A new study by the University of Michigan School of Medicine and Public Health found that mercury ingestion by eating seafood may increase the risk of autoimmune diseases, and women of childbearing age are at greater risk.
In the new study, Associate Professor Emily Summers and colleagues analyzed data from 16- to 49-year-old female participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1999 to 2004. It has been found that exposure to mercury is a major risk factor for autoimmune diseases. The more mercury exposure, the more autoantibodies, and the greater the risk of autoimmune disease.
Studies have found that fish such as swordfish, squid and squid have the highest levels of mercury, while shrimp, canned tuna and salmon contain relatively low levels of mercury. Seafood is rich in a variety of key nutrients and has a variety of health benefits. However, in order to prevent autoimmune diseases, women of childbearing age should choose seafood with lower mercury content.
Summers said that autoimmune diseases can cause the body’s immune system to mistakenly attack healthy cells, with more female patients than male patients. Such diseases include: inflammatory bowel disease, lupus erythematosus, Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Autoimmune disease is one of the top 10 causes of death in women. The analysis of environmental factors helps to better understand the causes other than the inheritance of autoimmune diseases, and thus better symptomatic treatment.