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Mercury Poisoning Blog

Mercury in Seafood May Raise Risk of Autoimmune Diseases in Women: Study

Posted 10 Feb 2015 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 – The mercury found in some seafood may be linked to autoimmune disorders among women of childbearing age, new research suggests. Autoimmune diseases develop when the body's immune response goes awry and starts to attack healthy cells. Such diseases include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and "Sjogren's syndrome." All told, these diseases affect roughly 50 million Americans, most of whom are women, the University of Michigan researchers said. "We don't have a very good sense of why people develop autoimmune disorders," study author Emily Somers said in a university news release. "A large number of cases are not explained by genetics," she added, "so we believe studying environmental factors will help us understand why autoimmunity happens and how we may be able to intervene to improve health outcomes. In our study, ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Autoimmune Disorders, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Sjogren's Syndrome, Lupus Erythematosus, Mercury Poisoning

Mercury Air Pollution Reflected in Ocean Fish, Study Says

Posted 4 Feb 2015 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 3, 2015 – Rising mercury levels in the air are likely to blame for increasing amounts of mercury in Hawaiian yellowfin tuna, researchers say. Mercury concentrations in the fish are rising by 3.8 percent or more a year, they found after analyzing data from 1971, 1998 and 2008. "The take-home message is that mercury in tuna appears to be increasing in lockstep with data and model predictions for mercury concentrations in water in the North Pacific," said Paul Drevnick, an assistant research scientist at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment. "This study confirms that mercury levels in open ocean fish are responsive to mercury emissions," Drevnick added in a university news release. Yellowfin tuna, sold as ahi, is widely used in raw fish dishes – especially sashimi – and for grilling. This type of tuna is listed as a "high mercury" species ... Read more

Related support groups: Mercury Poisoning

Could Nutrients in Fish Shield Fetus From Mercury's Harms?

Posted 21 Jan 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21, 2015 – Despite concerns over mercury exposure, pregnant women who eat lots of fish may not harm their unborn children, a new study suggests. Three decades of research in the Seychelles, the islands in the Indian Ocean, found no developmental problems in children born to women who consume ocean fish at a much higher rate than the average American woman, the study concluded. "They eat a lot of fish, historically about 12 fish meals a week, and their mercury exposure from fish is about 10 times higher than that of average Americans," said study co-author Edwin van Wijngaarden, an associate professor in the University of Rochester's department of Public Health Sciences in Rochester, N.Y. "We have not found any association between these exposures to mercury and developmental outcomes." The omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil may protect the brain from the potential ... Read more

Related support groups: Dietary Supplementation, Mercury Poisoning

Study Sees No Link Between Mercury Exposure, Autistic Behavior

Posted 23 Jul 2013 by

TUESDAY, July 23 – Children exposed to low levels of mercury in the womb because their mothers ate large amounts of fish during pregnancy don't appear to be at increased risk for autism, a new study suggests. Worry that low levels of mercury might affect a child's developing brain has long been a cause for concern, and some experts have suggested that the chemical element may be responsible for behavioral disorders such as autism. The new findings from more than 30 years of research in the Republic of Seychelles – a group of islands in the western Indian Ocean – found no such link, the study authors said. "This study shows no evidence of a correlation between low level mercury exposure and autism spectrum-like behaviors among children whose mothers ate, on average, up to 12 meals of fish each week during pregnancy," study lead author Edwin van Wijngaarden, associate professor in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Mercury Poisoning

Mercury Exposure Linked to Raised Diabetes Risk

Posted 8 Apr 2013 by

MONDAY, April 8 – Young adults who have higher levels of mercury in their systems may face a 65 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life, a new study warns. The findings – which are the first to link mercury and diabetes in humans – are alarming in terms of nutrition because eating fish and shellfish is the main source of mercury in people, the researchers added. They noted that nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury, but they also contain lean protein and other important nutrients, such as magnesium and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which could counter the effects of mercury. The study included nearly 3,900 men and women between the ages of 20 and 32 who were free of diabetes in 1987 and followed until 2005. Mercury levels in their toenails were measured, and they were tested for diabetes during the study period. The link between ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Mercury Poisoning

Prenatal Mercury Exposure Tied to ADHD Symptoms in Kids

Posted 8 Oct 2012 by

MONDAY, Oct. 8 – In another sign of the possible dangers lurking in an environmental hazard, new research links mercury exposure in expectant mothers to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in their children at the age of 8. The research doesn't prove that mercury is directly responsible for the behavioral problems. And it's not clear if the children in the study actually had ADHD, because the study only looked at symptoms, not diagnoses. There's also a twist: Mercury is often found in fish, but those children whose mothers ate more fish during pregnancy appeared to have fewer behavioral problems, according to the report published online Oct. 8 in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Overall, the study "adds to concerns about mercury consumption and to evidence about the benefits of fish consumption," said Dr. Susan Korrick, the study's co-author and an ... Read more

Related support groups: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Mercury Poisoning

Americans' Exposure to Mercury From Fish Won't Harm Hearts: Study

Posted 24 Mar 2011 by

WEDNESDAY, March 23 – Though repeatedly linked to neurological deficits in children and unborn babies, Americans' level of exposure to mercury from sources such as fish is not associated with a higher risk of heart disease, stroke or other cardiovascular disease, a new study suggests. Building on prior research that produced inconsistent results, scientists from Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston evaluated data from two separate studies on more than 173,000 men and women who answered questions about their medical history, risk factors, disease incidence and lifestyle. The researchers also measured mercury concentrations in the stored toenail clippings – a reliable storehouse of long-term mercury exposure – of nearly 7,000 participants, an equal number of whom had or had not suffered a cardiovascular event during the study follow-up period. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Mercury Poisoning

Poison Experts Turn Phone Line Into a Lifeline

Posted 19 Sep 2010 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 17 – Trained as a registered nurse to work in emergency rooms and intensive care units, Hugh Rawls did just that until sidelined a decade ago by a back injury. Today, he's still working in emergency care, but from a different angle. For the past 10 years, he has helped man the phone lines at the Poison Control Center in Jacksonville, Fla. "In a lot of ways, there's some similarities in the critical thinking I used as a bedside nurse," said Rawls, 45. "Part of my job is not only to think about what's going on right now, but also to think three steps ahead to what could happen. I have to think ahead as to what could happen to this person and where we need to go treatment-wise." People call the center with a wide variety of problems, Rawls said. "This is very similar to working in an emergency room," he said. "You don't know what's going to come up next. One minute it's a ... Read more

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Mercury's Threat Greater in Ocean Fish Than Freshwater: Study

Posted 27 Jun 2010 by

SUNDAY, June 27 – Seawater itself is the reason why mercury in saltwater fish poses more of a health threat to humans than freshwater fish, even though concentrations of the chemical are much higher in freshwater species, according to new research. Duke University researchers found that the potentially harmful form of mercury called methylmercury attaches onto dissolved organic matter in freshwater, but latches onto the salt (chloride) in seawater. Methylmercury is a potent neurotoxin that can cause kidney and brain disorders, and even death, the study authors explained in a university news release. "The most common ways nature turns methylmercury into a less toxic form is through sunlight," study author Heileen Hsu-Kim, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, said in the news release. "When it is attached to dissolved organic matter, like decayed plants or ... Read more

Related support groups: Mercury Poisoning

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