Dr Oz’s Health Scare: High Mercury
Dr Oz opened up about a personal health crisis he experienced: high levels of Mercury in his blood. The New York board of health even attempted to alert him to his personal health problem. He invited his physician, Dr Rebecca Kurth of Columbia University, to help explain what this means.
“Mercury ought to be on the radar of all Americans, especially people who eat in a heart healthy way and have one to two helpings of fish per week,” she said. That’s because Fish is the biggest source of Mercury in our diets.
Dr Oz: What is a Safe Mercury Level?
Environmental Mercury contamination has been increasing over time. At one time, a healthy level was less than five. Currently, that marker is less than 10. Dr Oz’s reading was 19, which was cause for concern.
It is hard to estimate how many people have high levels of Mercury, but you can ask your doctor to test your levels, especially if you regularly consume fish. Dr Kurth said that some studies believe many women and pregnancies could be at risk.
Dr Oz: Who Is At Risk for High Mercury Levels?
- People who eat fish twice or more per week
- Women of childbearing age
Dr Oz: High Mercury Symptoms
How would you know whether high Mercury levels could be affecting you? If you sometimes feel foggy, are tired, or have dull hearing, those can all be symptoms. Even Irritability can be a symptom.
Dr Oz said that he has been keeping a food diary to track what he is eating, which seems to be a lot of fish: Dr Kurth found that he eats too much Salmon (12 oz a week is probably the maximum she would recommend).
Mackerel, Shark, Swordfish, and Chilean Sea Bass are all higher in Mercury than some other fish. But did you ever guess that Tuna could be a culprit? Light Tuna is better than White Tuna, but it’s recommended that you limit yourself to six ounces per week, which is just one can.
Dr Oz: Where Does Mercury Come From?
How is Mercury getting into your fish in the first place? Dr Oz explained that some energy sources, like smokestacks, give off pollutants such as Mercury, which end up in the water supply when it rains. That works its way up the food chain and into our Fish supply.
Dr Oz invited another expert, Dr Leo Galland, to weigh in. He recommended preparing fish with Cilantro, which binds to Mercury and may prevent you from absorbing it. As for Zinc, you can get it through supplements or a snack such as Pumpkin Seeds.
Dr Oz: Low Mercury Fish
What are some fish that are safe to eat? Keep it light and white. Sole, Cod, and Shellfish are all fair game, according to Dr Kurth. Tilapia and Anchovies are also low in Mercury.