Mercury concentrations and omega-3 fatty acids in fish and shrimp: Preferential consumption for maximum health benefits

Mar Pollut Bull. 2010 Sep;60(9):1615-8. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2010.06.045. Epub 2010 Jul 14.


The consumption of fish and shrimp containing omega-3 fatty acids can result in protective health effects including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. These protective effects may be decreased by the presence of mercury in the muscle tissue of fish and shellfish. Mercury can increase the risk of cardiovascular problems and impede neurological development. The objective of this project was to determine appropriate consumption amounts of selected fish species and shrimp based on mercury levels and recommended intake levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Species that are high in omega-3s and low in mercury include salmon, trout, and shrimp. Species with both high levels of mercury and omega-3 fatty acids include tuna, shark, and halibut, swordfish, and sea bass.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / analysis*
  • Fishes / metabolism*
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Mercury / analysis*
  • Penaeidae / chemistry*
  • Species Specificity


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Mercury