Seafood consumption is the primary route of methylmercury (MeHg) exposure for most populations. Inherent uncertainties in dietary survey data point to the need for an empirical tool to confirm exposure sources. We therefore explore the utility of Hg stable isotope ratios in human hair as a new method for discerning MeHg exposure sources. We characterized Hg isotope fractionation between humans and their diets using hair samples from Faroese whalers exposed to MeHg predominantly from pilot whales. We observed an increase of 1.75‰ in d(202)Hg values between pilot whale muscle tissue and Faroese whalers' hair but no mass-independent fractionation. We found a similar offset in d(202)Hg between consumed seafood and hair samples from Gulf of Mexico recreational anglers who are exposed to lower levels of MeHg from a variety of seafood sources. An isotope mixing model was used to estimate individual MeHg exposure sources and confirmed that both ?(199)Hg and d(202)Hg values in human hair can help identify dietary MeHg sources. Variability in isotopic signatures among coastal fish consumers in the Gulf of Mexico likely reflects both differences in environmental sources of MeHg to coastal fish and uncertainty in dietary recall data. Additional data are needed to fully refine this approach for individuals with complex seafood consumption patterns.
Fish intake and the long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in fish have been suggested to lower the risk of cognitive decline. We assessed whether serum long-chain omega-3 PUFAs eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are associated with performance on neuropsychological tests in an older population and whether exposure to methylmercury, mainly from fish, or apolipoprotein-E4 (Apo-E4) phenotype can modify the associations.
A total of 768 participants from the population-based Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study were included. Cognitive function was measured using five neuropsychological tests: the Trail Making Test, the Verbal Fluency Test, the Selective Reminding Test, the Visual Reproduction Test and the Mini Mental State Exam. Multivariate-adjusted analysis of covariance and linear regression were used to analyze the cross-sectional associations.
We found statistically significant associations between serum EPA+DPA+DHA and better performance in the Trail Making Test and the Verbal Fluency Test. The individual associations with EPA and DHA were similar with the findings with EPA+DPA+DHA, although the associations with DHA were stronger. No associations were observed with serum DPA. Pubic hair mercury content was associated only with a worse performance in the Trail Making Test, and mercury had only little impact on the associations between the serum PUFAs and cognitive performance. Apo-E4 phenotype did not modify the associations with PUFAs or mercury.
Higher serum long-chain omega-3 PUFA concentrations were associated with better performance on neuropsychological tests of frontal lobe functioning in older men and women. Mercury exposure or Apo-E4 phenotype had little impact on cognitive performance.
PUFA have been associated with lower risk of CVD, but less is known about their association with stroke risk. Fish, a major source of n-3 PUFA, may also contain methylmercury, which has been associated with higher risk of CVD and attenuation of the benefits of long-chain n-3 PUFA. We investigated the associations of serum n-3 and n-6 PUFA and hair Hg with risk of stroke in men. A total of 1828 men from the prospective, population-based Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, aged 42-60 years and free of CVD at baseline in 1984-1989 were studied. Cox regression models were used for the analyses. During the mean follow-up of 21·2 years, 202 stroke cases occurred, of which 153 were ischaemic strokes. After adjustment for age and examination year, the only statistically significant association among the n-3 and n-6 PUFA was observed between the n-3 PUFA a-linolenic acid and risk of haemorrhagic stroke (hazard ratio in the highest v. the lowest quartile 0·33; 95 % CI 0·13, 0·86; P trend=0·03). However, further adjustments attenuated the association to statistically non-significant. Hair Hg was not associated with stroke risk, but among those with hair Hg above the median level, higher serum long-chain n-3 PUFA concentrations were associated with a higher risk of ischaemic stroke. In our cohort of men, serum n-3 or n-6 PUFA or hair Hg were not associated with stroke risk; however, the interaction between Hg and long-chain n-3 PUFA with regard to ischaemic stroke risk warrants further investigation.
Long-chain n-3 PUFA from fish have been associated with lower risk of CVD. Fish may also contain methylmercury, which may attenuate the inverse associations of the long-chain n-3 PUFA. However, the mechanisms underlying these associations are not fully known. We evaluated the associations of the serum long-chain n-3 PUFA (EPA, DPA and DHA) and hair Hg with resting heart rate (HR), peak HR during cycle ergometer exercise and HR recovery after exercise. A total of 1008 men from the population-based Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, aged 42-60 years and free of CVD, were studied. After multivariate-adjustments in ANCOVA, higher serum total long-chain n-3 PUFA concentration was associated with lower resting HR (extreme-quartile difference 2·2 beats/min; 95 % CI 0·2, 4·1, P trend across quartiles=0·02), but not with peak HR or HR recovery. Associations were generally similar when EPA, DPA and DHA were evaluated individually, except for DPA, which was also associated with better HR recovery after exercise (extreme-quartile difference 2·1 beats/min; 95 % CI 0·1, 4·2, P trend=0·06). Higher hair Hg content had a trend towards lower peak HR after adjusting for the long-chain n-3 PUFA (P trend=0·05), but it only slightly attenuated the associations of the serum long-chain n-3 PUFA with HR. These findings suggest that higher serum long-chain n-3 PUFA concentrations are associated with lower resting HR in middle-aged men from Eastern Finland, which may partially explain the potential cardioprotective effect of fish intake.
Long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) from fish have been associated with risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), especially sudden cardiac death (SCD). Mercury exposure, mainly due fish consumption, has been associated with higher risk. However, the impact of PUFAs or mercury on the ventricular cardiac arrhythmias, which often precede SCD, is not completely known. We investigated the associations of the serum long-chain omega-3 PUFAs and hair mercury with ventricular repolarization, measured by heart rate-corrected QT and JT intervals (QTc and JTc, respectively).
A total of 1411 men from the prospective, population-based Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, aged 42-60 years and free of CVD in 1984-1989, were studied.
Serum long-chain omega-3 PUFA concentrations were inversely associated with QTc and JTc (multivariate-adjusted P trend across quartiles = 0.02 and 0.002, respectively) and, during the mean 22.9-year follow-up, with lower SCD risk. However, further adjustments for QTc, JTc or hair mercury did not attenuate the associations with SCD. Hair mercury was not associated with QTc, JTc or SCD risk, but it slightly attenuated the associations of the serum long-chain omega-3 PUFA with QTc and JTc.
Higher serum long-chain omega-3 PUFA concentrations, mainly a marker for fish consumption, were inversely associated with QTc and JTc in middle-aged and older men from Eastern Finland, but QTc or JTc did not attenuate the inverse associations of the long-chain omega-3 PUFA with SCD risk. This suggests that prevention of prolonged ventricular repolarization may not explain the inverse association of the long-chain omega-3 PUFA with SCD risk.
Intensified aquaculture includes the use of antimicrobials for disease control. In contrast to the situation in livestock, Escherichia coli and enterococci are not part of the normal gastrointestinal flora of fish and shrimp and therefore not suitable indicators of antimicrobial resistance in seafood. In this study, the diversity and phenotypic characteristics of the bacterial flora in raw frozen cultured and wild-caught shrimp and fish were evaluated to identify potential indicators of antimicrobial resistance. The bacterial flora cultured on various agar media at different temperatures yielded total viable counts of 4.0 × 10(4) to 3.0 × 10(5) CFU g(-1). Bacterial diversity was indicated by 16S rRNA sequence analysis of 84 isolates representing different colony types; 24 genera and 51 species were identified. Pseudomonas spp. (23% of isolates), Psychrobacter spp. (17%), Serratia spp. (13%), Exiguobacterium spp. (7%), Staphylococcus spp. (6%), and Micrococcus spp. (6%) dominated. Disk susceptibility testing of 39 bacterial isolates to 11 antimicrobials revealed resistance to ampicillin, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, erythromycin, and third generation cephalosporins. Resistance to third generation cephalosporins was found in Pseudomonas, a genus naturally resistant to most ß-lactam antibiotics, and in Staphylococcus hominis. Half of the isolates were susceptible to all antimicrobials tested. Results indicate that identification of a single bacterial resistance indicator naturally present in seafood at point of harvest is unlikely. The bacterial flora found likely represents a processing rather than a raw fish flora because of repeated exposure of raw material to water during processing. Methods and appropriate indicators, such as quantitative PCR of resistance genes, are needed to determine how antimicrobials used in aquaculture affect resistance of bacteria in retailed products.
Canadian dietary sources of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) include marine and non-marine whole foods, functional foods, and nutraceuticals.
In the present study, these sources were incorporated into a nutrient-specific, semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and the ability to measure the EPA and DHA intakes of Canadian adults was assessed. Specifically, the EPA and DHA intakes estimated by FFQ of 78 men and women, 20 to 60 years of age, were compared with EPA and DHA measurements from 3-day food records and measures of EPA and DHA in fasting whole blood.
Mean (±standard deviation) and median intakes of EPA+DHA were 0.34±0.34 and 0.21 g/day by FFQ and 0.47±0.71 and 0.13 g/day by food record, with no significant differences between mean intakes (P=0.93). The FFQ provided higher estimates than the food record at low intakes of EPA and DHA and lower estimates at high intakes based on Bland-Altman plots. The FFQ was moderately correlated with food record (r=0.31 to 0.49) and with blood biomarker measures of EPA and DHA (r=0.31 to 0.51). Agreement analysis revealed that 42% of participants were classified in the same and 77% into same or adjacent quartile when EPA and DHA intake was assessed by food record and by FFQ. Similar quartile agreement was found for EPA and DHA intakes by FFQ with blood biomarker EPA and DHA. The range of the validity coefficients, calculated using the method of triads, was 0.43 to 0.71 for FFQ measurement of EPA+DHA.
The FFQ is an adequate tool for estimating usual EPA and DHA intakes and ranking Canadian adults by their intakes.
Dietary fish is the main source of methylmercury (MeHg) for man, and fish consumption has been used as a measure of MeHg exposure. However, other dietary sources of exposure exist and MeHg metabolism may also be modified by nutritional factors. The aim of the present study was to examine the association between blood MeHg concentration and consumption of different foods in a Finnish population with high fish consumption.
Blood samples, a detailed FFQ and additional frequency data on fish consumption were collected. MeHg was analysed from whole blood by the isotope dilution method with high-resolution MS. The consumption of different foods was calculated by MeHg quartiles and tested for linear trend.
Finnish southern and south-western coast of the Baltic Sea.
Two hundred and ninety-nine professional fishermen, their spouses and other family members.
Mean (range) blood MeHg concentration was 4·6 (0·21-22) µg/l among men and 2·8 (
A comparative evaluation on the effect of carbon dioxide (CO2 ) on quality and shelf life of Atlantic salmon loins pasteurized with microwave and conventional technology was conducted. The experimental design allowed CO2 to enter the salmon muscle before (soluble gas stabilization [SGS] + vacuum) or after pasteurization (CO2 emitter + vacuum), whereas the control samples (vacuum only) were not presented for CO2 . This setup resulted in six different groups; three heated with microwaves and three with conventional pasteurization. The core temperature of microwave samples was 58.8 ± 2.2 °C, whereas the surface temperature was equal to the oven temperature (62 °C) during conventional pasteurization and close to the core temperature during microwave pasteurization (57.6 ± 1.4 °C). Microwave-heated samples showed higher microbial growth; decreased shelf life; and darker (lower L* -value), more reddish (higher a* -value), and yellowish (higher b* -value) colors compared to conventional-heated salmon. Lowest liquid loss (LL) was observed in salmon packaged with the CO2 emitter, whereas a SGS step prior to pasteurization did not affect the LL negatively as compared to samples packaged in vacuum only. Treatment with CO2 , independent of the prestep using SGS or an emitter, resulted in increased shelf life. Protein denaturation, microbial growth, product color, product shelf life, and sensory properties of the salmon loin were significantly affected by the applied pasteurization method (microwave- or conventional pasteurization). However, the heat load was probably too high to detect differences resulting from the pretreatment using SGS or packaging with CO2 emitter. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Recent developments with increased time pressure from both work and past time activities have led to a tremendous increase in the demand for convenient, tasty ready-to-use food options. Furthermore, contemporary trends for consumption of fresh or lightly processed seafood stress the need to develop processing methods that allow a fulfillment of these demands, while still offering a reasonable shelf life. Carbon dioxide in combination with either microwave or conventional pasteurization is innovative processing technology that can meet consumer's demand of such products.
We address marine and terrestrial mammal blubber, liver, muscle, kidney, heart, tongue, maktak and maktaaq (epidermis and blubber from bowhead, beluga whales, respectively), and fish muscle and livers, as commonly consumed tissues in subsistence communities across northern Alaska in the context of organochlorine (OC) contamination of store-bought foods. Human exposure to contaminants from biota, as part of a subsistence diet, has been superficially evaluated in numerous studies (focused on liver and blubber), but are limited in the type of tissues analyzed, and rarely consider the contaminants in the alternatives (i.e., store-bought foods).
Concentrations from published literature on selected persistent organochlorine contaminants (OCs) in eight tissues of the bowhead whale and other biota (1) were compared to store-bought foods evaluated in this study.
As expected, store-bought foods had lower concentrations of OCs than some tissues of the marine mammals (especially blubber, maktak, and maktaaq). However, blubber is rarely eaten alone and should not be used to give consumption advice unless considered as a portion of the food item (i.e., maktak). This study indicates that the store-bought food alternatives have detectable OC concentrations (e.g.,