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Diet: Is eating mercury-filled fish bad for us?
About the author: 
WDDTY Team

Our oceans are polluted, and the fish we eat are contaminated by mercury and other toxins

Our oceans are polluted, and the fish we eat are contaminated by mercury and other toxins. Some people now refuse to eat fish from certain waters because of this - but are they right to do so?


According to one new study, even a diet that's very rich in mercury-filled fish won't do us too much harm - or, at least, it won't kill us.


To find out, researchers studied the lifestyles and diets of 6,410 Finnish fishermen and their families. Not surprisingly, on average they ate far more fish than does the general population - and even though the fish may have been contaminated, the fishermen and their wives lived longer than those in the population who weren't fisherman. The fishermen also suffered less heart disease and fewer cancers than the general population.


The fishermen were eight times more likely to die from an accident at sea, however.


So it seems it's safe to eat fish - but not to try and catch it yourself.

(Source: International Journal of Epidemiology, 2008; 37: 1008-17).


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