A study of Californians who loaded their lunch and dinner menus with fish shows 89 percent wound up with elevated mercury levels in their bodies. The research was presented Saturday by San Francisco internist Doctor Jane Hightower at a symposium of environmental health experts in Vermont. It´s one of the first studies to document mercury levels in Americans who eat more fish than the Environmental Protection Agency recommends.
Fish has widely recognized health benefits, but the FDA recommends that pregnant women and young children limit their fish intake to two 6-ounce cans of tuna per week if it´s the only fish they eat. The agency says they shouldn´t eat any swordfish, shark, king mackerel or tilefish. Too much mercury damages the nervous system, but scientists aren´t certain how much mercury-tainted fish will trigger health problems.