mercury in tuna


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Health benefits and concerns of canned tuna

Mercury toxicity
Nearly all fish contain trace amounts of methyl mercury, some more than others. In areas where there is industrial mercury pollution, mercury levels in the fish can be quite elevated. In general, however, methyl mercury levels for most fish are very low. However, certain species of very large tuna, typically sold as fresh steaks or sushi, can contain methyl mercury levels in excess of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) 1 part per million (ppm) limit. Canned tuna, composed of smaller species of tuna such as skipjack and albacore, has much lower levels of methyl mercury, averaging only about 0.17 ppm.

“Experts theorize that albacore, because it is a short-lived species, would tend to have less mercury than bigger, longer-lived tuna such as Blue-fin or Big-eye Tuna. And, by the same theory, the younger and smaller the albacore, the better. For the tuna fan, perhaps the best approach is to buy quality, not quantity, a strategy that the current canned tuna wave encourages.”

Salmon and Albacore Results
We sent can samples of both Albacore tuna and Wild King Chinook Salmon to The National Food Laboratory, Inc. The salmon samples came back with results of less than one half of one tenth part per million (ppm). The Albacore samples returned results were of less than one third of one part per million (very trace amounts). This translates into negligible amounts –nearly non-detectable. These results are so far below the FDA’s 1 part per million limit, that it would take many cans consumed at one time to get even close to what is considered "consumption of mercury"

So basically ALL seafood contains some traces of mercury, but canned and fresh tuna are amongst the lowest of all seafood

NOTE-This article is quoted from an article in The San Francisco Times printed August 1, 2014

FDA Information
The FDA has detailed information on Mercury levels in all different types of fish and seafood.

U. S. Food and Drug Administration
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Office of Seafood


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Super Moderator
Awesome info... This clears up a lot of questions on this topic... Many people have a lot of misconceptions on this topic so this is extremely helpful


Definitely good to have this info here.
People dont realize they probably eat a lot of stuff with heavy metal contents. Especially those who cling to thier precious whey for thier "post workout gains"...

Jacks right too. There is so much you can do to detoxify from metals. Unless your eating led pain chips, chances are your good....

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I think the question about how much is too much always comes up in the bodybuilding sport. Great informative post.


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Speaking of tuna, one of our local grocer's is currently having a "buy the case" sale. I got 48 cans for $24. Mercury poisoning time! :)


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Great post Jake! Awesome bit of information that does come up and raise questions from time to time