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Friday, August 15, 2008

If it's not one thing, it's another: Latest News - Arsenolipids In Fish Oil

Another interesting piece, "Potentially hazardous arsenic-containing compounds are characterized", by Carrie Arnold, in Chemical & Engineering News: Latest News - Arsenolipids In Fish Oil, August 11, 2008, Volume 86, Number 32, p. 10.

It seems the fish we've been encouraged to eat may contain arsenic. We usually just worry about drinking water, whether here in the US where I am, or, for example, in Bangladesh where tens of millions of people daily drink water contaminated with dangerous levels of arsenic from geologic sources. I wonder:
  • How prevalent is this arsenic in fish?
  • What are its sources?
  • Is it harmful to humans and other animals in this form?
  • Is this a new phenomenon or has it always been this way?
  • Do people who eat such fish as part of their daily lifestyle or culture have health consequences?
  • Are those consequences good or bad?
  • Do such arsenic compounds protect us from the arsenic?

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