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Mercury in fish increases blood pressure

October 6, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new study suggests there is a link between high blood pressure and mercury found in seafood.Researchers at Laval University in Quebec stress that the small increase they discovered does not outweigh the benefits of eating fish containing heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish including salmon and trout, as well as nuts. They are associated with a decreased risk of heart problems.

According to Health Day News, the Canadian researchers surveyed Inuits in northern Quebec because their traditional diet is seafood heavy. They found that the Inuits studied had a blood mercury level much higher than that of the general U.S. population.

The researchers also discovered a correlation between higher blood mercury levels and small increases in blood pressure.

Experts advise avoiding fish that carry the highest mercury levels, which include tuna and swordfish.

The study appears in the latest issue of Hypertension.

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