Lifestyle Works

 Advisories telling pregnant women to cut down on fish consumption may be too late for certain persistent pollutants.

If you intentionally expose people to mercury by feeding them fish (like tuna) for 14 weeks, the level of mercury in their bloodstream goes up. As soon as they stop eating fish, it drops back down such that they can detox by half in about 100 days. (So, the half-life of total mercury in our blood is approximately 100 days.) Even if you eat a lot of fish, within a few months of stopping, you can clear much of the mercury out of your blood. But what about your brain?

 Once mercury gets in our brains, it can be decades before our body can get rid of even half of it. So, better than detoxing is not “toxing” in the first place.

That’s the problem with advisories that tell pregnant women to cut down on fish intake. For pollutants with long half-lives, such as PCBs and dioxins, “temporary fish advisory-related decreases in daily contaminant intake will not necessarily translate to appreciable decreases in maternal POP [persistent organic pollutant] body burdens,” which help determine the dose the baby gets.

Consider this: An infant may be exposed to a tumor-promoting pollutant called PCB 153 if their mom ate fish. But if mom ate only half the fish or no fish at all for one year, levels wouldn’t budge much. A substantial drop in infant exposure levels may only be seen if the mom had cut out all fish for five years before getting pregnant. That is the “fish consumption caveat.” “The only scenarios that produced a significant impact on children’s exposures required mothers to eliminate fish from their diets for 5 years before their children were conceived. The model predicted that substituting produce for fish would reduce prenatal and breastfeeding exposures by 37% each and subsequent childhood exposures by 23%.” So, “a complete ban on fish consumption may be preferable to targeted, life stage–based fish consumption advisories…”

If you are going to eat fish, though, which is less polluted—wild-caught or farmed fish? In a recent study, researchers measured the levels of pesticides, such as DDT, PCBs, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and toxic elements, such as mercury and lead, in a large sample of farmed and wild-caught seafood. In general, they found that farmed fish were worse. Think of the suspect as farmed and dangerous. The measured levels of most organic and many inorganic pollutants were higher in the farmed seafood products and, consequently, so were the intake levels for the consumer if such products were consumed. For example, there was significantly more contamination by polycyclic hydrocarbons, persistent pesticides, and PCBs in all of the farmed fish samples, including the salmon and seabass (though it didn’t seem to matter for crayfish), and the wild-caught mussels were actually worse. If you split adult and child consumers into those only eating farmed seafood or only eating wild-caught seafood, the level of pollutant exposure was significantly worse with the farmed seafood.  

A study suggests detoxing from fish for one year to lower mercury levels, but other pollutants take [5 or more years] to leave our system.

For optimum brain development, consider a pollutant-free source of omega-3 fatty acids [such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts and even brussels sprouts.]


Health Benefits of Kelp

 With reference to Tiffany La Forge on February 28, 2018

kelp-841608_1280.jpgKelp is a nutrient-dense food that’s low in fat and calories. Some studies have suggested that kelp may also have a powerful effect on weight loss and obesity, although consistent findings are lacking. The natural fiber alginate found in kelp acts as a fat blocker, stopping the absorption of fat in the gut. Kelp is also a fantastic source of vitamins and nutrients, including: vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, iron, magnesium.

But what this sea superfood really excels at is its iodine content. In fact, it’s one of the best natural sources of iodine there is, giving it superhero hormone-balancing capabilities.

The mineral iodine plays a crucial role in producing thyroid hormones, managing the metabolism, and aiding the female body in a healthy pregnancy. On the other hand, a deficiency in this vital mineral can play a part, in diseases and disorders such as polycystic ovarian disease, prostate disorders, thyroid conditions, autoimmune diseases, and even diabetes. Since diet is the exclusive source of the human body’s iodine content, it’s important to pay attention to foods high in this mineral.

Research has also shown that kelp can possess powerful cancer-fighting capabilities, particularly against breast and colon cancer. Its high levels of antioxidants not only fight free radicals, but can aid people with diabetes and act as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.