff like that, I think I'd be better off safe than sorry.
     
  7. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    Next time you see him ask him for a single verified medical case besides the Japan incident.
     
  8. Jaybird

    Jaybird Well-Known Member

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    Will do. If he gives me some info, I'll pass it on here.
     
  9. Jaybird

    Jaybird Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I talked to my prof. He said he'll try to dig up some medical studies. In the meantime, he told me to spread the word about the best fish to eat with regards to price, mercury, and omega-3 fatty acids. He said to eat mahi mahi (aka dolphin fish) and sardines. Yes, sardines.

    There you have it.
     
  10. joecan

    joecan Well-Known Member

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    The only problem is mahi mahi is very expensive and there is no way I can get around the smell of sardines.

    I agree with rtestes. He needs to show something and the fact that he says "he'll try to dig up some medical studies" makes me wonder. If this is his specialty, he should be able to tell you specific studies without looking anything up.

    I am not saying he is this way, but a large number of college professors have their own agenda. It is very easy for them to pass this agenda along to their students, after all, you are, in a way, a captured audience. This happens far more than people realize. Take some things that are said with a grain of salt until they can back it up and right now he really isn't able to do this.
     
  11. NEdge

    NEdge Well-Known Member

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    2 years ago the FDA was recommending pregnant women limit intake of tuna steaks, but could eat canned as much as they wanted. That obviously changed. Why - no idea. However, canned tuna is likely to be better than tuna steaks, because they use smaller, less mature fish.

    Wild pacific salmon is supposed to be good, and has a lot more omega-3 than tuna. Large cans can be relatively inexpensive.

    I prefer to mix it all up. Who knows when someone is going to figure out that the swordfish wasn't really that bad, and the wild salmon they told pregnant women to eat was contaminated with something worse.

    Another thing to consider is that on average these fish may not be too bad, but the larger (down-the-food-chain) fish CAN deliver single larger doses. This is why they should not be eaten by pregnant women - because of the potential to get a single large dose, not necessarily because of the cumulative effect, since that person could have been eating swordfish for decades before getting pregnant.
     
  12. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    This subject comes up every so often, and I get a lot of email about it.

    I've consumed a can of tuna every single day for almost 2 years. If I'm not supposed to be eating more than 2 cans per week to avoid mercury-related health problems, then I should definitely have very high levels of mercury built up in my system by now. After all, I've been exceeding "safe" consumption amounts by 350% for nearly 2 years.

    I've yet to see any data that would convince me to eat less canned tuna.

    I plan to have my mercury levels checked early next year as part of my normal yearly physical. I'll be sure to let everyone know in a future Daily News update if I'm dying. ;)
     
  13. Jaybird

    Jaybird Well-Known Member

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    He's a fish ecologist and much of his studies are related to methylmercuration and mercury concentrations in fish. He's not a medical researcher, so having him look up specfic information is not an unreasonable or suspect request.

    Anyway, to each their own, I guess. I personally don't care if anyone wants to eat tuna until their guts burst, I just know I personally won't. It's better safe than sorry. Remember when people thought DDT was wonderful and harmless? A little knowledge goes a lot further than a lot of disbelief.
     
    #13 Jaybird, Nov 12, 2004
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2004
  14. Jaybird

    Jaybird Well-Known Member

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  15. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    I remember when we had no Nile virus, give me DDT any day. I can remember when I was a kid, we played in the fog of a DDT truck a number of times each summer. It was great fun, you could kiss the girls and no one knew.

    Since EPA head William Ruckelshaus arbitrarily and capriciously banned DDT, an estimated 12, 956,427,900 cases of malaria* have caused immense suffering and poverty in the developing world. Of these largely avoidable cases, 87, 456,891 people died.

    * Based on the median WHO estimate 300 million to 500 million cases globally each year, many of them recurrent.
     
  16. AMR

    AMR Well-Known Member

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    Man, how did you get so arogant? Here's a guy who out of the caring and concern for his fellow man is warning people about the possiblity of mercury poisoning. And you are basically telling him that he has no idea what he's talking about. Then you tell him that his professor doesn't know what he's talking about and you ask for specific medical cases. While at the same time you spout off with all this DDT mosquito mumbo jumbo and provide no proof to support what you're saying. Jeese, cut the guy some slack. He's just trying to help.

    Thanks Jaybird, I appreciate the heads up and the links.



     
  17. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    No problem with JayBird. I sent him a PM with a number of aspects on DDT about 100 in fact. I didn't want to clutter up this topic. There is a great deal of junk science floating round some of it becomes policy.

    As for mercury, my reading say there are no medical cases except those in the Japan incident. No one is on his back. I am not arrogant becouse, I factually disagree with what his professor said.
     
  18. jgmx

    jgmx Well-Known Member

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    whats wrong w/ snickers???

    i eat a snickers marathon bar almost every day :confused:
     
  19. joecan

    joecan Well-Known Member

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    Ahmen brother!!!

    AMR,

    No one is down on Jaybird. He is saying what he believes and other people are disagreeing and just want information to back up what his professor said. Just because some one says something, that doesn't make it right. Look at all these doctors hyping diet pills. And Rtestes is right, as a kid I also played in the fog generated by the trucks spraying DDT. All the kids in the neighborhood thought it was great. DDT was banned on very fishy science.

    I haven't checked out the links Jaybird provided, but I will. If the information backs up what his professor says, than I will have to think twice about the tuna. I will not change something because only one person says so. I do research on things like this before I make a decision.
     
  20. bni

    bni Well-Known Member

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    i saw a video on ddt...wow. that was disturbing! spraying that in the streets and everywehre. kids would get out of pools and be sprayed with ddt. oh man what a crazy time that woulda been
     

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