Mercury in Fish May Up Type 2 Risk
People are often told to eat more fish, but high levels of mercury in some species may increase the risk for type 2 diabetes. In 1987, researchers tested the toenails of 3,875 diabetes-free adults between the ages of 20 and 32 for mercury. Over the next 18 years, they checked the participants' toenail clippings six more times. By 2005, 288 people in the study had been diagnosed with diabetes. Those with the highest mercury levels in their toenails were 65 percent more likely to have developed diabetes than those with the lowest levels. The researchers say this finding squares with laboratory studies that suggest mercury is toxic to the insulin-producing beta cells. Tuna, mackerel, swordfish, and bluefish are among fish that are particularly high in mercury; experts recommend limiting their consumption to no more than three times per month.
Source: Diabetes Care, published online Feb. 19, 2013