Quotes & Links for Science News Reports that: Eating Fish/Seafood is Associated with Higher Rates of Cancer, Diabetes, Mental Disorders & Cardiovascular Heart Disease; Fish-derived Omega 3 Oils are associated with Higher Mortality (Death Rates); & Contamination of Wild & Farmed Seafood by Heavy Metals, PCBs & Plastics.
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“Is Fish Oil Just Snake Oil?” is a short video presentation by Dr Michael Greger M.D. at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNwXal7h1K4 Summary: “Advice to eat oily fish, or take fish oil, to lower risk of heart disease, stroke, or mortality is no longer supported by the balance of available evidence.”
Excerpt: “A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis” published in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at all the best randomized clinical trials evaluating the effects of omega-3s on lifespan, cardiac death, sudden death, heart attack, and stroke. Either advice to eat more oily fish, or to take fish oil capsules. What did they find? Overall, they found no protective benefit for overall mortality, heart disease mortality, sudden cardiac death, heart attack, or stroke. What about for those who’ve already had a heart attack, though, and are trying to prevent another one? Still, no benefit… our job [as doctors] should be to stop highly marketed fish oil supplementation in all of our patients.”
Text transcript is at https://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-fish-oil-just-snake-oil/
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BBC 2006: “Doubts cast on oily fish benefits.
There is no evidence of a clear benefit to heart health from fats commonly found in oily fish, researchers say.
Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids is thought to protect against heart disease and UK guidance advise eating up to four oily fish portions a week.
But the British Medical Journal review of 89 earlier studies looking at heart disease, cancer or strokes found no evidence the fats offered protection…
Looking at 3,114 men with stable angina in 2003 it found that those given high amounts of oily fish were at a higher risk of heart attack and recorded an increased number of cardiac deaths…”
From the British Medical Journal study: “Of 15,159 titles and abstracts assessed, 48 randomised controlled trials (36,913 participants) and 41 cohort studies were analysed… Conclusion: Long chain and shorter chain omega 3 fats do not have a clear effect on total mortality, combined cardiovascular events, or cancer…”
Also from that report: “Toxic compounds, such as fat soluble methylmercury, dioxins, and polychlorinated biphenyls, are also found in oily fish and fish oils, but any harm from these compounds would be seen only after long term supplementation. Animal intervention studies and studies of adults after severe inadvertent exposure indicate that dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls increase the risk of cancer. Methylmercury may increase the risk of myocardial infarction and cause neurological damage…”
Reference: “Risks and benefits of omega 3 fats for mortality, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: systematic review”, BMJ. 2006 Apr 1; 332(7544): 752–760. doi: 10.1136/bmj.38755.366331.2F – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1420708/
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Dr Michael Greger MD clip “Fish and Diabetes” is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I60O474F_GI Excerpts: “The relationship between fish consumption and diabetes risk may be due to toxic pollutants that build up in the aquatic food chain… In the past two years, six separate meta-analyses have been published on the relationship between fish consumption and type 2 diabetes. The whole point of a meta-analysis, though, is to compile together the best studies done to date, and see what the overall balance of evidence shows. The fact that there are six different ones published recently highlights how open the question remains. One thread of consistency, though, was that fish consumers in the United States tended to be at greater risk for diabetes.
If you include Europe too, then fish-eaters appeared to have a 38% increased risk of diabetes. On a per-serving basis, that comes out to be about a 5% increase in risk for every serving of fish one has per week. To put that into perspective, a serving of red meat is associated with a 19% increase in risk—but, that’s per day. Just one serving a week of fish is 5%, so a serving a day would be like a 35% increase in risk—worse than red meat, but why?…”
The full text transcript is at https://nutritionfacts.org/video/fish-and-diabetes/
Click this link for a page (on this site) of science reports regards the association of meat consumption with increased rates of diabetes.
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Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2013: “Studies of dietary omega-3 fatty acid intake and prostate cancer risk are inconsistent; however, recent large prospective studies have found increased risk of prostate cancer among men with high blood concentrations of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids…
Case subjects were 834 men diagnosed with prostate cancer…
This study confirms previous reports of increased prostate cancer risk among men with high blood concentrations of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids…
These findings were counter to expectations but raised the possibility that high intakes of omega-3 fatty acids, for example through use of fish oil supplements, could increase the risk of clinically significant, high-grade prostate cancer…
it is important to further investigate whether high consumption of omega-3 fatty acids could contribute to prostate cancer risk.
Reference: “Plasma Phospholipid Fatty Acids and Prostate Cancer Risk in the SELECT Trial”, J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013 Aug 7; 105(15): 1132–1141; – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3735464/
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Dr Michael Greger MD, 2015 article titled “Omega 3s, Prostate Cancer, and Atrial Fibrillation” excerpts: “Fish and fish oil consumption do not appear to protect against heart disease, arrhythmias, or sudden death, but why would they increase cancer risk?… a subsequent compilation of all such studies suggested EPA, the other major long chain omega-3 in fish and fish oil, may be more closely associated with increased cancer risk…
in more recent studies, fish and fish oil consumption have not only failed to reduce sudden cardiac death with omega-3s, but actually increased mortality in cardiac patients. For example, men with heart disease, advised to eat more oily fish, or supplied with fish oil capsules, were found to have a higher risk of cardiac death—maybe because of the contaminants in fish, such as mercury?
In either case, given the inconsistent benefits and the potential adverse effects, omega-3s must be prescribed with caution, and generalized recommendations to increase fish intake or to take fish oil capsules need to be reconsidered.”
Reference: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/omega-3s-prostate-cancer-and-atrial-fibrillation/ with the video presentation also at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OC2iwQcfZwA
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From the University of Hawaii at Manoa website, 2007: “New findings by a University of Hawaii researcher disputes the popular notion that eating fish is healthy for you. Claudio R. Nigg, PhD, of the John A. Burns School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences, points out that there has never been any data supporting the supposed health benefits of fish (omega-3 fatty acids) consumption.
“Our research, combined with an earlier study (CARDIO-2000 from Greece) strongly suggests that fish-eating is not beneficial for health; it‘s just not as bad as beef-eating,” said Nigg.
The study is published in the current issue of The American Journal of Cardiology. Co-authors with Nigg are David Keith Cundiff, MD, of the Los Angeles County and University of Southern California Medical Center, and Amy Joy Lanou, PhD, of the University of North Carolina, Asheville.
“The major point is that fish eating is not proven to be healthy in and of itself, but rather it is a marker for low dietary saturated fatty acid intake and high fiber consumption. In other words, fish-eaters tend to be healthier because they also eat less red meat, fowl, dairy, and eggs and more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans,” said Dr. Nigg.
“This is one of only two studies to look at the overall diets of fish eaters compared with non-fish eaters. The other study also showed that fish eaters eat more fruits, vegetables, and lentils, and less beef,” he said.
From the related study published in the American Journal of Cardiology 2007: “In conclusion, these findings provide evidence that associations observed in studies suggesting a benefit of fish or long-chain omega-3 Fatty Acids (FAs) may be due to a convergence of greater fish intakes with an overall healthier dietary pattern rather than with a specific effect of long-chain omega-3 FAs.”
Reference: “Relation of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake to Other Dietary Factors Known to Reduce Coronary Heart Disease Risk”, David Keith Cundiff, MD, Amy Joy Lanou, PhDb, Claudio Renato Nigg, PhDc, The American Journal of Cardiology, Volume 99, Issue 9, 1 May 2007, Pages 1230–1233, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2006.12.032 – http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002914907001439
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New England Journal of Medicine, 1995: “In this large prospective cohort study, we found no evidence of an association between the intake of either marine n-3 [omega 3] fatty acids or fish and the risk of coronary heart disease…”
Reference: “Dietary Intake of Marine n-3 Fatty Acids, Fish Intake, and the Risk of Coronary Disease among Men”, Alberto Ascherio, M.D., Eric B. Rimm, Sc.D., Meir J. Stampfer, M.D., Edward L. Giovannucci, M.D., and Walter C. Willett, M.D., N Engl J Med 1995; 332:977-983 April 13, 1995, DOI: 10.1056/NEJM199504133321501
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Dr Michael Greger MD’s clip “Fish Consumption and Suicide” is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crVbnU_tHOA … Summary: “The mercury content in fish may help explain links found between fish intake and mental disorders, depression, and suicide.” The text https://nutritionfacts.org/video/fish-consumption-and-suicide/
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A 2014 article in the journal named Nutrients is titled “Meat Consumption as a Risk Factor for Type 2 Diabetes”.
Excerpts: “A separate analysis examined fish consumption among 195,204 adults… Those who consumed 5 or more fish servings per week had a 22% increased risk for developing diabetes during the 14- to 18-year follow-up period, compared with those who consumed fish less than once per month…
An additional and methodologically distinct study examined diets of participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Study and the Multiethnic Cohort Study, finding that consumption of fish and meat was higher in individuals with diabetes, compared with those without diabetes…
Conclusions: Meat consumption is consistently associated with diabetes risk. Dietary habits are readily modifiable, but individuals and clinicians will consider dietary changes only if they are aware of the potential benefits of doing so…”
Reference: “Meat Consumption as a Risk Factor for Type 2 Diabetes”,
Nutrients, 2014, 6(2), 897-910; doi:10.3390/nu6020897; http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/6/2/897/htm
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Dr Michael Greger MD’s clip “Pollutants in Salmon & Our Own Fat” is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86wnNSffdQM … Excerpt: “This nationwide study, linking industrial toxins and diabetes, was published in 2006. Since then, Harvard researchers reported a link between persistent pollutants, like hexachlorobenzene, and diabetes in their Nurses’ Health Study. This is supported by an analysis they did of “six other…studies” published since 2006 that showed the same thing. They conclude that “past accumulation and continued exposure [to] these persistent pollutants may be a potent risk factor for developing diabetes.”
Where is hexachlorobenzene found? In a U.S. supermarket survey, salmon and sardines were most heavily tainted with hexachlorobenzene, with salmon “the most contaminated food” of all—especially farmed salmon, perhaps “the greatest, source of dietary [pollutants],” averaging nearly ten times the PCB load of wild-caught salmon…
As people get fatter, the retention and toxicity of [pollutants] related to the risk of diabetes may increase.
So, we’re not just exposed eating the fat of other animals; our own fat can be “a continuous source of internal exposure because [these persistent pollutants] are slowly but continuously released from [our own fat stores into our] circulation…” The text is at https://nutritionfacts.org/video/fish-consumption-and-suicide/
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A 2016 article in The Guardian titled: “Fish for dinner? Your seafood might come with a side of plastic.”
Excerpts: “While the actual plastic bits might be in the stomachs of fish, the chemical used to manufacture the plastic “may migrate into fish flesh and thus edible parts of seafood”…
Those chemicals that have “hitched a ride on plastics” may sometimes be found “in accumulated concentrations that may be harmful to humans”…
In a study published in 2015, marine researchers bought fish at public markets in California and Indonesia and examined their stomach contents. Around one in four fish at markets in both locations had plastic particles in their guts.
A previous study in 2014 found microplastics in the guts of oysters and mussels sold at supermarkets. In the case of oysters and mussels, people eat the entire organism, including the gut.
Our understanding of what eating plastic-contaminated fish does to a person is still in its infancy…”
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HEAVY METAL CONTAMINATION OF BIVALVE MOLLUSCS (eg. Oysters, Mussels, Clams, Scallops)
2010 news report, Canada: “Biologist warns of toxic metal in B.C. seafood… says concentrations of cadmium, a toxic metal, in oysters, scallops and mussels harvested in coastal B.C. can be 2 to 10 times higher than elsewhere in the world…
On its website, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency [CFIA] warns consumers of elevated cadmium levels in B.C. oysters and whole scallops…
the CFIA says chronic exposure over a long period of time could lead to kidney damage… The agency recommends adults should limit oyster consumption to 460 grams, or 12 oysters, a month. Children should only consume 1.5 a month…
Health Canada describes cadmium as a heavy metal “known to be more toxic than lead” and “a known carcinogen“…
Bendell says Health Canada’s information is inadequate and incorrect because it doesn’t acknowledge what she believes is a proven link between cadmium exposure and disease…
In Europe, health agencies recommend people only consume one oyster a week. Guidelines set by the United Nations and the World Health Organization consider three a week to be within a safe consumption level.”
Refer also to:
“Some filter-feeding mollusks tend to accumulate large amounts of cadmium, and the natural geology and oceanography of this portion of the Canadian coast make the oysters and scallops farmed in certain locations there especially prone to cadmium contamination…
At a May 2010 workshop on the issue, Kruzynski estimated individuals may place themselves at risk if they eat more than 1 oyster per week compared with the 3-oyster/week guideline set by Health Canada.”
Reference: “CADMIUM CONFUSION: Do Consumers Need Protection?” Environ Health Perspect. 2010 Dec; 118(12): A528–A534; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3002210/#b31-ehp-118-a528
That above reports refers to: “Cadmium in Shellfish from the Pacific Northwest: Status and Health Concerns”, Simon Fraser University, 2010; https://www.sfu.ca/coastal/research-series/listing/cadmium-in-shellfish-from-the-pacific-northwest.html
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2017 report: “This chapter reviews the concentrations of several major metal contaminants in bivalve mollusks collected from different regions of the world. Bivalve mollusks considered in this chapter include oysters, mussels, scallops, and clams, all of which are the major seafood products in the world. Oysters are the hyperaccumulators of copper and zinc, whereas scallops are the hyperaccumulator of cadmium. Reviews of the data suggested that Cd [cadmium] can be a potential safety problem for oysters and scallops. A few areas that displayed high metal contamination were identified…”
Reference: “Chemical Contaminants and Residues in Food (Second Edition)”, “Chapter 21 – Heavy Metals in Bivalve Mollusks”; A volume in Woodhead Publishing Series in Food Science, Technology and Nutrition, 2017, Pages 553–594;
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2012 report, Australia: “Excessive levels of cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) were found in oysters far exceeding the FSANZ* standards set for these metals, and therefore are considered a risk to public health… Oysters tend to bioaccumulate these contaminants and can pass them on to humans and other predators when consumed.”
* The Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).
Reference: Thompson, M 2012, “An investigation of metal contaminants in wild oysters
and fish from the Tamar River estuary, NRM North’s Tamar Estuary and
Esk Rivers (TEER) program” at
2011 news report regards Tasmania, Australia: “Shellfish heavy metal remains high: The latest report card on the health of Hobart’s River Derwent has found shellfish contain high levels of heavy metals.
The report studied sewage, industrial and stormwater pollution, heavy metals in seafood and the quality of the beaches…
It found oysters and mussels contained high levels of zinc, lead and cadmium, while black bream had elevated levels of mercury…”
2012 report regards the region of Wollongong, NSW, Australia: “Contamination of seafood with elevated concentrations in trace metals has raised concerns for communities reliant on these resources for food. To assess the potential health risks to human consumers, seafood samples from Lake Illawarra, NSW, were analysed for the current concentrations in arsenic, cadmium, calcium, copper, iron, lead, mercury and zinc within Saccostrea commercialis (Sydney Rock Oyster)…
Copper concentrations were found to exceed recommended health standards in some samples from S. commercialis…”
Reference: “Trace elements in marine food species (Saccosteria commercialis,
Metapenaus macleayi, Girella tricuspidata and Platycephalus fuscus) from
Lake Illawarra, New South Wales”, University of Wollongong, 2012;
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2003 report regards bivalves (ie. oysters, mussels) in a region of China: “Heavy metal concentrations in the three bivalve species were compared with the maximum permissible levels of heavy metals in seafood regulated by the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance, Laws of Hong Kong, and it was revealed that Cd [Cadmium] and Cr [Copper] concentrations in the three bivalve species exceeded the upper limits. At certain hotspots in the Delta, the maximum acceptable daily load for Cd was also exceeded.”
Reference: “Heavy metals in oysters, mussels and clams collected from coastal sites along the Pearl River Delta, South China”, J Environ Sci (China). 2003 Jan;15(1):9-24;
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2015 report regards oysters in a region of Vietnam: “The results indicated that a high concentration of heavy metals was found in oysters… The maximum levels of Cd, Cu, Zn and As could potentially create toxicological concerns from a human health point of view and rocky oysters from the polluted sites should not be consumed.”
Reference: “Monitoring Heavy Metal Contamination Using Rocky Oyster (Saccostrea
glomerata) in Haiphong-Halong Coastal Area, North Vietnam”, Int. J. Environ. Res., 9(4):1373-1378, Autumn 2015;
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2018 report: “Bivalve is one of the most nutritionally balanced seafood but is highly correlated with heavy metal toxicity and ultimately causing public health impacts. Several biological and geochemical factors are influencing the uptake and bioaccumulation of heavy metals in bivalves which leads to destroy aquatic ecosystem and becoming risk of food consumption.
Cadmium, lead, copper, zinc and mercury are widely reported as trace metals bioaccumulation in bivalves due to industrial wastages and domestic discharges from urbanized areas…”
Reference: “A Review on Heavy Metals Accumulation in Coastal Bivalves used in Seafood Industry: Guide to Safely consumption of Seafood”, International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 8, Issue 1, January 2018; http://www.ijsrp.org/research-paper-0118/ijsrp-p7338.pdf
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From a 2016 report: “Bioaccumulation can be defined as the progressive increase of a toxic chemical in tissues of living organisms because the organism can uptake high quantities of the toxic chemicals compared to its ability to remove it…
Marine organism[s] can be exposed to heavy metals through uptake of water, ingestion of sediment particles and via food chains. Marine mollusks have a tendency to bioaccumulate heavy metals at higher concentration more than the sediment or water in their environment. Bivalves are filter feeders and feed through their gills…
Heavy metals varied with location, genus, size, tissue and shells of the mollusks…
The results suggested that mussels are good accumulators of Zn [zinc] whereas oysters accumulate Cd [cadmium] and donax [a type of clam] were poor accumulators of all metals except Cd in shell samples…
The bivalves had a high concentration of the heavy metals therefore, could pose a health risk to humans if consumed. It was concluded that bioaccumulation of heavy metals varied with location, species type, body part and size of bivalve. It was further concluded that the marine bivalve were better accumulators of heavy metals than water, sediment and rocks samples…”
Reference: “Heavy Metals Bioaccumulation in Edible Marine Bivalve Mollusks of Tudor Creek Mombasa Kenya”; IOSR Journal of Environmental Science, Toxicology and Food Technology (IOSR-JESTFT) e-ISSN: 2319-2402, p-ISSN: 2319-2399.Volume 10, Issue 8 Ver. II (Aug. 2016), PP 43-52; http://iosrjournals.org/iosr-jestft/papers/vol10-issue8/Version-2/G1008024352.pdf
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2017 article by Dr Joel Kahn “TMAO: What We We Eat And What’s Eating Us.”
Excerpts: “Is it time to add dietary fish to the list of potential causes of coronary heart and kidney disease based on new research findings?
Tri-methyl amine oxide or TMAO is a newly described compound that our bodies produce and that has created a whole new field of understanding [in] the diet-heart and the diet-kidney hypothesis…
Work at the Cleveland Clinic has shown that TMAO increased the accumulation of cholesterol in the wall of arteries to begin plaque buildup …
TMAO has been shown to be associated with chronic kidney disease…
Until now, the focus on dietary sources of TMAO production has been mainly on foods rich in choline and l-carnitine such as eggs and red meat…
In a study involving feeding 40 healthy men various meals, fish meals yielded the highest circulating TMAO levels with a rise that was 46-62 times baseline…
For now, avoiding or limiting dairy, eggs, meat and fish may be a wise path to prevent or halt heart and kidney diseases. A blood test for TMAO levels is available to predict cardiovascular risk and I have seen many of my patients with sky high TMAO levels return to normal after reducing or eliminating sources of animal foods as well as supplements with L-carnitine and choline derivatives. While we have much to learn about TMAO and health, the rapidly growing scientific database, now in the hundreds of studies, suggests that a whole-food plant predominant or exclusive diet is a heart and kidney smart choice.”
Article at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/joel-kahn-md/tmao-what-we-we-eat-and-w_b_10904668.html
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Regards myths about the Inuits/Eskimos a Dr Michael Greger MD clip titled “Omega-3’s and the Eskimo Fish Tale” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LvGiiZyn-M
Excerpts: “The concept that heart disease was rare among the Eskimos appears to be a myth… The revelation that fish oil appears useless in preventing heart disease, as I reviewed before, in either heart patients or for those trying to prevent heart disease in the first place, leads one to wonder how this whole fish tale began.
Well, the common mythology is that in response to anecdotal reports of a low prevalence of coronary heart disease among the Eskimos, Danish researchers Bang and Dyerberg… The fact is they never examined the cardiovascular status of the Eskimos; they just accepted at face value this notion that coronary atherosclerosis is almost unknown among the Eskimo, a concept that has been disproven over and over starting in the 30s. In fact, going back over a thousand years, we have frozen Eskimo mummies with atherosclerosis. Another from 500 years ago, a woman in her early 40s – atherosclerosis in her aorta and coronary arteries. And these aren’t just isolated cases. The totality of evidence from actual clinical investigations, autopsies, and imaging techniques is that they have the same plague of coronary artery disease that non Eskimo populations have, and actually have twice the fatal stroke rate and don’t live particularly long.
Considering the dismal health status of Eskimos, it is remarkable that instead of labeling their diet as dangerous to health, they just accepted and echoed the myth and tried to come up with a reason to explain the false premise…
And so, literally thousands of articles on the alleged benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, we’ve got a billion dollar industry selling fish oil capsules, millions of Americans taking the stuff, all based on a hypothesis that was questionable from the beginning.”
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A similar explanation by Dr John McDougall MD – “Eskimo Low Carb Diet Is Deadly”
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From a 2015 article in Nature World Report titled “Fish not so healthy? Popular seafood riddled with plastic” Excerpts: “Researchers found that 25 percent of the fish had plastic in their guts. The researchers published their results in the Scientific American…
Researchers were alarmed by the high percentage of fish contaminated with plastic. Much of the plastic was from clothing fibers, which represented 80% of the debris found in the fish guts. Researchers believe that waste management practices are among the chief causes behind the high rate of plastic found in the fish…
Global consumption of fish reached has reached an all-time high in recent years, with the average person consuming approximately 16 kilograms per year. There are many fears, however, that fish count be contaminated with dangerous toxins, such as mercury. And if fish are eating plastic, they may be absorbing dangerous chemicals from the plastic…”
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A related 2015 article on the University of California, Davis website is titled “Plastic for dinner: A quarter of fish sold at markets contain human-made debris” –
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Dr Michael Greger MD’s clip “Is Fish “Brain Food” for Older Adults?” is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tG5vjcWosAI … Summary: “Why has fish consumption been associated with cognitive impairment and loss of executive function?”
Excerpts: “Cardiovascular protection isn’t the only thing fishes and fish oil consumption were hyped for, though. Omega-3s have also been touted to treat depression. But after taking into account all the negative results that went unpublished, there appears to be no benefit for major depression, or for preventing suicide—as I explored previously in my video on fish consumption and suicide.
But what about for the prevention of cognitive decline, or dementia? The available randomized controlled trials show no benefit for cognitive function with omega-3 supplementation in studies lasting from six months to 40 months among healthy older adults.
It may sometimes even make things worse. Higher current fish consumption predicted worse cognitive performance, and greater past fish consumption in childhood predicted slowed perceptual speed and reaction time. This may be due to neurotoxic contaminants, such as mercury, in fishes. We’ve known that the developing brain is particularly sensitive to the damaging effects of mercury, but maybe the aging brain is as well…”
The full text transcript is at https://nutritionfacts.org/video/fish-brain-food-older-adults/
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A 2014 report by the Environmental Working Group states: “People who follow the federal government’s guidelines on seafood consumption are likely to consume too much mercury, a dangerous neurotoxin, or too few beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, according to a new EWG analysis of fish contaminant and nutrient data…” – http://www.ewg.org/research/us-gives-seafood-eaters-flawed-advice-on-mercury-contamination-healthy-omega-3s
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This site contains pages with hundreds of science reports on the higher rates of disease & death associated with eating red meat, dairy, chicken/poultry, eggs, fish/seafood & of the lower rates associated with eating healthy plant-based diets high in fruits & vegetables & nuts.
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From a 2013 article on the NPR (U.S. National Public Radio) website titled “How Plastic In The Ocean Is Contaminating Your Seafood“…
Excerpt: “We’ve long known that the fish we eat are exposed to toxic chemicals in the rivers, bays and oceans they inhabit. The substance that’s gotten the most attention — because it has shown up at disturbingly high levels in some fish — is mercury.
But mercury is just one of a slew of synthetic and organic pollutants that fish can ingest and absorb into their tissue. Sometimes it’s because we’re dumping chemicals right into the ocean. But as a study published recently in Nature, Scientific Reports helps illuminate, sometimes fish get chemicals from the plastic debris they ingest.
“The ocean is basically a toilet bowl for all of our chemical pollutants and waste in general,” says Chelsea Rochman, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Davis, who authored the study. “Eventually, we start to see those contaminants high up in the food chain, in seafood and wildlife.”
For many years, scientists have known that chemicals will move up the food chain as predators absorb the chemicals consumed by their prey. That’s why the biggest, fattiest fish, like tuna and swordfish, tend to have the highest levels of mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other dioxins. (And that’s concerning, given that canned tuna was the second most popular fish consumed in the U.S. in 2012, according to the National Fisheries Institute.)…”
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A 2014 article titled “Understand That There Are Antibiotics in Your Fish”
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A 2017 article in The Australian newspaper reports: “Antibiotic use soars at Tassal fish farm – Despite promising to end antibiotic use, Australia’s largest salmon producer Tassal increased its use 75 per cent in a year…” at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/antibiotic-use-soars-at-tassal-fish-farm/news-story/
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Abstract to a 2013 report in the journal ‘Nature, Scientific Reports’: “Plastic debris litters aquatic habitats globally, the majority of which is microscopic (< 1 mm), and is ingested by a large range of species. Risks associated with such small fragments come from the material itself and from chemical pollutants that sorb to it from surrounding water. Hazards associated with the complex mixture of plastic and accumulated pollutants are largely unknown. Here, we show that fish, exposed to a mixture of polyethylene with chemical pollutants sorbed from the marine environment, bioaccumulate these chemical pollutants and suffer liver toxicity and pathology. Fish fed virgin polyethylene fragments also show signs of stress, although less severe than fish fed marine polyethylene fragments. We provide baseline information regarding the bioaccumulation of chemicals and associated health effects from plastic ingestion in fish and demonstrate that future assessments should consider the complex mixture of the plastic material and their associated chemical pollutants.”
Reference: “Ingested plastic transfers hazardous chemicals to fish and induces hepatic stress”, Scientific Reports 3, Article number: 3263 (2013) doi:10.1038/srep03263 – at
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From a 2013 News Release by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): “nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury… some fish and shellfish contain higher levels of mercury that may harm an unborn baby or young child’s developing nervous system. The risks from mercury depend on the amount of fish and shellfish eaten and the levels of mercury in the fish.
EPA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advise women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children to avoid some types of fish and to eat fish and shellfish that are low in mercury for the health benefits and to reduce exposure to mercury…”
Reference: “EPA Study: Mercury Levels in Women of Childbearing Age Drop 34 Percent / Data suggest women making more informed seafood choices”, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at https://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/2c509787acba5ed885257c290069faa6?OpenDocument
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From an article on Prevention Magazine’s website “3 Disgusting Facts About Shrimp” quotes: “1. They can contain cancer-causing antibiotics. Recently, ABC News and scientists from Texas Tech University’s Institute of Environmental and Human Health tested 30 samples of shrimp purchased from grocery stores for the presence of three classes of antibiotics. Two samples of farm-raised shrimp… tested positive for nitrofuranzone, an antibiotic that’s a known carcinogen, at levels 28 and 29 times higher than those allowed by the FDA. Another antibiotic, chloramphenical, was detected at levels 150 times the legal limit… 2. They can be contaminated with rat hair, E. coli, and Salmonella… imported shrimp is so dirty that it accounts for 26-35% of all shipments of imported seafood that get rejected due to filth…” Source: https://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/your-shrimp-contaminated
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“One-third of fish caught in Channel have plastic contamination, study shows. Fish were found to contain small pieces of plastic known as ‘microbeads’, in a study of 10 species…” – http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jan/24/fish-channel-plastic-contamination
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“SEASPIRACY: What You Should Know About Fish, The Ocean, and More!” is a 14 minute presentation on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLgkrQSRy9E … Many of the claims in the video are supported by the quotes and references on this page and on this site’s page regards over-fishing, sustainability & environmental concerns.
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From an article titled “Mercury Guide” by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC): “Even small amounts of mercury can interfere with brain development, making exposure particularly risky for children younger than six and women in their childbearing years…
Eating contaminated fish is the number one cause of mercury exposure in America. Mercury is spewed into the air from coal-burning power plants and factories. That pollution can travel halfway around the world and then settle into lakes, rivers, and oceans, where it is absorbed or ingested by small organisms and then starts working its way up the food chain, its concentration rising with each step. Big predatory fish, like sharks or tuna, can have especially high concentrations in their bodies.
You can’t see, smell, or taste mercury contamination in fish. Cooking has no effect on it, and you can’t avoid it by cutting off the skin or other parts of the fish…
Avoid a few key species. King mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, tilefish, ahi tuna, and bigeye tuna all contain high levels of mercury. Women who are pregnant or nursing or who plan to become pregnant within a year should avoid eating these fish. So should children younger than six.
Ease up on tuna. Tuna is the most common source of mercury exposure in the country. If you or your kids regularly eat canned tuna, stick to light or skipjack tuna, and limit it to less than two servings a week… A four- or five-year-old child should eat only about four ounces of light tuna per week. The rules change when it comes to albacore tuna. Children should avoid that fish altogether, and women of childbearing age should stick to no more than four ounces per week.
Make safer sushi choices. Popular sushi fish are often the apex predators of the food chain, so they tend to be high in mercury. If you’re pregnant, nursing, or planning a family, you can reduce mercury exposure from sushi by holding back on all types of tuna, mackerel, sea bass, and yellowtail…”
Full article at https://www.nrdc.org/stories/mercury-guide
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An article titled “Troubled Waters: The Case Against Eating Fish” is at https://navs-online.org/articles/troubled-waters-the-case-against-eating-fish/
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“VVF uncovers the science to show that it is plant oils and a plant based diet, not fish oils, that are the real way forward for lifelong health...” PDF report at
“The Government claims that fish-eating is an important part of a balanced diet. It’s just another red herring…” PDF leaflet at
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Regards the Dangers of Farmed Fish:
Reports from The Environmental Working Group (EWG):
1/. “First-Ever U.S. Tests of Farmed Salmon Show High Levels of Cancer-Causing PCBs” at https://www.ewg.org/news/news-releases/2003/07/30/first-ever-us-tests-farmed-salmon-show-high-levels-cancer-causing-pcbs#.WgOeFZx96po
2/. “PCBs IN FARMED SALMON: PCBs CAUSE CANCER” at
3/. “PCBs IN FARMED SALMON: Test results show high levels of contamination” at https://www.ewg.org/research/pcbs-farmed-salmon#.WgOeHJx96po
4/. “PCBs IN FARMED SALMON: FARMED SALMON & CANCER” at https://www.ewg.org/research/pcbs-farmed-salmon/farmed-salmon-cancer#.WgOfrJx96po
5/. “PCBs IN FARMED SALMON: CONTAMINATED FISH MEAL” at
6/. “PCBs IN FARMED SALMON: WILD VERSUS FARMED” at
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Scientific American 2013: “Harvest of Fears: Farm-Raised Fish May Not Be Free of Mercury and Other Pollutants. Aquaculture fish, usually fed a controlled diet, are generally less exposed to mercury than their wild, free-foraging cousins. But because they are raised in the ocean they can still absorb mercury, PCBs and dioxins…”
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From an article titled “Is Farm-Raised Fish Healthy?” an excerpt: “Farm-raised fish is not clean meat: In 2003 The Environmental Working Group released results of the extensive tests of cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) levels in farmed salmon consumed in the United States. EWG bought the salmon from local grocery stores and found seven of 10 fish were so contaminated with PCBs that they raise cancer-risk concerns, based on the health standards of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
PCBs were banned in the U.S. in the late 1970s and are among the “dirty dozen” chemical contaminants slated for global phase-out under the UN treaty on persistent organic pollutants. PCBs have been linked to cancer and impaired fetal brain development.
Farmed salmon are fattened with ground fish meal and fish oils that are high in PCBs. As a result, salmon farming operations that produce inexpensive fish unnaturally concentrate PCBs.
Farm-raised salmon has 5-10 times more PCB’s than wild caught. In three independent studies scientists tested 37 fish meal samples from six countries, and found PCB contamination in nearly every sample (Jacobs 2002, Easton 2002, and CFIA 1999). They are feeding the fish toxic food, which produces toxic meat.
According to USDA data, farm raised salmon has 52% more fat than wild caught. Toxins are stored in fat and the fat in farm raised salmon is found to be contaminated with over 100 pollutants and pesticides. (Source: Environmental Working Group)
If all that isn’t enough to convince you, the taste difference between farm-raised and wild-caught salmon will certainly do it. I’ve cooked them side by side on a grill and let me put it this way: One tastes awesome, the other has no taste. This is why restaurants usually serve farm-raised salmon with a heavy cream sauce. You’ll be surprised to find that wild caught salmon doesn’t need a fancy sauce…
The down side of wild:
Unfortunately in today’s world, wild-caught doesn’t always mean it’s good. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of polluted bodies of water now. I wouldn’t touch anything from the Gulf of Mexico. And thanks to decades of pollution, many breeds of wild fish now contain high levels of mercury and other toxins.
In 2006 Consumer Reports busted companies selling farm raised fish as “wild-caught”. Again, know your source…”
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More Studies that Question the Benefits & Highlight Some Dangers from Consuming Fish & Fish-Oil Supplements:
“Long chain and shorter chain omega 3 fats do not have a clear effect on total mortality, combined cardiovascular events, or cancer… Toxic compounds, such as fat soluble methylmercury, dioxins, and polychlorinated biphenyls, are also found in oily fish and fish oils, but any harm from these compounds would be seen only after long term supplementation. Animal intervention studies and studies of adults after severe inadvertent exposure indicate that dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls increase the risk of cancer. Methylmercury may increase the risk of myocardial infarction and cause neurological damage…”
Reference: “Risks and benefits of omega 3 fats for mortality, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: systematic review”, BMJ. 2006 Apr 1; 332(7544): 752–760; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1420708/
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Regards “omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) and cardiac mortality” – “Despite initial encouraging results, more recent clinical prevention and animal studies have not only failed to reduce sudden cardiac death but actually increased mortality in angina patients and increased rather than decreased malignant arrhythmias in animal models of regional ischemia…
Given the inconsistent benefits reported in clinical and experimental studies and the potential adverse actions on cardiac rhythm noted during myocardial ischemia, n-3 PUFA must be prescribed with caution and generalized recommendations to increase fish intake or to take n-3 PUFA supplements need to be reconsidered.”
Reference: “The effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on cardiac rhythm: a critical reassessment”, Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Oct;140(1):53-80; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23735203
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“We have investigated the effect of fish oil supplementation on the association between serum non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) pattern and atherosclerotic activity…
We conclude that large increase in serum non-esterified EPA and DHA, which can only be attained by supplementation, might increase inflammation in vascular endothelium…”
Reference: “Supplementation with fish oil affects the association between very long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in serum non-esterified fatty acids and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1”, Clin Sci (Lond). 2003 Jul;105(1):13-20; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12589702
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“These results also highlight that well-documented data outlining the potential for SAE [severe adverse events] following n-3 supplementation are limited nor adequately reported to draw definitive conclusions concerning the safety associated with n-3 supplementation. A more rigorous and systematic approach for monitoring and recording AE data in clinical settings that involve n-3 supplementation is required.”
Reference: “Fish oil administration in older adults: is there potential for adverse events? A systematic review of the literature”, BMC Geriatr. 2013 May 1;13:41; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23634646
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“This study showed that low dose supplementation with n-3 [omega 3] LCPUFA from two different marine oil preparations showed no difference in inflammatory markers in this group of healthy individuals.”
Reference: “Low dose supplementation with two different marine oils does not reduce pro-inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines in vivo”, Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2006;15(3):418-24; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16837436
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American Journal of Cardiology 2007: “In conclusion, these findings provide evidence that associations observed in studies suggesting a benefit of fish or long-chain omega-3 Fatty Acids (FAs) may be due to a convergence of greater fish intakes with an overall healthier dietary pattern rather than with a specific effect of long-chain omega-3 FAs.”
Reference: “Relation of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake to Other Dietary Factors Known to Reduce Coronary Heart Disease Risk”, The American Journal of Cardiology, Volume 99, Issue 9, 1 May 2007, Pages 1230–1233; at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002914907001439
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More Studies Raise Concerns & Doubts regards Omega 3, Mortality & Cardiovascular Diseases:
“Conclusion: Overall, omega-3 PUFA supplementation was not associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, cardiac death, sudden death, myocardial infarction, or stroke based on relative and absolute measures of association.”
Reference: “Association Between Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation and Risk of Major Cardiovascular Disease Events: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis”, JAMA. 2012;308(10):1024-1033; at https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/1357266
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“But the British Medical Journal review of 89 earlier studies looking at heart disease, cancer or strokes found no evidence the fats offered protection… Looking at 3,114 men with stable angina in 2003 it found that those given high amounts of oily fish were at a higher risk of heart attack and recorded an increased number of cardiac deaths…” Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4838086.stm
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More Studies Raise Doubts about Omega 3 & Mental/Cognitive Health:
“Direct evidence on the effect of omega-3 PUFA on incident dementia is lacking. The available trials showed no benefit of omega-3 PUFA supplementation on cognitive function in cognitively healthy older people.”
Reference: “Omega 3 fatty acid for the prevention of cognitive decline and dementia”, Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Jun 13;(6):CD005379; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22696350
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“In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial we observed no effect of EPA+DHA supplementation for 26 wk on mental well-being in the general older population studied.”
Reference: “Effect of fish-oil supplementation on mental well-being in older subjects: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial”, Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Sep;88(3):706-13; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18779287
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“Administration of omega-3 fatty acid in patients with mild to moderate AD did not delay the rate of cognitive decline according to the MMSE or the cognitive portion of the Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale…”
Reference: “Omega-3 fatty acid treatment in 174 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease: OmegAD study: a randomized double-blind trial’, Arch Neurol. 2006 Oct;63(10):1402-8; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17030655
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“Elevating depleted levels of EPA and DHA through supplementation in individuals with CIND [cognitive impairment no dementia] or AD [Alzheimer’s disease] was found to have negligible beneficial effect on their cognition or mood. These findings confirm an overall negligible benefit of omega-3 PUFA supplementation for those with cognitive impairment and dementia. More intervention studies need to be undertaken with longer study durations and larger sample sizes…”
Reference: “No Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Cognition and Mood in Individuals with Cognitive Impairment and Probable Alzheimer’s Disease: A Randomised Controlled Trial”, Int J Mol Sci. 2015 Oct 16;16(10):24600-13; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26501267
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“We found no convincing evidence for the efficacy of omega-3 PUFA supplements in the treatment of mild to moderate AD. This result was consistent for all outcomes relevant for people with dementia…”
Reference: “Omega-3 fatty acids for the treatment of dementia”, Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Apr 11;4:CD009002; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27063583
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“until data from randomized trials become available for analysis, there is no good evidence to support the use of dietary or supplemental omega 3 PUFA for the prevention of cognitive impairment or dementia.”
Reference: “Omega 3 fatty acid for the prevention of dementia”, Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Jan 25;(1):CD005379; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16437528
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“A diet high in omega-3 fatty acids does not improve or protect cognitive performance in Alzheimer’s transgenic mice…”
Reference: Neuroscience. 2007 Oct 26;149(2):286-302; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17904756
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For a page of quotes & links about healthy sources of Omega 3 from Plant Foods see:
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This set of articles were compiled for
Pages on this Site:
Quotes from news reports & science journals on how the Western omnivore diet with meat and dairy products accelerates climate-change through: i) increasing our carbon footprint of greenhouse gases; ii) deforesting & destroying wilderness that absorbs carbon and protects biodiversity; iii) creating massive pollution; and iv) wasting resources like grains, water, fuels and agricultural lands.
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Excerpts & links to medical studies, articles & reports on the links between meat consumption and increased incidences of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and early mortality (a shorter lifespan); also to reports on how cancers are increasing in young people.
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Quotes & links to articles in science, medical & health journals that report great benefits vegetarians and vegans generally have including longer lives with less of the chronic degenerative diseases like cancer, cardiovascular heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and obesity as well as lower blood pressure, hypertension and blood cholesterol levels.
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Excerpts & links to articles in news media science journals about the current ‘Sixth Mass Extinction’ known also as the ‘Holocene Extinction’ or ‘Anthropocene Extinction’ as it is largely caused by human activities.
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This page contains quotes & links for studies & articles in science journals, news media & by medical doctors; on the association of drinking milk to higher rates of osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease and other illnesses.
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This page features quotes & links to articles in news media and science journals about the rise of microbes that are resistant to antibiotics; posing a grave threat to all of us; from 50% to 80% of antibiotics are (mis-)used in animal agriculture industries.
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This page features quotes & links to reports that expose how the animal agriculture industries (meat, dairy, poultry) influence government, politics, the education schooling system and news media in order to promote their interests.
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Excerpts from articles about the marine ecosystem collapse that is happening now in oceans, seas & rivers due to over-fishing and the toxic pollution in waterways from land-based animal agriculture meat-farming; worsening climate change; threatening the entire food chain.
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Articles from science journals & news reports that dispute the health claims made regards eating fish; some even find higher rates of heart disease and cancer among seafood consumers.
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A collection of quotes & links for articles by doctors, dietitians & nutrition experts who refute & rebut the negative claims made regards “the soy food debate”
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For Archives of Related Memes see:
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This site’s original 2012 page with excerpts from articles in science journals and news media about how what we choose to eat can: i) accelerate or slow down climate change and the related environmental catastrophes we face; and ii) increase or reduce our risks for chronic illness and disease. The evidence and body of opinion against the animal agriculture livestock industry is particularly compelling and damning.
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