Heal Yourself At Home
DIY SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR HEALTH
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- - "N" = Nutrition
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Fish

 

FISH  -  Getting Omega-3 EPA / DHA by Eating Fish

 

Fish obtain Omega-3 from the Sun

 

      Phytoplankton, plant-like organisms floating near the surface of the water, converts sunlight into food - Phytoplankton is eaten by zooplankton (animal-like plankton), which is eaten by small fish, which themselves are eaten by bigger fish. Thus, all fish obtain their sun-derived, electron-rich, Omega-3 fatty acids from eating plankton or other fish.

 

 

Ideally, we should be able to get EPA / DHA directly by eating oily, ocean or freshwater fish, so then,

 

“What’s the Catch?” –

 

Many Fish Contain Absorbed Pollutants / Contaminants

 

      Industrial agriculture produces a toxic runoff into our rivers and streams, and then on into the oceans - Industrial processes release chemicals into the air, which also end up in our waters. There are legitimate concerns over the level of contaminants in our fish supply, including:

 

         PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) -industrial lubricants banned by U.S. in ‘70s, still used overseas

         Pesticides/Incesticides  - E.g.  toxaphene , dieldrin (banned in ‘80s in U.S.);

         Dioxins (industrial byproducts);

         Mercury  (in its most toxic, water-soluble form: methylmercury) and other heavy metals (e.g. cadmium, lead).

 

Generally, the larger the fish, those that have lived longest, and those at the top of the food chain have absorbed the most contaminants (this would include tuna, mackerel, pike and bass).

 

      Where is the contaminant mercury coming from?

 

          ~40% is from natural sources - E.g. the earth’s crust, volcanoes

          ~26% from coal-fired utilities - 40 tons mercury/year in the U.S.

         ~34% from other polluting sources  - E.g. after coal-burning plants, the top source of mercury pollution in the environment is the manufacture of shampoo and other detergents.

 

      Health effects of exposure to Contaminates in Fish

 

-       Mercury poisoning - from contaminated food can have detrimental effects on the central nervous system, such as:

          impairment of vision,

         Motor in-coordination

         Loss of feeling

         Seizures, very severe neurological impairment, and death – at high doses

         Impair development in fetuses and infants.

 

-        PCBs – Linked to:

         Reproductive and developmental effects in humans and animals

         Lower IQ, hyperactivity, shortened attention span, and delayed acquisition of reading skills with exposure before birth

 

-       Dioxins - have been linked to:

         Reproductive and developmental effects

         Altered immune function

         Disruption of the endocrine system.

 

-       Toxaphene and dieldrin -  exposure can damage the nervous system.

 

      Some Toxin-absorbing Fish are just NOT Meant to be Eaten – E.g. swordfish, shark, catfish, and all shellfish are doing a wonderful job absorbing toxins from the water

             

 

Potentially Clean, edible fish have FINS and SCALES

 

"Whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. And all that have not fins AND scales in the seas . . . they shall be an abomination unto you."     

-       Leviticus 11:9-10

              

“Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away”. 

-       Matthew 14:47-48   

 

 

      Most biblically “unclean” fish are either bottom-dwellers or predatory scavengers doing an excellent job of detoxifying the waters -  Shellfish are found in coastal waters, which supply their diet of industrial deposits, sewage, and fish excrement. Shellfish have been directly traced as a cause of gastroenteritis, hepatitis epidemics, and typhoid fever.

 

Mercury (Hg) in Fish

(best worst)

Hg

ppm

Pcbs

ppb

Ocean Perch

0

 

Whiting

0

 

WILD Pacific Salmon (incl. canned)

<.05

~5-10

Tilapia (Nile Perch)

.01

 

FARMED salmon  (incl. canned)

.01

~27

Sardine

.02

 

FARMED Lake / Rainbow Trout

.02

~11

WILD Rainbow Trout

.03

~ 9

Haddock, Hake

.03

Low

Anchovies

.04

 

Herring

.04

 

Croaker (Atlantic)

.05

 

N. Atlantic Mackerel

.05

 

Mullet

.05

 

Plaice, sole, flounder

.05

Low

Pollock

.06

 

Whitefish

.07

 

Butterfish

 

 

Smelt

.09

High

Cod

.10

Low

Chunk  light tuna (skipjack)

.12

Low

Mahi  Mahi

.15

Low

Perch (freshwater)

.14

 

Skate

.14

 

Carp

.14

High

Monkfish

.18

 

Spanish  mackerel (S. Atlantic)

.18

 

Snapper

.19

 

Buffalo fish

.19

 

Sablefish

.22

 

Weakfish (Sea Trout)

.25

 

Halibut

.26

 

Saltwater Bass

.27

High

White croaker (Pacific)

.29

 

Bluefish

.31

High

Tuna  (Canned, solid/chunk white Albacore)

.35

 

Tuna (Fresh/Frozen)

.38

 

Spanish  mackerel-Gulf of Mexico

.45

 

Orange Roughy

.54

 

Grouper

.55

 

King Mackerel (Gulf of Mexico)

.73

High

 

      Some biblically clean fish have higher contaminants than others

 

-       E.g. USDA data (~2002) shows that  PCB levels of farm-raised trout:

         On par with wild trout (11ng/g)

         About 50% less than farm-raised salmon

         Have low methylmercury levels. 

 

 

 

-       Mercury levels vary greatly in different fish – see chart at right.

 

 

 

      Some toxins accumulate in fish fat or liver and some in fish flesh

 

      Mercury is found predominantly in the body of the fish, not so much in its liver oil -  since mercury is water soluble. The U.S. government cautions pregnant women and small children against eating certain fish likely to have high mercury content. The chart above provides a guideline by giving average mercury content in only the “bible-clean” fish, taken from FDA surveys 1990-2003. Studies show that selenium, also found in fish, has a protective effect against methylmercury (MeHg) toxicity.

 

      PCBs primarily accumulate in fat -  Locally caught fatty fish tend to have the highest evels of these neurotoxins. With emission bans, PCB levels have declined ~90%, but they still persist in the environment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      Contaminants In Perspective - To put contaminant levels in perspective, we need to consider that fish account for only 9% of contaminants in the U.S. food supply, 90% of US contaminants come from meat, vegetables and dairy.

 

For example, even though a serving of farmed salmon contains many more PCBs than a serving of other foods, the more meaningful PCB level comparison should be made with the typical amounts of each food we eat each year, as seen in this chart,  for example,  we eat far more beef than salmon.

 

      PCB Standards  for” Bought vs. Caught” in U.S.

 

         Caught - The strict EPA health-based standard for pcbs in recreationally caught fish, allows for no more than a 1 in 100,000 risk for cancer, but was designed to protect native Indian populations (surveys found that Oregon tribes consume upwards of 12oz. fish per person per day!).   

 

         Bought - commercially sold salmon must comply with the 1984 FDA PCB standard, which allows 500 times more PCBs than the EPA standard.  FDA tolerances have not, however, been updated for findings of more recent studies on PCB cognitive impairment.

 

 

Farmed vs. Wild Fish

 

The key difference between the quality of farmed and wild fish

 is in what the fish eat

 

As an Example, here is a Comparison of Farmed vs. Wild Salmon

 

      Farmed salmon

 

         Mainly raised in saltwater net-pens in the ocean

 

         Primarily eat a high-fat feed of fish oil and fish meal/pellets -  made from ground-up small fish, such as anchovies.

 

         Contain higher levels of saturated fats and omega-6 than wild salmon (USDA) twice as much saturated fat as wild Pacific pink or chum salmon. Processors intentionally fatten the salmon to maximize market weight.

 

         Farmed fish also have higher Omega-6 fat content.

 

         Farmed Salmon in the Pink - Farmed salmon are fed pigment-fortified pellets, chemical dyes added to color their flesh an  appealing salmon pink; otherwise the flesh would be grey... a merchant may even get to pick the exact shade of pink! Two 1970 Russian studies on Red Dye #2 showed that extremely small amounts of it caused birth defects, stillbirths, fetal deaths, and sterility in rats. The report was translated and given to the FDA, who completely ignored it.

 

 

 

“Something Fishy?”

 

Farmed salmon contain an average of at least 5 times higher contaminant levels than wild salmon (particularly antibiotics, PCBs and toxaphene).

 

Even the lowest contaminated Atlantic farmed salmon from Washington State and Chile had significantly higher contaminants (pcbs, dioxins and dieldrin) than wild Pacific salmon.  

 

In addition to accumulating toxins from their feed, Farmed salmon receive drugs to control parasites and promote growth, and more antibiotics by weight than any other livestock - Even so, all salmon were found below WHO, EPA and FDA action levels, and therefore considered safe to eat.

 

Major producers of farmed salmon are Norway (43%), Chile (26%) and U.K. (13%).

 

 In the U.S., farmed salmon comes from Chile (56%), Canada (31%), U.S. (6%) and Europe (7%)  - Most contaminated salmon come from Europe.

This data taken from a comprehensive study published in the journal “Science” in 2004 (Hites et al), conducted on 700 farmed and wild salmon (~ 2 metric tons) collected worldwide.

 

 

 

      Wild salmon

 

         Eat a large variety of aquatic organisms - such as krill, zooplankton (e.g. larval stage of crustaceans, mollusks, fish), and small fish.

 

          Canned salmon is usually wild salmon

 

         Wild salmon has the genuine and powerful antioxidant-rich orange coloring astaxanthin.

 

 

 

 

Omega-3 IN FISH

 

High EPA /DHA fish include:

 salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, anchovies and trout

 

      Feed Changes bringing a “NET LOSS” of Omega-3 fish need a diet of between 1-2% Omega-3 fatty acids to grow normally, which for farmed fish is obtained from a diet of ~30% fish meal / 10% fish oil of small fish. Since this source is being tapped out, the industry has more recently been challenged to find alternative food sources, and have turned to plant proteins as a substitute. Fat content of the fish then corresponds to the plant oils, with their lowered Omega-3 content.

 

      Salmon

 

         Omega-3 content the same whether Farmed or Wild - USDA 2002 test data showed that farmed salmon fat contains an average of 35% less Omega-3 fatty acids than wild salmon. However, since farmed salmon contain 52% more total fat than wild salmon, for the mathematically-challenged, this means that the total Omega-3 fatty acid content in a portion of farmed and wild salmon is similar.

 

 

      Trout

 

         ALL trout in U.S. markets are farm raised (mainly from Idaho and N. Carolina) in fresh water troughs - Their feed of oily fish, such as anchovy, herring, menhaden, and mackerel determines their high Omega-3 content. Other feed ingredients in their generalized (usually proprietary) diet are poultry by-product meal, soybean meal, and wheat grain.

 

 

“A Fine Kettle of Fish !  – To eat or not to eat?”

 

      The ideal edible fish has fins and scales and swam free in open, unpolluted waters - Such clean wild fish provide beneficial omega-3, and should be eaten at will. A federal law requires supermarkets to label the country of origin of fish, and indicate whether they were farm-raised or harvested in open waters (i.e. wild).  Unfortunately, most fish available in the U.S. market are either farmed (including most restaurant fish), or locally caught, either of which almost certainly contain some health-risking contaminants.

 

      We should therefore weigh the risk of eating possibly contaminated fish against its potential benefits - The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute sponsored a thorough clinical review of the evidence, published in JAMA, October 2006, and concluded that:

 

“The benefits of modest fish consumption  (2-3 servings per week) greatly outweigh the risks, and the benefits are greater for oily fish. Also, “Avoidance of modest fish consumption due to confusion regarding risks and benefits could result in thousands of excess CHD deaths annually, and suboptimal neurodevelopment in children.”

 

 The researchers focused on cardiovascular health in adults and brain development in infants, finding that eating fish reduces coronary death by 36% and total mortality by 17%. They also found no definite evidence that LOW-level mercury exposure from seafood consumption had harmful effects on health in adults, although they did find that mercury from eating some fish may lessen the cardio-vascular benefit. Their findings agreed with the recommendations of the EPA and FDA that women of childbearing age, nursing mothers and young children should eat 2 servings per week, but exclude the “Big Fish (ALL large predators containing high mercury levels):

 

         King  mackerel

         Tilefish (1.45 ppm mercury)

         Shark

         Swordfish (.98 ppm mercury)

 

Co-author of the JAMA published review, Eric Rimm, Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, emphasized:

 

 "The health benefits of the protein and omega-3 fatty acids found in wild salmon, or farmed salmon from Canada or Chile, where the US gets most of its salmon, will almost definitely outweigh the risks for American adults, where the leading cause of death is from cardiovascular diseases."

 

The Conclusion to this “Fish Tale”

 

      We should eat a variety of only the “bible-clean” fish, 2-3 times / week, favoring OILY, high omega-3 fish - We can also make wise choices, taking into account the relative contamination level of different fish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      Biblically clean, Edible Fish  (with fins and scales) include:

 

 

Albacore . Anchovy . Barracuda . Bass . Black fish . Bluefish . Bowfin . Buffalo . Carp . Characin . Cod . Croaker  . Darter . Flounder . Gaby Grayling . Grouper . Haddock . Halibut . Herring . Jacks .  Mackerel . Mackerel (Spanish) Mahi Mahi  Minnow . Mooneye . Mullet . Needlefish . Orange Roughy . Perch . Pike . Pollock . Pompano  . Red Fish  Salmon . Sardines . Shad . Silver side . Smelt .Snapper . Sole . Sucker . Sunfish . Surf fish .Tarpons  Trout . Tuna (skip jack)  .  Tuna (large)  . Weakfish . Whitefish 

 

( Dark Blue = High Mercury Content)

 

Sadly, most large tuna, E.g.  SOLID white albacore, is now toxic with mercury, from swimming in polluted waters.

 

 

Fish with the LEAST contaminant health hazards include:

 

         Farmed rainbow trout   

         Anchovies Sole

         Wild Pacific salmon  (Sockeye, Coho, Chum, Pink) - LEAST contaminated and can be safely consumed fresh, frozen or canned

 

Also safe are:

 

         Cod

         Mahi mahi

         Tilapia

         Canned Light, chunk tuna        (smaller skipjack or yellowfin tuna, NOT solid / chunk white albacore)

Wild Atlantic and farmed Pacific salmon - in short supply and not readily available

 

 

 

Salmon Consumption Advisory -   Salmon contains every amino acid, an abundant supply of essential fatty acids, low saturated fat compared to meat and dairy foods, and every vitamin and mineral the body requires for great health. Consumption of salmon in balance with other foods is a healthy choice, even considering its contaminants, which are also in many other food choices.

 

 

      Unclean Fish - include:

 

Abalone, Bullhead, Catfish, Eel, Marlin, Octopus, Paddlefish, Sculpin, Shark, Squid,     Sturgeon, Swordfish, Tilefish, All Shellfish, Whale

 

 

 

“Fishes Dishes” -

 

      Steam, Bake or Broil  - these are the healthiest cooking methods to protect nutrients. Frying fish can lose much of the original EFA benefits, and can introduce trans fats.

 

 

 

 

NUTRITION LINKS

NUTRITION Related Links

“N” = Nutrition

“Live to Eat or Eat to Live”

FOODS

Fruits and Vegetables:

 

Fruits and Vegetables

  - How much Fructose in Fruit?

  - Lemon Juice

  - Sulforaphane  "Eat Your Broccoli!"

  - Garlic

 

Proteins:

Dairy

Eggs

Meat

Fish

 

Fats:

Fats & Oils

 

Carbs:

Grains

Sweeteners

  - Raw Honey

  - Too much sugar

 

Fiber:/span>

Fiber in Foods    “Soluble and Insoluble”

 

Antinutrients:

Antinutrients

  - Phytic Acid / Phytate    “Malabsorption Agent”

 

Other food types:

Herbs, Salt and Spices

Beverages

Legumes, Nuts, Seeds, Dried Fruit

 

Maximize Nutrition in Foods:

Cooking - How to Preserve Nutrients in vegetables

RECIPES

Budwig Breakfast Menu

Breakfast Menu

ENZYMES

ENZYMES  - “Make it Happen!”

PROBIOTICS

PROBIOTICS  - “For Life”

 MINERALS

MINERALS

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Potassium

Phosphate

Sodium

Chloride

Magnesium – “Missing Miracle Mineral”

Sulfur – “Healing Mineral”

 

Iodine – “Universal Medicine”

Fluoride

Selenium

Zinc

Manganese

Copper

Chromium

Molybdenum

Boron

Iron

ANTI

-OXIDANTS

/VITAMINS

Food /Supplemental Antioxidants

 

Vitamin A – “Grass Vitamin”

Vitamin B Complex

  - Vitamin B9 (Folate)

  - Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Vitamin C – “God’s Medicine”

Vitamin D – “Sunshine Vitamin”

Vitamin E

Vitamin K – “Klotting and Kalcium”

CoQ10 – “Spark and Dampener”

 

Alpha Lipoic Acid 

 

MELATONIN – “Darkness Hormone”

 

Dark Chocolate  – “Anti-inflammatory    

/Antidepressant”

GLYCO

-NUTRIENTS

Essential sugars

FATS

HIGH OR LOW FAT - FAKE OR NO FAT?

 

EFAS  –“The Fats of Life”  

(Essential Fatty Acids Omega-3 and Omega-6)

Damaged/Altered (Toxic) Fats

AMINO ACIDS

L-Arginine - "Precursor to Nitric Oxide (NO)"

HARMFUL

FOODS

Harmful foods / ingredients – Main Page

 

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

 

MSG “And other forms of neurotoxic free glutamic acid”

 

"Sickly Sweet"

- Aspartame  -  “Excitotoxin”

- Splenda (Sucralose)  -  “An Organochlorine"

- Too much Fructose -  “Burdens liver / Increases inflammation / Favors Fat production"

- Too much Sugar -  “Common addiction affecting health"

 

Nanotechnology

 

Caffeine - "The Jitter Drug"

 

Microwaved Foods  - "Not so convenient for your health" 

 

Chlorine  - “Disease-causing Disinfectant in your Water"

 

Fluoride  - "Mega Health fraud and Cover-up"

 

Food Colorings

HERBS

5-HTP  - “SSRI Alternative”

DIM  - “Anti-estrogen with Anticancer Benefits"

SUPPLEMENTS

Daily Nutritional Supplement Chart

 

"Green Drink" -  A whole food multivitamin supplement

OTHER LINKS

Electron-Rich Foods

Bible References to Health

DISCLAIMER - The information given at this website is for research purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or cure any mental or physical condition. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a licensed professional. In the event that you use this information for your own health, you are prescribing for yourself, which is your constitutional right as a U.S. citizen under Amendment IX of the U.S. Constitution, and for which the author of this information assumes no responsibility. The author of this information is neither a legal counselor nor a health practitioner and makes no claim in this regard. Any references to health benefits of specifically named products on this site are given as this website author's sole opinion and are not approved or supported in any manner by their manufacturers or distributors. COPYRIGHT 2009-2016