Health Discoveries in General Health News

Mercury from fish not harmful to heart health

March 28, 2011
Research at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston shows that heart health isn't compromised by eating fish that contains mercury.

While neuroscience studies have found mercury can cause neurological problems in children and unborn babies, the mineral doesn't appear to cause a higher risk of stroke, heart disease or other cardiovascular condition.

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the study reviewed data from two studies involving about 173,000 men and women who were surveyed about their medical history and lifestyle. They also measured the amount of mercury contained in stored toenail clippings of 7,000 participants because the clippings can indicate mercury levels in a body.

Some fish, including swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel, tend to store significant amounts of mercury. As a result, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that eating fish and shellfish should be limited for pregnant women, those who may become pregnant, nursing mothers and young children.

Heart health initiatives are part of the community health services of the North Shore-LIJ Health System. They include heart screenings, weight reduction and programs to help people quit smoking and other addictions.
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