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Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks 2 Consumption Patterns and Composition of Seafood This chapter provides a discussion of seafood consumption in terms of trends over time, major types of seafood, and current intake among the general population and various subgroups. This is followed by a discussion of future trends in seafood supplies that may have an impact on seafood selections. The discussion then reviews information on the consumption and sources of nutrients, particularly the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), because seafood is their primary source in the US diet. Finally, the overall nutrient profiles of seafood are compared to those of other foods in the diet. SEAFOOD CONSUMPTION Trends over Time Trends in seafood consumption can be tracked using national food supply data. These data are especially useful because the methodology for collecting and analyzing them has remained consistent for nearly 100 years. Per capita seafood consumption is calculated by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the Department of Commerce using a disappearance model. This model estimates, on an annual basis, the total US supply of imported and landed seafood converted to raw edible weight, minus exports and other decreases in supply. The edible supply determined by this method is then divided by the total population to estimate per capita consumption (Source: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov). The estimate can be considered an upper bound of seafood consumption, because some amount
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Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks FIGURE 2-1 Trends in US consumption of total fishery products, by type (boneless, trimmed [edible] weight), in pounds per capita per year, 1909–2003. Figures are calculated on the basis of edible raw meat. Excludes edible offal, bones, and viscera for fishery products. Excludes game consumption for fishery product. Calculated from data not rounded. SOURCE: ERS, 2004. of the product is wasted at the household level. As shown in Figure 2-1, seafood consumption has increased since 1909, with notable exceptions during the Depression and the Second World War. In 2003, per capita seafood consumption was 16.3 pounds per person (Source: http://www.ers.usda.gov/data/foodconsumption/spreadsheet.mtfish.xls). As can be seen from Figure 2-1, the increase in seafood consumption results from an increase in consumption of fresh and frozen forms rather than canned and cured seafood. Major Types of Seafood There are several ways to consider the major types of seafood consumed, as shown in Tables 2-1 through 2-3. NMFS data are useful for
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Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks TABLE 2-1 NMFS Disappearance Data Ranked by Seafood Type for 2004 and 1994 2004 1994 Rank Fish Estimated Per Capita Consumption (pounds) Fish Estimated Per Capita Consumption (pounds) 1 Shrimp 4.2 Canned tuna 3.3 2 Canned tuna 3.3 Shrimp 2.5 3 Salmon 2.2 Pollock 1.5 4 Pollock 1.3 Salmon 1.1 5 Catfish 1.1 Cod 0.9 6 Tilapia 0.7 Catfish 0.9 7 Crab 0.6 Clams 0.5 8 Cod 0.6 Flatfish 0.4 9 Clams 0.5 Crab 0.3 10 Flatfisha 0.3 Scallops 0.3 NOTES: The figures are calculated on the basis of raw, edible meat, that is, excluding such offals as bones, viscera, and shells. Excludes game fish consumption. aIncludes flounder and sole. SOURCE: NFI, 2005. examining the top species entering retail distribution channels in a given year. Table 2-1 shows estimated US per capita consumption calculated from disappearance data by type of seafood for 1994 and 2004. Over this decade, shrimp and tuna remained the most frequently consumed seafood; the top TABLE 2-2 Percentage of Persons (Aged 2 and Older) Reporting Having Eaten Different Types of Seafood in Last 30 Days, 1999–2000 Rank Seafood Type Percent Consuming 1 Shrimp 84.6 2 Tuna 49.1 3 Crab 25.3 4 Breaded fisha 23.6 5 Salmon 20.2 6 Clams 15.2 7 Catfish 14.9 8 Scallops 13.2 9 Lobster 12.3 10 Oysters 10.1 aBreaded fish, although not identified by type, is commonly pollock, which explains its high ranking among the top 10 seafoods consumed. SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, 1999/2000.
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Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks TABLE 2-3 Proportion of Total Seafood Consumed on a Given Day, for Various Types of Seafood, 1999–2000 Rank Seafood Type Percent Consumed 1 Tuna 22.1 2 Shrimp 16.1 3 Salmon 8.9 4 Mix of fish 8.1 5 Crab 7.5 6 Cod 5.1 7 Flounder 4.5 8 Catfish 4.2 9 Don’t know type 3.4 10 Clams 2.4 SOURCE: DGAC, 2005. ten seafood types were consistent, except that tilapia replaced scallops. The data represented in Table 2-1 does not take into account possible regional differences in seafood consumption. Rupp et al. (1980) reported that most regional differences in seafood consumption were attributable to freshwater and shellfish. Generally, consumption of freshwater species was greater in inland compared to coastal regions. Miller and Nash (1971) reported that overall shellfish consumption was greater in coastal regions, but the species consumed varied between northern and southern coastal areas, e.g., consumption of clams was greater in New England whereas consumption of oysters was greater in South Atlantic and Pacific states. Another way of considering the top seafood is to compare the percentage of the population having eaten different types of seafood. In 1999–2000, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) queried respondents about their frequency of consumption of various seafood types in the previous 30 days. Table 2-2 provides a ranking of these by the percentage reporting consumption at least once. Consistent with the NMFS data, shrimp and tuna are the types consumed by the largest percentage of respondents, and crab, salmon, clams, catfish, scallops, and cod are included among the top choices. “Breaded fish” is not identified by type, and could represent some double-counting with other types, but is of interest for its relatively high use and caloric density. Finally, another indication of the top types of seafood can be gleaned from the 1999–2000 NHANES 24-hour recalls of dietary intake. While respondents report seafood consumption in various ways—consumed with or without other ingredients added—the seafood portion alone can be examined by disaggregating all the ingredients using the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) FoodLink database. Table 2-3 provides the major types of seafood consumed in the United States, using food intake data from
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Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks all respondents aged 2 years and over. The types of seafood accounting for the greatest proportion consumed on a given day were tuna, about 22 percent; shrimp, about 16 percent; salmon, about 9 percent; mixed fish, about 8 percent; and crab, about 7 percent (DGAC, 2005). The congruence of disappearance and consumption data on the types of seafood consumed in the diet of the US population provides a solid basis from which to make recommendations for consumer choices. Notably, the four fish (shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish) identified in federal advisories (US EPA/FDA, 2004) as those which pregnant women should avoid eating are not among those that are widely consumed by the general population. It should also be noted that tuna consumption shown on Tables 2-1 to 2-3 represents an aggregate of both “light” and “white” tuna. According to the USDA, approximately 75 percent of tuna consumed is light and 25 percent is white (DGAC, 2005). Substantial differences exist between light and white tuna, in both fatty acid composition and potential toxicants (see Box 2-1). The significance of this aggregation will become evident in the following discussions. Current Seafood Intake by the General Population Food intake data obtained using 24-hour recalls from a representative sample are generally considered the best source of point estimate consumption data for a population. As shown in Table 2-4, about 16 percent of individuals consume some seafood on a given day, with the average quantity consumed being 89 grams (g) or approximately 3 ounces. These are quantities reported as eaten, so they generally represent cooked weights. Adult males and pregnant/lactating women whose intake was at or above the 95th percentile of quantities consumed reported intakes exceeding 280 g or about 10 ounces for days they consumed seafood. The percentage of individuals consuming seafood varies among age groups, with children and adolescents being least, and those aged 40 to 59 years most, likely to consume seafood on a given day. Within each age category, there is little difference between the percentage of males and females consuming seafood. If the entire population consumed two 3-ounce servings (4 ounces raw) per week, the average quantity consumed per person per day would be expected to be 24 g per day (28 g per ounce × 6 ounces per week/7 days per week). Table 2-4 shows that no groups averaged this level of intake, and few groups even came close. These data suggest that seafood consumption for most individuals in the population is below targeted intake levels. Further, the committee recognizes that because of limitations in the supply of available seafood along with reported seafood consumption pat-
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Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks BOX 2-1 Tuna: White vs. Light Tuna is the most popular fish used for canning and is the second most consumed type of seafood in the United States. Japan and the United States consume 36 and 31 percent, respectively, of the global tuna catch. Tuna is a predatory fish that, if consumed in large quantities, may contain levels of methylmercury that exceed recommended safe levels. Although many different tuna species are fished, the most popular commercial varieties are described below. White Tuna Albacore—high in fat and rich in EPA/DHA; it has the whitest flesh and is typically referred to as white tuna; it is eaten both canned and fresh. Albacore generally contains more methylmercury than other types of tuna and may also contain more lipophilic compounds. Northern Bluefin—high in fat and EPA/DHA; it is a slow-growing and thus rarer species than albacore and has a very high-quality meat; its major market is Japan, where it is used for sashimi. Southern Bluefin—stocks are in decline and thus it is harder to obtain than other tunas. It is the most expensive fresh tuna. Light Tuna Skipjack—leaner than albacore tuna; it is the most commonly used tuna for canning. Yellowfin—larger and leaner than albacore; it has pale pink flesh and is the second most popular species of tuna used in canning. Bigeye—similar to yellowfin; it has a milder flavor than skipjack or yellowfin and is frequently used in canning. Most canned tuna sold in the United States is available as “solid,” also called “fancy” (a solid piece of loin, cut to fit the can); or “chunk” (a mixture of cut pieces). Canned tuna comes packed in either oil or water and is labeled either “white” or “light.” Chunk light tuna packed in water is the most popular form of canned tuna sold in the United States. The source for most of this tuna is skipjack, although individual cans may contain more than one species of tuna. Albacore or “white” tuna is almost always packed in water in solid form. NOTES: A standard of identity is used to define the species of fish that may be canned under the name “tuna” (21 CFR 161.190[a]). There is also a standard for fill-of-container of canned tuna (21 CFR 161.190[c]). These standards provide for various styles of pack, including solid pack, chunk or chunk style, flakes, and grated tuna. Provision is also made for type of packing media (water or oil), certain specified seasonings and flavorings, color designations, and methods for determining fill-of-containers (Source: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/qa-ind4g.html). SOURCE: Derived from US Tuna Foundation (http://www.tunafacts.org/abouttuna/index.html).
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Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks TABLE 2-4 Total Seafood: Percentage of Persons Using Food and Quantities Consumed in a Day Statistic All Individuals Aged 2 and Over Age (years) and Sex 2–5 6–11 12–19 Males and Females Males and Females Males Females Number in sample 17,107 1521 2098 2244 2261 Percent of persons using in 1 day 15.9 10.2 9.9 7.9 11.2 Quantity consumed in 1 day, by users (1 ounce = 28 g) Mean 89.2 49.6 58.5 77.4 62.2 SEM 2.6 4.7 4.4 7.2 6.2 5th percentile 0.2 5.4 0.1 0.4 0.1 10th percentile 7.0 7.0 6.1 12.3 0.1 25th percentile 27.9 14.8 23.7 24.7 13.8 50th percentile 60.8 37.3 47.4 56.2 39.4 75th percentile 114.2 65.4 84.4 102.3 89.8 90th percentile 192.7 108.1 111.6 170.7 151.8 95th percentile 267.1 149.9 153.5 227.5 201.2 Average quantity consumed per person per day Mean 14.2 5.0 5.8 6.1 6.9 SEM 0.7 0.7 0.8 0.8 0.8 aIndicates a statistic that is potentially unreliable because of small sample size or large coefficient of variation (CVs have yet to be determined). bIndicates a percentage that is greater than 0 but less than 0.05 or a mean, SEM, or percentile that is greater than 0 but less that 0.5. SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, 1999–2002. terns for most Americans, it is unlikely that targeted intake levels will be achieved on a population-wide scale. Figure 2-2 provides an indication of where people are most likely to consume seafood. According to data from the 1999–2000 NHANES, about 58 percent of seafood is consumed at home or in someone else’s home, 25 percent is consumed in a restaurant, and 8 percent at work or school. Only about 4 percent is consumed at a fast-food restaurant, though some at-home consumption could include seafood brought into the house from a fast-food outlet.
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Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks 20–39 40–59 60 and older Pregnant/ Lactating Women Females, Age 15 to 45 Males Females Males Females Males Females 1372 1844 1345 1361 1512 1549 709 3658 16.6 17.2 19.3 19.4 17.8 18.2 19.3 16.4 110.7 83.3 112.3 82.1 101.8 76.7 97.7 81.9 7.4 6.4 7.8 6.4 7.5 5.2 15.7 5.8 3.1 0.1 4.6 0.1 2.8 3.6 0.1 0.1 8.5 4.9 16.8 1.5 16.8 11.3 0.1 3.6 29.6 26.9 49.4 27.9 41.9 25.6 37.3 24.5 72.8 58.5 90.0 55.8 83.4 56.2 60.8 55.8 151.1 95.6 137.3 118.7 118.2 105.2 119.7 98.6 257.7 172.5 237.2 178.5 220.6 166.0 268.6 174.2 292.6 268.6 294.9 252.8 352.9 192.2 306.9 262.5 18.4 14.3 21.6 15.9 18.1 14.0 18.8 13.4 1.6 1.6 1.7 1.9 1.8 0.9 3.4 1.4 Current Seafood Intake by Population Subgroups Results from several studies indicate differences in seafood consumption among specific ethnic groups (Burger et al., 1999; Burger, 2002; Sechena et al., 2003; Sharma et al., 2003, 2004; Arnold and Middaugh, 2004; Ballew et al., 2004). Some of these population groups may have higher exposure to contaminants as a result of their seafood consumption practices. For example, they may consume more fish, compared to the general population, from waters in locations known to be contaminated. While data from studies of consumption practices are not directly comparable because of
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Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks FIGURE 2-2 Distribution of seafood consumption by place it was consumed. aIncludes food eaten at takeout restaurant, in store, and in car. bIncludes food eaten by children in day care. SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, 1999/2000. methodological and reporting differences, they are useful for gleaning some insights into differences in consumption among different groups. Multiethnic Cohort Study The Multiethnic Cohort (MEC) Study is a large, population-based study designed to assess variations in specific rates of cancer occurrence among various ethnic groups and to characterize both environmental and genetic factors contributing to cancer incidence. Conducted between 1993 and 1996, the study collected comprehensive lifestyle and dietary data on the cohort (Sharma et al., 2003, 2004). The cohort reflected a range of educational levels, although cohort members were more educated than the general population. Study participants in Hawaii and Los Angeles, California, included population samples from five self-identified ethnic groups—African Americans, Latinos, Japanese Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Whites—aged 45 to 75 years, who completed a mailed self-administered quantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) that was developed specifically for the study population (Sharma et al., 2004). The study objectives included providing prospective data on exposures and biomarkers thought to alter cancer risk; data collected from the questionnaires included information on dietary and other lifestyle and health practices (Kolonel et al., 2004). Table 2-5 shows
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Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks TABLE 2-5 Mean Seafood Intake Consumed Per Week Among Various Ethnic Groups, in the Multiethnic Cohort Study (1993–1996) Ethnic Group Mean + SDa, Amount Consumed Per Week (ounces) African Americans Men (n=11,772) 4.9±4.9 Women (n=20,130) 4.2±4.2 Latinos, born in Mexico, South or Central America Men (n=10,180) 4.9±5.6 Women (n=10,903) 3.5±4.9 Latinos, born in United States Men (n=10,613) 3.5±4.2 Women (n=11,255) 2.8±3.5 Japanese Americans Men (n=25,893) 7.0±6.3 Women (n=28,355) 5.6±4.9 Native Hawaiians Men (n=5979) 9.1±9.1 Women (n=7650) 7.7±7.7 Whites Men (n=21,933) 4.9±4.9 Women (n=25,303) 3.5±3.5 NOTE: The daily amounts reported in the study were converted to weekly amounts for this table. aSD = Standard Deviation. SOURCES: Derived from Sharma et al., 2003, 2004. information collected from the MEC study on consumption of seafood by specific ethnic groups. The study reported food intakes in terms of ounces of lean meat equivalents, which for seafood can generally be thought of as ounces of cooked seafood consumed. The daily amounts reported in the study were converted to weekly amounts for Table 2-5. While these data are not representative of every ethnic group in the United States, and there is large variation in intakes among all groups; the means suggest there may be higher intakes among Native Hawaiians and Japanese Americans than among African Americans, Latinos, and Whites. Asian American Populations Among Asian American and Pacific Island members of the population in the contiguous United States, seafood consumption is an important aspect of cultural behavior. Self-harvesting and consuming seafood are seen as healthy activities that echo a culturally familiar lifestyle, but may also be
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Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks an economic necessity. Asian American and Pacific Island groups consume greater amounts, different types, and different parts of seafood than the general population (Sechena et al., 2003). A large population of Laotian immigrants (Hmong) who settled in Wisconsin have been studied to determine how their fishing and seafood consumption habits differ from those of the general US population. Hutchison and Kraft (1994) found that individuals in Hmong households in Green Bay, Wisconsin, consumed an average of 30 fish meals per year compared to 18 fish meals per year consumed by Wisconsin anglers in the general population. About one-third of the fish caught were reported to come from lakes where fishing advisories warned against eating locally caught fish, suggesting that this group is at greater risk from exposure to contaminants in fish than the general population. Some members of the Asian American population have undergone acculturation resulting in food choices that are more similar to those of the general US population than population groups from their country of origin (Kudo et al., 2000; Kim and Chan, 2004). Kudo et al. (2000) studied the eating patterns of Japanese immigrants and their US-born descendants. Their findings show dietary changes among succeeding generations of Japanese American females, and suggest that acculturation-related changes may contribute to decreased intake of many traditional foods, including fish. American Indian/Alaskan Native and First Nations Populations Many indigenous peoples, particularly those who live in Alaska and northern Canada, maintain a subsistence life-style and diet. The dietary practices of these populations are an important part of their self-definition, culture, health, and well-being, as well as a part of the socioeconomic structure of their communities. A survey of coastal First Nations communities in British Columbia indicated that, although traditional dietary patterns have changed considerably since the introduction of Europeans to the Americas, seafood and other marine food sources remain an important part of the culture and nutritional resources of this population group (Mos et al., 2004). The survey showed that fishing and gathering of seafood was practiced regularly among 46 percent of respondents and that traditional methods were used 94 percent of the time. Among the types of seafood consumed by First Nations communities, salmon was the most popular; 95 percent of respondents reported consuming salmon each year and an average of 42 percent of all seafood meals consisted of salmon. Availability of data on seafood consumption practices among Alaskan Natives and other Northern Dwellers is limited. Further, traditional foods that are consumed in Alaska vary by region, local preference, and
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Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks TABLE 2-13 Methylmercury Concentrations in Seafood Seafood Type Mercury Concentration (ppm)a n Sourceb Marketc (%) Mean Median Min Max Anchovies 0.04 NA ND 0.34 40 NMFS 1978 0.5 Bass (saltwater)d 0.27 0.15 0.06 0.96 35 FDA 1990–03 0.6 Bluefish 0.31 0.30 0.14 0.63 22 FDA 2002–03 0.1 Buffalo fish 0.19 0.14 0.05 0.43 4 FDA 1990–02 0.0 Butterfish 0.06 NA ND 0.36 89 NMFS 1978 0.1 Carp 0.14 0.14 0.01 0.27 2 FDA 1990–02 0.0 Catfish 0.05 ND ND 0.31 22 FDA 1990–02 4.8 Clams ND ND ND ND 6 FDA 1990–02 1.7 Cod 0.11 0.10 ND 0.42 20 FDA 1990–03 4.7 Crabe 0.06 ND ND 0.61 59 FDA 1990–02 4.7 Crawfish 0.03 0.03 ND 0.05 21 FDA 2002–03 0.6 Croaker (Atlantic) 0.05 0.05 0.01 0.10 21 FDA 1990–03 0.3 Croaker white (Pacific) 0.29 0.28 0.18 0.41 15 FDA 1990–03 0.0 Flatfishf 0.05 0.04 ND 0.18 22 FDA 1990–02 3.6 Grouper 0.55 0.44 0.07 1.21 22 FDA 2002–03 0.2 Haddock 0.03 0.04 ND 0.04 4 FDA 1990–02 0.6 Hake 0.01 ND ND 0.05 9 FDA 1990–02 0.3 Halibut 0.26 0.20 ND 1.52 32 FDA 1990–02 0.9 Herring 0.04 NA ND 0.14 38 NMFS 1978 2.5 Jacksmelt 0.11 0.06 0.04 0.50 16 FDA 1990–02 0.0 Lobster (Northern/American) 0.31 NA 0.05 1.31 88 NMFS 1978 1.3 Lobster (spiny) 0.09 0.14 ND 0.27 9 FDA 1990–02 0.8 Mackerel, Atlantic (N. Atlantic) 0.05 NA 0.02 0.16 80 NMFS 1978 0.3 Mackerel, chub (Pacific) 0.09 NA 0.03 0.19 30 NMFS 1978 0.2 Mackerel, king 0.73 NA 0.23 1.67 213 Gulf 2000 0.1 Mackerel, Spanish (Gulf of Mexico) 0.45 NA 0.07 1.56 66 NMFS 1978 0.0 Mackerel, Spanish (S. Atlantic) 0.18 NA 0.05 0.73 43 NMFS 1978 0.0 Marlin 0.49 0.39 0.10 0.92 16 FDA 1990–02 0.0 Monkfish 0.18 NA 0.02 1.02 81 NMFS 1978 0.4 Mullet 0.05 NA ND 0.13 191 NMFS 1978 0.2 Orange roughy 0.54 0.56 0.30 0.80 26 FDA 1990–03 0.2 Oysters ND ND ND 0.25 34 FDA 1990–02 0.8 Perch (freshwater) 0.14 0.15 ND 0.31 5 FDA 1990–02 0.0 Perch ocean ND ND ND 0.03 6 FDA 1990–02 0.5 Pickerel ND ND ND 0.06 4 FDA 1990–02 0.1 Pollock 0.06 ND ND 0.78 37 FDA 1990–02 11.1 Sablefish 0.22 NA ND 0.7 102 NMFS 1978 0.3 Salmon (canned) ND ND ND ND 23 FDA 1990–02 0.9 Salmon (fresh/frozen) 0.01 ND ND 0.19 34 FDA 1990–02 7.9 Sardine 0.02 0.01 ND 0.04 22 FDA 2002–03 1.2 Scallops 0.05 NA ND 0.22 66 NMFS 1978 0.8 Scorpion fish 0.29 NA 0.02 1.35 78 NMFS 1978 0.9
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Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks Seafood Type Mercury Concentration (ppm)a n Sourceb Marketc (%) Mean Median Min Max Shad (American) 0.07 NA ND 0.22 59 NMFS 1978 0.0 Sharkg 0.99 0.83 ND 4.54 351 FDA 1990–02 0.1 Sheepshead 0.13 NA 0.02 0.63 59 NMFS 1978 0.0 Shrimp ND ND ND 0.05 24 FDA 1990–02 15.1 Skate 0.14 NA 0.04 0.36 56 NMFS 1978 0.3 Snapper 0.19 0.12 ND 1.37 25 FDA 2002–03 0.5 Squid 0.07 NA ND 0.40 200 NMFS 1978 1.0 Swordfish 0.97 0.86 0.10 3.22 605 FDA 1990–02 0.4 Tilapia 0.01 ND ND 0.07 9 FDA 1990–02 1.9 Tilefish (Atlantic) 0.15 0.10 0.06 0.53 17 FDA 2002–03 0.0 Tilefish (Gulf of Mexico) 1.45 NA 0.65 3.73 60 NMFS 1978 0.0 Trout (freshwater) 0.03 0.02 ND 0.13 17 FDA 2002–03 0.7 Tuna (canned, albacore) 0.35 0.34 ND 0.85 179 FDA 1990–03 5.3 Tuna (canned, light) 0.12 0.08 ND 0.85 131 FDA 1990–03 13.4 Tuna (fresh/frozen) 0.38 0.30 ND 1.30 131 FDA 1990–02 1.8 Weakfish (sea trout) 0.25 0.16 ND 0.74 27 FDA 1990–03 0.1 Whitefish 0.07 0.05 ND 0.31 25 FDA 1990–03 0.2 Whiting ND ND ND ND 2 FDA 1990–02 4.1 aMercury was measured as total mercury and/or methylmercury. ND—mercury concentration below the level of detection (LOD = 0.01 ppm). NA—data not available. bSource of data: FDA Surveys 1990–2003 (FDA, 2004), National Marine Fisheries Service Survey of Trace Elements in the Fishery Resource (Hall et al., 1978), A Survey of the Occurrence of Mercury in the Fishery Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (Ache et al., 2000). cMarket share calculation based on 2001 National Marine Fisheries Service published landings data (NMFS, 2002). dIncludes sea bass/striped bass/rockfish. eIncludes blue, king, and snow crab. fIncludes flounder, plaice, sole. gIncludes multiple species of shark. SOURCE: Derived from Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 40(3), Carrington CD, Montwill B, Bolger PM. An intervention analysis for the reduction of exposure to methylmercury from the consumption of seafood by women of child-bearing age, 274–280, 2004, with permission from Elsevier. species of fish and shellfish reported consumed by women in the 1999–2000 NHANES (Carrington et al., 2004). Mercury levels in fish do not appear to have changed appreciably over recent decades, although the data are limited (US EPA, 1997). Persistent Organic Pollutants Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are lipophilic contaminant compounds and tend to bioaccumulate up the food chain. They include such
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Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks substances as dioxins, dioxin-like compounds (DLCs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), including those with dioxin-like activity. Dioxins, dioxinlike compounds (including PCBs with dioxin-like activity) (DLCs) and PCBs are the most frequently occuring POPs in seafood. A variety of lipophilic pesticide contaminants have been found in fish from the Great Lakes (Giesy et al., 1994; Anderson et al., 1998; Chernyak et al., 2005) and both farmed and wild-caught salmon from European waters (Food Safety Authority of Ireland, 2002; Foran et al., 2004; Hites et al., 2004b; Hamilton et al., 2005). Among these contaminants, aldrin and dieldrin have been found in amounts exceeding 1 µg/kg body weight in the Great Lakes (Anderson et al., 1998; Cole et al., 2002; Schmitt et al., 1999). The Salton Sea, a large manmade lake in California, was reported to have high levels of some organochlorine compounds (OCs) in 2001 (Sapozhnikova et al., 2004). The toxicity of these compounds varies widely, and the implications for human health remain controversial. Several investigators have found that levels of many POPs are higher in commercially available farmed fish than in wild-caught fish (Easton et al., 2002; Hites et al., 2004a,b; Foran et al., 2005). Van Leeuwen and de Boer (2004) tabulated contaminant data for PCBs, OCs, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), dioxin-like PCBs, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and others. Table 2-14 shows estimated DLC levels in seafood from the FDA Total Diet Study Market Basket Survey. The reported values differ from 2001 through 2004, in part because of changes in analytical detection techniques. Impact of Toxicants on Selenium Status Several environmental organic toxicants have a direct or indirect impact on antioxidant status or oxidative stress of various organisms (Halliwell and Gutteridge, 1999). Therefore, studies have examined what influences such compounds may have on selenoproteins involved in modulation of oxidative stress. Dioxin 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) inhibits hepatic selenium-dependent but not selenium-independent glutathione peroxidase in hamsters (Hassan et al., 1983). Supplemental dietary selenium will partially protect against TCDD toxicity in rats (Hassan et al., 1985). Polychlorinated Biphenyls PCB exposure causes significant increases in hepatic levels of lipid
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Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks TABLE 2-14 Total Diet Study Analyses of Dioxin-like Compounds in Seafood, 2001–2004 Seafood Type PCDDa TEQb, Pg/gc, ND = LOD/2d (by year reported) 2001 2002 2003 2004 Tuna, canned in oil 0.0057 0.0050 N/A N/A Tuna, canned in water N/A N/A 0.0110 0.0182 Tuna noodle casserole 0.0334 0.0318 0.0826 0.0159 Fish sticks, frozen 0.0335 0.0667 0.0126 0.0053 Shrimp, boiled 0.0597 0.0834 0.0032 0.0151 Salmon, fillets 0.3257 0.1504 0.2585 0.0795 Fish sandwich, fast-food 0.0138 0.0059 0.0152 0.0078 Clam chowder, canned 0.0054 0.0169 0.0096 0.0154 Catfish, cooked in oil N/A N/A 0.2971 0.2055 aPCDD = Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin. bTEQ = Toxicity Equivalents (see Chapter 4 for explanation). cPg/g = Picograms of contaminant per gram of food (see Chapter 4 for explanation). dND = LOD/2 refers to the non-detect limit expressed as the limit of detection×0.5. SOURCE: USDA Total Diet Study (http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/dioxdata.html). peroxidation, glutathione, glutathione reductase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, and glutathione S-transferase in rats fed diets low in selenium but not in rats fed adequate selenium (Chow and Gairola, 1981; Chow et al., 1981). Thus, dietary selenium deprivation renders rats more sensitive to PCB effects. FINDINGS Seafood is a primary source of the omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), but not all seafood is rich in these fatty acids. Relative to other foods in the meat, poultry, fish, and egg group, fish is generally lower in saturated fatty acids and higher in EPA, DHA, and selenium than most other choices. Seafood may also contain chemical contaminants (e.g., methylmercury, POPs). While there are data on the methylmercury content of many types of seafood, there are virtually no data on other contaminants and pollutants. Average quantities of seafood consumed by the general US population, and by several specific population groups, are below levels suggested by
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Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks many authoritative groups including levels recommended by the American Heart Association for cardiovascular disease prevention. Average quantities of EPA and DHA consumed by the general US population, and by several specific population groups, are also below levels recommended by many authoritative groups. For many ethnic and geographic subgroups, there are insufficient data to characterize the intake levels of seafood, EPA, DHA, and other dietary constituents, and to assess the variability of those intakes. Chicken and eggs, although not particularly rich sources, have contributed over 10 percent of the EPA and about 25 percent of the DHA in the US diet in recent years because of their frequent consumption. However, changes in feeding practices may be making these contributions negligible. New forthcoming data on chicken and eggs show most nutrient levels comparable to earlier samples, but EPA/DHA levels as undetectable. Shrimp and tuna are the two most commonly consumed types of seafood in the United States. Shrimp and canned/packaged light tuna—the major type of tuna consumed—are not especially rich in EPA and DHA; nor are they especially high in mercury. However, albacore (white) tuna, a good source of EPA/DHA, can be higher in mercury than other tuna. Shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish—the four types of seafood identified in the FDA/US EPA joint advisory as being most highly contaminated with mercury—are not among the types of seafood most frequently consumed in the United States, and supply trends suggest their future availability will be increasingly limited. Forces such as consumer trends, increasing dependence on aquaculture, and increased imports are influencing the availability of many popular seafood selections. RESEARCH RECOMMENDATIONS Recommendation 1: Research is needed on systematic surveillance studies of targeted subpopulations. Such studies should be carried out using state-of-the-art assessment methods to determine the intake levels of seafood, EPA/DHA and other dietary constituents, and the variability of those intake levels among population groups. Recommendation 2: Sufficiently large analytic samples of the most common seafood types need to be obtained and examined. These samples should be used to determine the levels of nutrients, toxicants, and contaminants in each species and the variability between them, which should be reported transparently. Recommendation 3: Additional data is needed to assess benefits and risks associated with seafood consumption within the same population or population subgroup.
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Representative terms from entire chapter: