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Researchers warn against eating certain species of tuna


Bad news, sushi lovers: Those delectable slices of hamachi, toro and maguro could contain an unhealthy amount of mercury.

A team of researchers used DNA bar coding to test the mercury content of 100 samples of yellowfin, bluefin and bigeye sushi from 54 restaurants and 15 supermarkets in New York, New Jersey and Colorado over a two-year period. Their findings weren't appetizing.

Booster Shots reports:

Although mercury concentrations varied, average concentrations for all species tested exceeded concentrations allowed by Japan as well as the maximum daily consumption deemed safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Average mercury levels for bluefin akami tuna were greater than what's permitted by the FDA, Health Canada and the European Commission.

Overall, researchers found concentrations of mercury lower in supermarket samples than restaurant samples. Higher mercury concentrations were found in bluefin akami tuna and all bigeye tuna samples than in bluefin toro (fatty tuna) and yellowfin.

Authors of the study advised health agencies to add bigeye and bluefin tuna to mercury advisory lists, which offer guidance on seafood consumption to pregnant women, nursing mothers and parents of young children.

More information about fish consumption, mercury levels and nutrition guidelines for expecting or new moms is available from the Mayo Clinic here.

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