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Government's Fish Advice
If you choose to eat more fish, you may want to consider mercury levels in
For most people, the mercury risk from fish and shellfish is not a health
concern, states the web site of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The
FDA and EPA offer this advice for women who are or may become pregnant, nursing
mothers, and young children:
- Don't eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish due to high mercury
- Eat up to 12 ounces (two average meals) per week of a variety of fish and
shellfish that are lower in mercury (such as shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon,
pollock, and catfish).
- Know that albacore tuna has more mercury than light tuna.
- Check local advisories about the safety of locally caught fish. If no
advice is available, eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) per week of fish
from local waters, but don't eat any other fish that week.
Fish oil capsules are another option. In December 2004, consumerlab.com
reported that its tests found no mercury or other toxins called PCBs in 41 fish
oil supplements. However, one supplement was spoiled and another didn't contain
its labeled amounts, according to consumerlab.com.
Discuss any supplements you take with your doctor, especially patients
taking fish oil or marine-derived omega-3 fatty acid supplements in combination
with blood thinners, since these oils in extremely high doses may have the
potential to increase bleeding tendency.