Can Fish We Eat Compromise Our Body Defenses?

Pollutants in Fish Compromise Health

Traditionally, we tend to consider seafood as a highly beneficial nourishment for our bodies. Its enhanced digestibility and intake of unsaturated, fatty omega-3, is vitally useful for cardiovascular health.

This reality may be changing rapidly, due to the alarming and rising rate of environmental pollution. Our oceans and seas are becoming a global sink of persistent pollutants in which fish, humans, and animals are exposed collectively.

A new study warns us that we may lose the benefits of consuming fish in general. Hence, the consumption of seafood may be jeopardizing our body’s capability to cope with the new found pollutants because the toxins in our fish have now the potential to harm our bodies badly.

This new study warns that the environmental pollutants (ocean polluters) found in fish can hamper the human body’s natural defense system. In other words, it can impede our immune system to flush out these harmful toxins. The study finding makes it more urgent to know how the pollutants act, especially as they are often found in combination.

Although it is known that these pollutants are potentially hazardous to human health and the environment, their real impact is not entirely understood. One of these is the pesticide DDT, which was banned by an international treaty in 2001. Others include chemicals used as industrial flame retardants.

The pollution grows exponentially and of course also affects all of us at a global level, even reaching fisheries and fish farms from around the world, amplifying the risk of experiencing adverse effects of contaminated fish.

The research, conducted by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, noted ten pollutants persistent organic (POPs–persistent organic pollutants), in the yellowfin tuna from the Gulf of Mexico (sometimes at relatively high levels).

The residues are believed to be derived from environmental disasters, also took place thousands of kilometers away. All of these pollutants have the effect of reducing the effectiveness of an essential protein in humans and animals, the P-gp, which identifies and eliminates the toxic and harmful substances in the human body.

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