Mercury in the Diet: How Does it Get There and What Do We Do About It?

We all know that mercury is found in higher concentrations in fatty fish, right? But do we know how it gets there? And do we know how to avoid it without having to avoid the health benefits of the healthy omega-3 oils that are found in some fatty fish? What’s more, do we know how to help rid the body of the mercury that we may have already unknowingly consumed? These are all important questions that I will address here.

A recent study from the United States Geological Survey looked at mercury contamination from a different point of view. Instead of studying atmospheric pollution emissions, they looked at how ocean currents carry pollution. They discovered that algae at the surface, which carried mercury, would sink to greater depths as it died. At these depths, bacteria in the water decomposed the algae, and in the process methylmercury was formed (this is a particularly dangerous form of mercury). From there, the methlymercury moves up the food chain from tiny phytoplankton that are eaten by small fish who then store the mercury in their fat. The small fish are then eaten by bigger fish who further concentrate the mercury, and so on up to the largest fattiest fish, which contain the highest amounts of mercury.

In fact, one of the authors mentioned that up to 40 percent of all human exposure to mercury is from tuna harvested in the Pacific Ocean (where the study took place). Through this modeling of ocean currents, it was discovered that the mercury had traveled very far distances from the coast of Asia.

So now we have an idea of the far reaching effects of pollution. What can we do to avoid the ill health effects of mercury, but still be able to get the beneficial marine omega-3s EPA and DHA? Well, look for fish oil supplements that are highly purified. The purification process removes mercury and other pollutants. The best standards out there are the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS). IFOS standards are even higher than Norwegian Standards! Make sure the fish oils you take are IFOS certified. Renew Life’s Norwegian Gold Ultimate Fish Oils are IFOS certified and provide concentrated amounts of EPA and DHA.

But what can you do if you suspect that you may have eaten one too many sushi rolls or tuna fish sandwiches? Cleansing and natural detox formulas that target the seven channels of elimination can help support the body’s natural detoxification process. But first, it is important that you are having regular elimination (2-3 bowel movements per day!). A total body cleanse that addresses constipation is the first step to detox your body and eliminate toxins. Renew Life’s First Cleanse and Total Body Rapid Cleanse are great body cleansing formulas. After this cleanse, you can target the mercury with a detox that is specific for heavy metals. Heavy Metal Cleanse was formulated for just this purpose.

Always remember that they more you know, the more you can empower yourself to take better care of your health.

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