Protect yourself from mercury in fish with this nutrient

You've probably heard many times about the potentially harmful quantities of mercury in some types of fish.  Fish that are highest on the food chain accumulate the most mercury in their tissues, such as shark, swordfish, marlin, tilefish, etc.

That's why most health authorities warn of eating high mercury types of fish more than once a month or so.  Mercury toxicity is thought to cause many health problems over time if we eat too much of these types of fish.

However, I learned something interesting recently that I have to give credit to expert health author, Chris Kresser... Chris pointed out some very interesting research that shows that selenium basically protects your body from mercury toxicity.  Essentially, if the food is higher in selenium than mercury, the selenium binds to the mercury and therefore doesn't allow the mercury to bind to tissues in your body, such as the brain.

According to University of North Dakota researcher Nicholas Ralston, if the fish you eat contains more selenium than mercury, this selenium will basically protect your body from absorbing the mercury and you don't have to worry.

So the question remaining is...

Which types of fish contain more mercury than selenium, so we know to avoid those?

According to the Western Pacific Fishery Council, "regardless of the amount of mercury in fish, if the selenium level is higher, the fish is safe to eat".  The main types of fish that contain MORE mercury than selenium are some types of shark, pilot whale, tarpon, marlin, and swordfish.  Most other ocean fish contain more selenium than mercury and therefore offer a level of protection to you against the mercury contained in them.

What about freshwater fish?

Again, I have to thank health author Chris Kresser for digging up this research, but according to a study conducted by the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) and the EPA, approximately 97% of freshwater fish from lakes, streams, and rivers in the western US are safe to eat in terms of mercury to selenium ratio.

Now keep in mind that PCBs and other chemicals may still be an issue with some types of fish in localized polluted rivers or lakes. This varies widely based on how clean each water body is in different areas.  Local health authorities would have information on the safety of eating fish caught in local rivers and lakes in terms of PCBs and other pollutants.

However, this isn't the whole story just yet...

We still need to discuss issues with fish oil, the omega 3 vs 6 topic, farmed fish, and a few other issues.  The video below is a MUST-watch and discusses several important things:

1.  Issues with the fish oil that you might be taking currently.  It turns out that many fish oils you buy have become rancid and can actually CAUSE inflammation in your body instead of fighting it.  You'll see how to avoid these harmful fish oils.
2.  It will discuss the 5 WORST cooking oils that are actually harming your skin, joints, organs and causing runaway inflammation throughout your body.
3.  It will discuss several other issues with certain types of fish and what you need to look out for.
4.  Powerful tips to FIGHT inflammation in your body with specific nutrients

Never eat this type of fish (plus the type of fish oil CAUSING inflammation in your body)

To your health,

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer