Mercury is a naturally occurring element. In its insoluble form, it is harmless. In its soluble form, which occurs during industrialization processes, methyl mercury (the organic form of mercury) can be poisonous. Methyl mercury can be easily absorbed, but not easily eliminated. Neurotoxicity is one of the more common outcomes from mercury poisoning. It can also damage the brain in developing organisms.
Keep in mind that the larger fish are more likely to have higher mercury levels. Some of these include tuna, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, shark, marlin and orange roughy.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have established that high risk individuals (women who are pregnant or nursing and very young children) should limit their intake of mercury containing fish. For a list of mercury containing fish and recommendations for consumption click here
Some information in this article is excerpted from Susan’s book, “Boomer Be Well! Rebel Against Aging through Food, Nutrition and Lifestyle,” available here