A recent British study showed that maternal consumption of fish resulted in improved neural development in their children. Maternal avoidance of fish seemed to cause harm to the neural development of the offspring. This is in contrast to a historic mercury (Hg) poisoning of Minamata Bay in Japan which caused severe neural damage when the fish, especially pilot whales, were ingested fifty years ago.
The mineral, selenium (Se), provided protection from mercury toxicity in all of the animal models tested. The molar ratios of selenium to mercury in seafood are important in determining their toxicity. Near shore and fresh water fish are more of a health risk. The authors states that, “…supplemental Se protects against Hg toxicity by offsetting the loss and sequestration of Se by Hg”.
Four hundred and twenty fish were tested from fifteen species. The molar concentration of selenium exceeded the molar concentration of mercury in all fish species tested, except for mako shark, which was the only fish with a Se/Hg molar ratio of less than one. The following is the rank order of Se/Hg molar concentrations: Striped marlin (17.6) > Yellowfin tuna (14.1) > Mahimahi (13.1) > Skipjack tuna (12.8) > Spearfish (11.4) > Wahoo (10.8) > Sickle pomfret (6.7) > Albacore tuna (5.3) > Bigeye tuna (5.2) > Blue marlin (4.1) > Escolar (2.4) > Opah (2.3) > Thresher shark (1.5) > Swordfish (1.2) > Mako shark (0.5).
CONCLUSION: The trace mineral, selenium, helps protect us from mercury (Hg) toxicity. The above list of molar ratios may be helpful because Hg has become more of a problem with contamination of seafood. The molar ratios of Se/Hg varied from 17.6 for Striped marlin to 0.5 for Mako shark, with the higher ratios being healthier.
NOTE: Pelagic fish are fish which live in the open ocean.
Read about how l-arginine amino acid can reduce mercury accumulation.
ASK YOUR DOCTOR FOR: Hair analysis for your exposure to mercury, selenium and other beneficial and toxic metals.
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