Bad news! Tuna is by far the largest source of mercury exposure in our diet. Mercury bio-accumulates for years in the body, therefore it’s especially dangerous for children. Mercury is linked to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Neuropathy. Your healthy solution: Wild Alaskan Salmon is probably the best fish you can eat that has the lowest levels of heavy metals.
Mislabeling found in 59% of Tuna samples – By Dr. Mercola
Oceana conducted DNA testing on more than 1,200 fish samples across the US and found that one-third were mislabeled. While red snapper had the highest mislabeling rates (87 percent of ‘red snapper’ samples were not actually red snapper), tuna was a close second, with 59 percent mislabeled.
At sushi restaurants, however, 74 percent of fish samples were mislabeled. This included every single sushi restaurant from which samples were tested, even in major metropolitan areas like Chicago, Austin, New York and Washington DC.
According to Oceana’s 69-page report,2 in many cases the mislabeled fish had been substituted for cheaper, less desirable and/or more readily available fish varieties. The results showed that:
- Mislabeling was found in 27 of the 46 fish types tested (59 percent)
- 87 percent of fish sold as snapper was actually some other type of fish
- 59 percent of tuna was some other type of fish
- 84 percent of “white tuna” sold in sushi venues was actually escolar, a fish associated with acute and serious digestive effects if you eat just a couple of ounces
How much tuna are you eating, and how much should you eat? As you may know, tuna has a certain level of mercury in it. Mercury is a toxic metal that can cause a variety of symptoms depending on what your body’s mercury level is. Extreme exposure can cause severe cognitive decline and dementia. Here’s a little trivia for you: In the old days, mercury was used in the manufacture of the brims of hats. Because “hatters” were exposed to such high levels, they frequently would find themselves in a demented state later in life, hence the term “Mad Hatter”. In lower body mercury levels, other nerve system damage can cause numbness, tingling, fatigue and other “I just don’t feel right” symptoms.
Highest Mercury Levels in Tuna, by Dr. Jason W. Jensen, NMD
Based on your weight and gender, it is recommended to only eat a certain amount of tuna per week. For example, a 145 pound woman can safely eat 13.2oz of light tuna per week. That’s about 2 and a quarter cans of tuna. The same woman can safely eat only 4.5oz of tuna per week, which is about 3/4 of a can. Albacore tuna has three times as much mercury as light tuna. As a matter of fact, women of childbearing age and children under the age of 5 should not eat Albacore tuna at all due to its toxicity. Keep in mind that this is assuming that you’re not eating any other seafood.
Getting your mercury levels tested is simple and easy. The test is non-invasive and the therapy is reasonable. You can visit the Environmental Working Group’s “Tuna Calculator” to determine how much tuna you can safely eat per week. As a side note, Wild Alaskan Salmon is probably the best fish you can eat that has the lowest levels of heavy metals. It is high in Omega-3 fatty acids which are beneficial for so many things.