Eating fish can cause serious illness, study finds

Recommended up to twice a week by the health authorities, the consumption of fish would not be so beneficial for health. On the contrary, it would increase the risk of suffering from a serious pathology, sometimes fatal, alert American researchers.

If ANSES recommends eating fish at least twice a week to prevent cardiovascular disease and promote the proper functioning of the retina, brain and nervous system, American researchers have just contradicted the agency’s recommendations. sanitary. A large study carried out by experts from Brown University, in the United States, established a link between fish consumption and an increased risk of skin cancer. The work, published in the journal Cancer Causes & Control, reveal that this common food increased the risk of melanoma, one of the most serious forms of skin cancer.

22% increased risk of developing skin cancer

With more than 15,000 new cases annually in France, according to figures from INational Cancer Institute, estimated in 2018, melanoma represents 10% of skin cancers. American researchers have identified an unsuspected risk factor for this pathology: the daily consumption of fish.

To reach these conclusions, the researchers analyzed data from more than 490,000 people between the ages of 50 and 71. Scientists have notably studied the consumption of this food (quantity, frequency) but also the type of fish ingested (tuna, fried and non-fried fish). Result: fish, whether fried or not, can increase the risk of malignant melanoma by 22% and promotes the development of abnormal cells in the outer layer of the skin. The people who consumed an average of 42.8 grams per week (about three meals).

Arsenic and mercury involved

If the benefits of fish have long been touted, in particular thanks to the high Omega-3 content that this food has, the objective of the researchers is not to “to discourage people from eating fish just because of these discoveries,” warns Eunyoung Cho, lead author of the study.

According to the specialist, the harmful effect identified would come from contaminants present in fish, such as polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, arsenic and mercury”.

The study, which did not investigate the levels of these contaminants in the participants’ bodies, claims that further research are necessary to study the potential biological mechanisms underlying these associations”.

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