Heavy metal toxicity from tuna

Tuna is making the headlines again…

If you love a tuna sandwich, a tuna steak or a thick piece of fluffy fish, this article is for you.

Recent studies have yet again confirmed that tuna fish contains high levels of metals of which could be dangerous for human consumption.

Metals such as:

  • Mercury
  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Tin

Potentially, these metals can interfere with organ function and essential metabolic processes. Whilst our bodies require a certain amount of metallic compounds such as zinc, iron and copper, it has been revealed that the harmless looking tin of tuna in your kitchen cupboard could be a health hazard.

The symptoms of metal poisoning from tuna can be:

  • Fatigue
  • Digestive distress
  • Low mood
  • Sore joints
  • Blood sugar retention
  • Reduced concentration
  • Tingling sensations
  • Loss of balance
  • Serious health consequences such as – the risk of cancer, heart disease and even death

Studies show that some fish around the world contain dangerously high levels of mercury. Fish and shellfish live in increasingly polluted environments and toxins in the water accumulate in their bodies. Industrial mining and coal-fired power plants are the major source of mercury in the environment. Mercury is emitted into the air then it condenses and falls into the waterways.

A recent report in the magazine ’60 Millions Consumers’ warned the public about the dangers of eating certain canned tuna. In a study, 15 popular brands were tested, all the brands contained mercury, arsenic and cadmium but to different degrees. Three brands contained more than the regulatory amount of mercury. (1)

What the experts say…

Dr Mozaffarin, Dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition and Policy at Tufts University is quoted to have said, “The risks from mercury have been overhyped. Mercury can harm the developing nervous systems of fetuses and young children, according to the FDA. But when the agency warned pregnant women to limit consumption of high-mercury fish in 2004, it set off unnecessary panic for everyone else.” (2)

Dr Mozaffarian also said that fish is good for you and research has shown that fish may lower your risk of heart disease death. Evidence suggests that eating fish may also help combat stroke, obesity, cognitive decline, depression, cancer, inflammatory disorders and asthma. (2)

In the Men’s Health magazine, the Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman, Lauren Sucher said, “It would likely be safe for many men to eat tuna every day, while some men could experience symptoms of mercury toxicity from eating the same amount.” (MH)

In the same article, Dr Gochfield said that it was about getting a balance when eating fish. Taking into consideration a person’s weight, sensitivity to mercury, the type of tuna and how much risk you are willing to take. (3)

Men’s Health nutrition advisor Alan Aragon said that it appears no one really knows where mercury goes from being harmless to toxic because you’d have to poison people to find out! (4)

How do you know if you are eating too much fish?

We all know that there are some species of seafood that we should consume in moderation. If you wonder if you are eating too much tuna, or eating too much fish, this new tool produced by the EU helps you plan your eating habits. (5) https://www.sushifaq.com/sushiotaku/2017/03/03/new-seafood-calculator/

Did you know that some fish can suffer from depression?

Research has shown that fish can become depressed and some scientists consider fish to be a promising animal model for developing anti-depressants. When talking about humans and fish, Julian Pittman a professor at the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences at Troy University in Alabama said,

“The neurochemistry is so similar that it’s scary,” Mr Pittman is working to develop new medications to treat depression, with the help of tiny zebrafish. He thinks of them as simple organisms, “but there is a lot we don’t give fish credit for.”

Dr. Pittman likes working with fish, in part, because they are so obvious about their depression. He can reliably test the effectiveness of antidepressants with something called the “novel tank test.” A zebrafish gets dropped in a new tank. If after five minutes it is hanging out in the lower half, it’s depressed. If it’s swimming up top — its usual inclination when exploring a new environment — then it’s not.

Those little zebrafish have been spared from polluting themselves with heavy metals, unlike the tuna that will go into your next sandwich!

Best wishes,


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** The content on this site should not be used as medical advice, we are giving our readers information and insights. If you are concerned about your health or need medical advice please see your doctor. If you are struggling with any issues please talk to someone – don’t suffer in silence. **


  1. https://www.60millions-mag.com/
  2. https://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/eating-tuna-every-day-safe
  3. https://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/eating-tuna-every-day-safe
  4. https://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/eating-tuna-every-day-safe
  5. https://www.sushifaq.com/sushiotaku/2017/03/03/new-seafood-calculator/