Eating fish that are rich in mercury may increase the risk of developing ALS

With the kind of varieties that seafood offers, it is a favourite among foodies, especially fish. The soft, lean and protein-rich meat serves a number of health benefits. However, some fish have a higher content of mercury than normal, which can harm you more than you think. A study has issued a warning, saying that eating fish that are rich in mercury – like shark and swordfish  may increase the risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that may take away the nerve cells’ ability to interact with the body muscles. The study, however, does not suggest a higher risk of ALS – also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease from general consumption of seafood. “For most people, eating fish is part of a healthy diet. But questions remain about the possible impact of mercury in fish,” said Elijah Stommel from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, US. For the study, the team surveyed 518 people, 294 of whom had ALS and 224 of whom did not and the frequency that the participants reported eating fish with high mercury levels. Researchers also measured the levels of mercury found in toenail samples of participants with ALS. The results, presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 69th Annual Meeting in Boston, revealed that 61 per cent people had a 25 percent estimated annual mercury intake. These were at double the risk for ALS compared to those with lower levels.The findings do not negate the fact that eating fish provides many health benefits.

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