Higher Mercury Levels Increase Diabetes Risk

(Source)

HeConnection-Cause-Higher Mercury LevelsA new study found that exposure to higher mercury levels in young adults increased their risks for type 2 diabetes later in life by 65 percent. The study, led by Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington epidemiologist Ka He, is the first to establish the link between mercury and diabetes in humans.

The study paints a complicated nutritional picture because the main source of mercury in humans comes from the consumption of fish and shellfish, nearly all of which contain traces of mercury. Fish and shellfish also contain lean protein and other nutrients, such as magnesium and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, that make them important to a healthy diet.

In the study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, the people with the highest mercury levels also appeared to have healthier lifestyles — lower body mass indexes and smaller waist circumferences, more exercise — than other study participants. They also ate more fish, which is a possible marker of healthy diet or higher social economic status. Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being overweight.

The study, which involved 3,875 men and women, established the link between higher mercury levels and type 2 diabetes risk after controlling for lifestyle and other dietary factors such as magnesium and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which could counter the effects of the mercury.

These findings, said He, point to the importance of selecting fish known to have low levels of mercury, such as shrimp, salmon and catfish, and avoiding fish with higher levels, such as swordfish and shark. FDA and EPA guidelines for fish consumption highlight this, particularly for women who are pregnant or of childbearing age and for young children.

“It is likely that the overall health impact of fish consumption may reflect the interactions of nutrients and contaminants in fish. Thus, studying any of these nutrients and contaminants such as mercury should consider confounding from other components in fish,” He and the authors wrote in the study. “In the current study, the association between mercury exposure and diabetes incidence was substantially strengthened after controlling for intake of LCn-3PUFAs (omega-3) and magnesium.”

The study participants were recruited from Birmingham, Ala., Oakland, Calif., Chicago and Minneapolis, and then followed for 18 years as part of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study. He, chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, is principal investigator of the ancillary study, the CARDIA Trace Element Study, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Health-e-Solutions comment: Wow! This is a significant reason to keep animal, in this case fish protein to a minimum. We limit wild-caught Alaskan salmon to once per week. Pure fish oil supplements are also part of our lifestyle. There is significant research into their health benefits, even encompassing an association with type 1 diabetes prevention.

Health-e-Solutions-Food-Review-Higher Mercury LevelsOur downloadable, printable special report onWhy we Limit Animal Products” details the problems associated with animal product consumption, and the impact on blood sugar control in individuals with diabetes and limited remaining beta cell function. There is a long list of health concerns tied to hormone-filled, antibiotic-laden animal products from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. Even the best quality animal products, however, can tax a compromised pancreas, stress remaining beta cells, alter gut flora balance, elevate cortisol levels, increase #InsulinDemand and blood sugar levels,  increase net acid load, create advanced glycation end-products and increase exposure to persistent organic pollutants. These issues can be problematic for people with diabetes looking to preserve remaining beta cells by keeping #InsulinDemand and glucose levels low. Put your body in a position of strength to #MasterDiabetes in the healthiest way possible by promoting, supporting and creating health. Get tools and solutions to help minimize consequences and maximize benefits for nutrition, environment, exercise, sleep and stress management.

Journal Reference: K. He, P. Xun, K. Liu, S. Morris, J. Reis, E. Guallar.Mercury Exposure in Young Adulthood and Incidence of Diabetes Later in Life: The CARDIA trace element study.Diabetes Care, 2013; DOI: 10.2337/dc12-1842