When you sit down for a healthy meal that includes fish, you are not thinking, “toxins found in fish are linked to diabetes.” People who ate more fish, had more of the chemical DDE in their blood and were more inclined to develop diabetes, according to results that were published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. The chemical DDE is produced in certain small fish referred to as bottom feeders. DDE is produced from the DDT that is ingested by the fish. The chemical then gets transferred to the larger fish when they eat the tainted small fish, accumulating in the organs, specifically the liver and also the fat of people who eat fish. This theory is the fuel behind the study that suggests toxins found in fish are linked to diabetes.
The “toxins found in fish linked are linked to diabetes” idea is still being investigated as to how exactly DDE can lead to diabetes. For now, the answer is unknown. When sports fishermen and charter boat captains heard the information that toxins found in fish was linked to diabetes, they began to cut down on their consumption of fish. Agent Orange is another pesticide that has been linked to diabetes, but it’s mechanism is thought to be different from how DDE might be linked to diabetes. The chemical DDE is a byproduct of DDT which was very commonly used in the Great Lakes region for farming.
Advice contained in the guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health fish advisory stipulates that eating the smaller fish may be better than the larger fish because studies have shown that it is the larger fish that contain more of toxins linked to diabetes. The Illinois Department of Public Health fish advisory are aware of the new information suggesting that toxins found in fish are linked to diabetes and they set limits of human fish consumption based on levels of PCBs which are linked to cancer and mercury which can cause a host of illnesses including birth defects and nerve damage.
According to Ken Runkle, senior environmental toxicologist from the Illinois Department of Public Health, “the point is not to discourage people from eating fish but to be selective. If you eat a balanced source of fish, you will not run into problems with the fish advisory.” He also suggests eating different types of fish from different water sources. Toxins found in fish are linked to diabetes and therefore, people should monitor their consumption of fish.
Despite the findings that toxins found in fish are linked to diabetes, fish is still high in protein and low in saturated fats. While investigating whether toxins found in fish are linked to diabetes, researchers discounted the notion that mercury found in fish could be the cause of diabetes, simply because mercury and DDE are not known to travel together. The research is leaning toward DDT as the primary culprit. If you are concerned if toxins found in fish are linked to diabetes, you can limit your intake of fish. You can also discuss healthy alternatives to eating fish with your doctor.
Sources – http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/fishadv09/fishadvisory09.htm