- Nicotine, including secondhand smoke
- Medications, both over-the-counter and prescription drugs
- Herbs and high-dose supplements, vitamin A
- Fish, mollusks and shellfish, sushi (raw fish)
- Hot tubs and saunas
- Household clear, paint thinners
- Cat litter (because of an infectious disease called toxoplasmosis caused by a parasite found in cat feces)
- Raw milk and cheese
- Soft cheese and blue-veined cheeses such as feta, Roquefort, and Brie
- Artificial colors, nitrates, and MSG
- Deli meats, luncheon meats, hot dogs, and undercooked meats
Women who want to become pregnant, are pregnant or breast-feeding should eat at least 12 ounces of fatty fish such as tuna every week to help themselves and their babies, experts will recommend later on Thursday.Eat tuna! Have they gone loony? Dr. Fuhrman is very mercury-phobic—especially for pregnant mothers! And tuna is hardly a safe fish. More from Disease-Proof Your Child:
Fish including mackerel, sardines, light tuna and salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids -- components of fat known to help brain development. Walnuts, flaxseed oil and leafy green vegetables also contain the compounds.
Women need the nutrients to prevent postpartum depression and babies need them for brain and motor skill development, the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies coalition says.
The coalition, which includes the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says "90 percent of women are consuming less than the recommended amount of fish."
But these fish can also carry high levels of mercury, which is a brain and nerve toxin.
Higher levels of mercury found in mothers who eat more fish have been associated with birth defects, seizures, mental retardation, developmental disabilities, and cerebral palsy.1 This is mostly the result of women having eaten fish when they were pregnant. Scientists believe that fetuses are much more sensitive to mercury exposure than adults, although adults do suffer from varying degrees of brain damage from fish consumption.2 Even the FDA, which normally ignores reports on the dangers of our dangerous food practices, acknowledges that large fish such as shark, swordfish, and yellowfin and bluefin tuna, are potentially dangerous. Researchers are also concerned about other toxins concentrated in fish that can cause brain damage way before the cancers caused by chemical-carrying fish appear.
Fish with Highest and Lowest Mercury Levels
- white snapper
I have one final question. Who writes these reports? Bozo the Clown!
1. Shamlaye, C. F., D. O. Marsh, G. J. Myers, et al. 1995. The Seychelles Child Development Study on neurodevelopmental outcomes in children following in utero exposure to methylmercury from a maternal fish diet: background and demographics. Neurotoxicology 16 (4): 597-612; Rylander L., U. Stromberg, and L. Hagmar. 1996. Dietary intake of fish contaminated with persistent organochlorine compounds in relation to low birthweight. Scand. J. Work Environ. Health 2 (4): 260-66; Does methylmercury have a role in causing developmental disabilities in children? 2000. Environ. Health Perspect. 108 (supp.3): 413-20.
2. Clarkson, T.W. 1997. The toxicology of mercury. Crit. Rev. Clin. Lab. Sci. 34(4):369-403.