Avoid high mercury exposure from fish to help prevent Lou Gehrig’s disease


2017-02-27 06:09

Researchers say that mercury which is in fish may be associated with an increased risk of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). It's therefore a good idea to cut down on fish which have a high mercury content such as swordfish and shark.

We generally think of fish as being a healthy food which is associated with better heart and brain health. However some fish are loaded with mercury which makes them potentially toxic to the nervous system and they should therefore be replaced in the diet with fish which have low levels of mercury.

Mercury which is in fish may be associated with an increased risk of getting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

The American Academy of Neurology reports that mercury which is in fish may be associated with an increased risk of getting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However the overall consumption fish and seafood as a regular part of the diet has not been found to be associated with ALS.

Mercury might be a risk factor for getting this disease

The exact cause of ALS is not clear. Past studies have implied that mercury might be a risk factor for getting this disease. The primary avenue of exposure to mercury is via consuming fish which is contaminated with this neurotoxic metal.

ALS is often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease

ALS is often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is a progressive neurological disease which undermines the ability of nerve cells to interact properly with the muscles in the body. Muscle twitching and weakness in a limb are symptoms seen early in the course of the disease. There is eventually complete paralysis of the body. The patient can than no longer talk, eat or breathe. ALS can not be cured and is eventually fatal.

Swordfish and shark have high mercury content

Swordfish and shark are considered as examples of fish that have a high mercury content, while salmon and sardines generally have lower levels of mercury. Among the participants in the study who who ate fish and seafood regularly those who were in the top 25 percent for estimated mercury consumption a year were at double the risk for ALS in comparison to those with lower levels of mercury consumption.

Mayo Clinic has reported that ALS is a progressive neurological disease which causes destruction of nerve cells and leads to disability. This disease is often called Lou Gehrig's disease, after the well known baseball player who was diagnosed with it.

It is advised to eat at least several servings of fish a week which have low mercury content such as salmon or sardines. The right kind of fish offers a delicious source of protein, vitamins, and nutrients which benefit your health. However fish with a high mercury content such as shark and swordfish should be avoided.

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