Eating Fish May Actually Cause Diabetes

Evidence suggests that pollutants found in oily fish may be a cause of type 2 diabetes.

Korean researchers have found evidence that people who consume fish containing high levels of persistent organic pesticides (POPs) are more prone to developing insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. POPs are synthetic chemicals that accumulate in the fatty tissue of animals.

Many POPs have been banned in developed countries, but they remain in the food chain. Oily fish are prone to accumulating these fat-soluble chemicals.

This may be one reason the obese are more prone to diabetes -- more fat in the body can result in higher levels of POPs. Obese patients with low POP levels have a lower incidence of diabetes than those with higher levels.

Diabetes Care, Vol. 30, No. 3, March 2007: 622-628

New Scientist April 12, 2007

BBC News April 12, 2007


Dr. Mercola's Comment:

Who would have ever thought that eating fish would cause cancer and diabetes? Well, that is exactly what happens when the human race pollutes the ocean by burning coal for electricity, which drops 40 tons of mercury into the ocean EVERY YEAR.

The mercury pollution contaminates the fish -- and a food that would typically prevent and treat cancer and diabetes turns into one that could actually cause it. Astounding when you actually reflect on it.

Exposure to mercury isn't the only "invisible" concern you should have when eating fish. Six different POPs -- among them DDT and PCBs -- have been implicated by this new study. POPs may work to harm your health especially in the very early stages of diabetes.

In a perfect world, fish would be a nearly perfect food for you to eat, because of the vital omega-3 fats and other nutrients that they contain. But all the pollutants in our water make it nearly impossible for me to recommend fish for you, unless you have lab results in your hand that can attest to its purity.

Your best and safest option: Take a high-quality krill or fish oil daily to get your supply of omega-3s. Innumerable studies have shown that omega-3s:

  • Counteract or prevent cardiac arrhythmia
  • Prevent thrombosis (a blood clot within a blood vessel)
  • Prevent fatty deposits and fibrosis of the inner layer of the arteries from forming
  • Counteract inflammation (heat, pain, swelling, etc.)
  • Improve endothelial function, a major factor in promoting the growth of new blood vessels
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower triglyceride, or neutral fat, concentrations

So even if you wisely wish to avoid fish, you should still get these vital nutrients into your diet.

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