What are the harmful effects of mercury contained in tuna?

What are the harmful effects of mercury contained in tuna? A question that comes to mind because many people do not know that certain types of tuna contain a percentage of mercury, and because fish in general has many amazing benefits for the body due to omega-3 and fatty acids beside other elements and nutrients, for this we will learn how mercury reaches fish Tuna, with recognizing the symptoms that appear on humans, which is a warning sign of mercury poisoning, which needs medical intervention and treatment to get rid of the effect of toxic mercury on the body, as well as identifying some tips that contribute to protection from mercury poisoning.

What are the harmful effects of mercury contained in tuna?

Mercury is one of the heavy metals naturally present in the atmosphere, and it is found in a small proportion in polluted water, so some fish absorb it, and in the case of eating fish that contain mercury, it may cause some health damage to humans.

Not all fish contain mercury, but certain types of fish absorb a large proportion of mercury, such as tilefish, mackerel , swordfish and sharks. The reason for the accumulation of mercury in the bodies of some fish is that they feed on smaller fish and cannot get rid of of the mercury content in it easily.

The harms that affect humans when eating fish that contain mercury are as follows:

  • General muscle weakness.
  • Having some problems with speech or hearing.
  • Nerve loss in the face and hands.
  • Having some problems with movement and walking.
  • With obvious vision problems.
  • Learning difficulties in children.
  • Delayed speech and development.
  • Having some problems with consideration.
  • If a pregnant woman eats fish containing mercury, the fetus may suffer from fetal abnormalities.

Risks of exposure to mercury contamination

In the case of eating a large amount of tuna that contains a high percentage of mercury, a person may be exposed to some health problems and risks, including:

  • Mercury builds up in the blood and body tissues and may cause the death of many cells in the brain, thus affecting concentration and memory.
  • Also, excessive exposure to mercury causes increased feelings of anxiety and depression.
  • It increases the chance of heart disease due to the oxidation of fats in the body.

How to eat tuna fish without harm

After identifying what are the harms of mercury contained in tuna? You should know how to avoid the harms of eating tuna fish, through the following:

  • Eating medium-sized fresh tuna is better than eating canned tuna because it contains less mercury.
  • White tuna contains 3 times more mercury than light or light tuna.
  • The appropriate amount of tuna for an adult between the ages of 16 to 49 years is between 225 grams and 340 grams at most of tuna.
  • The US Food and Drug Administration recommends that an adult can eat only 114 grams of white tuna per week.
  • As for children, the amount of tuna that is eaten should not exceed 85 grams, and children between 6 to 12 years old should eat 128 grams of tuna.
  • Light tuna contains fewer calories and more omega-3s .
  • When eating canned tuna, it must be filtered from the oil and washed with water, vinegar and lemon to reduce the percentage of hydrogenated oils it contains.
  • As for pregnant and breastfeeding women, they should not eat more than 3 cans of tuna per month, and it should be light tuna.
  • The best healthy types of tuna that are written on the package contain Omega 3 Plus.

How often should you eat tuna?

Tuna is one of the fish that is full of healthy fats, protein and vitamins, but if you eat it in excess, it causes many health problems.

The US Food and Drug Administration recommends that the appropriate daily amount of tuna should be between 85 and 140 grams, two to three times a week at most.

When choosing tuna, it is recommended to choose light types that do not contain a large amount of mercury, in addition to the necessity of diversifying between salmon and shellfish tuna, while avoiding eating yellow tuna at all.

Mercury levels in fish species

The levels of mercury in fish vary from one species to another, and the percentage of mercury in tuna is measured in micrograms.

The US Environmental Protection Agency states that the daily reference mass of mercury tolerable varies based on body weight.

A safe ratio for every 406.25 g of body weight is estimated at 0.045 micrograms of mercury, a percentage that does not cause any health problems.

Tips to reduce mercury pollution

Following this set of tips contributes significantly to reducing mercury pollution, namely:

  • It is advised to avoid eating fish known to contain a high percentage of mercury, such as tilefish, shark, swordfish and mackerel.
  • It is not recommended to eat more than two servings of fish per week, and it is recommended to choose the types that contain a low percentage of mercury.
  • There are some types that contain a low percentage of mercury, including: canned tuna, salmon , catfish, and cod, which are recommended to eat.
  • It is advised to check the source of the fish you are buying and to make sure that it is caught from unpolluted rivers and lakes.
  • It is also recommended to reduce the intake of popular sushi fish as much as possible because it contains a high percentage of mercury.

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