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Fish Consumption: Recommendations versus Advisories, Can They Be Reconciled?

Kimberly M. Smith, Nadine R. Sahyoun PhD, RD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2005.tb00120.x 39-46 First published online: 1 February 2005


Consumption of at least two servings of fish per week is recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA) to achieve cardio-protective effects. However, some fish are contaminated with methylmercury, which may counteract the positive effect of the omega-3 fatty acids, and numerous governments have issued advisories for certain fish species. These mixed messages may be a source of confusion to the consumer and to the health professional. This paper reviews whether it is possible to follow the AHA recommendation for fish consumption while avoiding the risks associated with consuming mercury in amounts in excess of government thresholds.

  • fish consumption
  • mercury
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • fish advisories

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