Mercury Levels in Fish Trigger Diabetes

One more reason to be wary of seafood exposed to metallic mercury. A new study found that high mercury exposure can increase the risk of developing diabetes later in life.

This is the first findings linking the mercury content in humans with diabetes. Thus, these findings also provide a warning to be alert again in the consumption of seafood. Fish and shellfish are a source of seafood contaminated with mercury vulnerable.

The researchers noted, nearly all fish and shellfish contain mercury sea due to mercury contamination in the sea. However, fish and shellfish are also a source of protein and other essential nutrients such as magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids.

The study examined approximately 3,900 men and women aged 20 to 32 years. They do not suffer from diabetes in 1987 and followed until 2005. During the study period, they also undergo diabetes. In addition, they also get a measurement of mercury levels in toe nails.

Relationship between mercury levels with risk of type 2 diabetes arises when the researchers tracked the lifestyle of the participants, including the factors of food intake.

Compared with others, participants who had high levels of mercury would have a better lifestyle. They had higher levels of body fat a little, waist size is more direct, and more sports. They are also known to consume more fish.

Ka He, epidemiologists at the Indiana University School of Public Health, who led the research said the study emphasizes the importance of choosing seafood with lower mercury content. Types of seafood with lower mercury content can be found on the shrimp, salmon, and catfish, while marlin and sharks have high mercury levels.

Although he has found an association between high mercury levels with risk of type 2 diabetes in later life, a study published recently in the journal Diabetes Care has not proved the existence of a causal relationship.