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Current Research

Many studies have been published about the health benefits of seafood. The following are a small sample of the available advice and literature on this topic. Click on the links below to review these studies.


Consumption of Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Risk of Incident Alzheimer's Disease

Authors: Martha Claire Morris, et al.
(Rush Institute for Healthy Aging)
Journal: Archives of Neurology, July 2003
Summary: Researchers looked at more than 800 older adult participants not affected by Alzheimer's disease to find out whether eating fish protects against Alzheimer's disease.  Participants who consume fish once per week or more have 60 percent less risk of Alzheimer's disease compared with those who rarely or never eat fish.


Dietary Selenium Protection of Methylmercury Intoxication of Japanese Quail

Authors: G. S. Stoewsand, et al.
(New York State Agricultural Experiment Station)
Journal: Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, February 1974
Summary: Selenium, as sodium selenite, added at 5 ppm to purified diets of Japanese quail protected against methylmercury intoxication. Selenium fed simultaneously with methylmercury to quail for 9 weeks gave complete protection. However, feeding selenium with methylmercury for 4 weeks, followed by a diet containing only methylmercury, delayed the onset of methylmercury intoxication for 1–2 weeks as compared to quail not pretreated with selenium. On diets which contained 20 ppm of methylmercury but no selenium, over 90% mortality was observed for young quail within 2 weeks, and mature quail within 4 weeks. Methylmercury residues in liver, kidney, and brain are higher in male than female quail. High methylmercury content of these organs, or in produced eggs, does not indicate that birds will show evidence of methylmercury toxicosis.


Fish Intake, Contaminants, and Human Health

Authors: Dariush Mozaffarian, Eric Rimm, et al.
(Harvard Medical School)
Journal: Journal of the American Medical Association, October 2006
Summary: The authors investigated the risks and benefits of consuming fish based on an in-depth evaluation of current literature. For an adult population, the varied health benefits of consuming fish one to two times per week greatly outweigh risks from exposure to methylmercury.  In addition, the authors indicated the benefits of consuming low-mercury fish for women of childbearing age outweigh the risks.


Importance of Molar Ratios in Selenium-Dependent Protection Against Methylmercury Toxicity

Authors: Nicholas V. C. Ralston, J. Lloyd Blackwell III, Laura J. Raymond
(University of North Dakota)
Journal: Biological Trace Element Research, December 2007
Summary: The authors investigated the influence on dietary selenium on methylmercury toxicity in rats. The growth rate of rats fed a low selenium, high methylmercury diet was impaired. The growth rate of subjects fed a diet rich in selenium was not impaired. In addition, low methylmercury exposure did not affect rat growth at any selenium level.


Mercury and Selenium Interaction: A Review

Authors: L. A. Cuvin-Aralar and R. W. Furness
(Department of Zoology, University of Glasgow)
Journal: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, June 1991
Summary: This paper reviews studies on mercury and selenium interaction. It includes the effects of selenium on mercury toxicity on the organism, organ/tissue, and subcellular levels. The paper also touches on possible mechanisms for the "protective action" of selenium against mercury toxicity and deals briefly with the synergism between the two elements.


Nutrient and Methyl Mercury Exposure from Consuming Fish

Authors: Gary Meyers, et al.
(University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry)
Journal: The Journal of Nutrition, December 2007
Summary: Mother/child pairs from the Seychelles Islands have been continually followed for nearly 20 years to determine if there should be concerns about mercury that go along with the benefits of eating fish. In a review of the latest data, researchers report no pattern of negative effects and warn against giving or following advice that suggests limiting fish consumption.


Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Cardioprotection

Authors: John H. Lee, et al.
(Mid America Heart Institute and University of Missouri-Kansas City)
Journal: Mayo Clinic Proceedings, March 2008
Summary: Researchers reviewed three large controlled trials of 32,000 participants to determine the heart health benefit of long chain omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA). Results suggest omega-3 fatty acids from fish or fish oil supplements reduce heart disease by 19 to 45 percent.  People without heart disease should aim for 500 mg/day DHA and EPA, or about 2 meals oily fish per week.


Seafood Choices: Balancing Risks and Benefits

Authors: Institute of Medicine Committee on Nutrient Relationships in Seafood
(Institute of Medicine of the National Academies)
Journal: IOM Report, October 2006
Summary: A comprehensive investigation weighing the benefits and risks of seafood consumption, this IOM report was established to assist federal agencies in guiding consumers in the decision making process. Conclusions of the report recommend that adults consume seafood as part of a healthy diet. The report notes pregnant women and women who may become pregnant are encouraged to include seafood in their diets in accordance with the already established federal recommendations.
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