Advertisement

How can exposure to mercury affect my health?

Caution: That sushi you are eating could be hazardous to your health. Mercury, a naturally occurring but toxic metal, gets into the air and the oceans primarily though burning coal. Eventually, it can end up on your plate in the form of mercury-contaminated seafood. Pregnant women are the most at risk from the toxic effects of mercury, since the metal is known to concentrate in the fetal brain and can interfere with brain development. Mercury is also known to bind directly to one particular hormone that regulates women’s menstrual cycle and ovulation, interfering with normal signaling pathways. In other words, hormones don’t work so well when they’ve got mercury stuck to them! The metal may also play a role in diabetes, since mercury has been shown to damage cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, which is critical for the body’s ability to metabolize sugar.

How to avoid it? For people who still want to eat (sustainable) seafood with lots of healthy fats but without a side of toxic mercury, wild salmon and farmed trout are good choices.

Continue Learning about Mercury Poisoning

Does mercury poisoning affect children differently than adults?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Mercury poisoning is extremely dangerous to developing fetuses, nursing babies, and young children. ...
More Answers
What causes mercury poisoning?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Mercury poisoning is caused by over-exposure to high levels of mercury. Ingesting food (like some ty...
More Answers
What is mercury poisoning?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Mercury poisoning is a serious condition that can cause long-term, permanent damage to the human ner...
More Answers
Which fish have lower mercury levels?
RealAgeRealAge
Do fears about mercury keep you from reeling in the health benefits of fish? If so, you could be...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.