How sushi might not be so good for you after all: Mercury in fish could increase the risk of heart disease
- The mercury in fish can cause problems with nervous system development
- It can also counteract the positive effects of omega-3 fatty acids
- Omega-3 fatty acids reduce cholesterol levels and lower the risk of some cancers, heart disease, blood pressure, stroke and premature birth
- The highest levels of mercury are in tuna, shark, marlin and swordfish
- There are lower levels in salmon, crab, eel and kelp
Most people believe sushi is a nutritious, low calorie meal, but new research suggests it could actually be bad for you.
A study has revealed that people who regularly eat sushi could be at an increased risk of heart disease.
The researchers, from Rutgers University, near New York, found that eating a lot of sushi can put people in danger of exposure to dangerous levels of mercury.
They say the fish contains methylmercury which can cause heart disease, problems with brain and nervous system development and decreased cognitive performance.
The researchers, who published their findings in the Journal of Risk Research, also noted that methylmercury can counteract the positive effects of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids reduce cholesterol levels and lower the risk of some cancers, heart disease, blood pressure, stroke and premature birth.
The scientists interviewed more than 1,200 people about their consumption of sushi and other fish products.
They also measured the mercury levels in sushi samples from across the U.S.
They found that 92 per cent of people ate an average of five fish meals per month.
The top 10 per cent of fish eaters exceeded the World Health Organisation’s recommended safe level of methylmercury consumption.
Large tuna, such as the Atlantic Bluefin, were found to contain the highest levels of mercury.
Eel, crab, salmon and kelp all have lower levels of methylmercury.
Methylmercury can pass from a pregnant woman to her unborn child meaning the NHS recommends that mothers-to-be limit their intake of fish that are high in mercury.
The NHS recommends that pregnant woman do not eat any shark, marlin or swordfish.
It also says that they should limit the amount of tuna they have to two steaks, or four medium-sized cans, a week.
The reason for this is that tuna contains high levels of mercury which can damage a baby's developing nervous system.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2513297/How-sushi-good-Mercury-fish-increase-risk-heart-disease.html#ixzz2lrcPLDHF
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook