Fish ain’t so heavy, but herbal tea can be

By 14. October 2013Blog, Health, Nutrition, Risk Management

Seafood appears not to be such a contributor to mercury in the blood as previously thought.

In a paper published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers analysed blood samples from pregnant women and compared this to the food they stated they were eating. Seafood only accounted for just less than 7% of the variation in levels of mercury in the blood. Other food items that had a positive correlation with mercury levels included herbal tea, alcohol (wine more than beer) and boiled rice to name but a few. Interesting, and apparently confirming the results of previous studies, consumption of white bread, milk and chips (or french fries if you prefer) was negatively correlated with mercury levels.

The authors point that that diet is not the only contributor to blood mercury levels. It can also come from medications, make up, air pollution caused by refuse incineration or fossil fuel burning and from herbicides and fungicides.

This blog will end with the same question they finish their paper with “Where is the rest of the blood mercury coming from?”

The paper is available from the Environmental Health Perspectives website.