May 16, 2008, Newsletter Issue #64: Health Effects of Mercury Consumption

Tip of the Week

There is still much research that needs to be done on mercury consumption. The medical community is learning more about it every day. However, there are some health risks that we know about due to mercury contamination.

First of all, mercury is known as a neurotoxin since it affects our brain functioning and nervous system functioning. It has been shown to affect fetal development as it accumulates in the umbilical cord leading to the fetus.

Hair loss, fainting spells, and stomach upset are symptoms of mercury consumption.

Pregnant women and women of childbearing age take note: As a child's brain is developing during the first several years of life, it is also rapidly absorbing nutrients. Prenatal and infant mercury exposure can cause mental retardation, cerebral palsy, deafness and blindness. Even when consumed in low doses, mercury has been known to cause a child to have a shortened attention span (resulting in learning problems), affect a child's overall development, and cause a delay in walking and talking,

As far as adults are concerned, fertility and regulation of blood pressure can be affected by mercury poisoning. And, there are recorded cases of memory loss occurring in those consuming mercury. Other health problems from consuming mercury include: tremors, vision loss and numbness of the extremities (fingers and toes). More recently, there have been studies done showing that mercury exposure may lead to heart disease.

See how important it is to eat fish that is either low or moderate in mercury contamination? You do not want to risk eating any that is heavily mercury-laden. Know what you are eating.

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