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A large study found a link between eating fish and developing skin cancer. The long-term study consisted of nearly 500,000 people and found that people who eat more fish than the equivalent of half a can of tuna a day were 22 percent more likely to get malignant melanoma.

“Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the [US] and the risk of developing melanoma over a lifetime is one in 38 for White people, one in 1,000 for Black people, and one in 167 for Hispanic people,” said Brown University dermatologist Eunyoung Cho.

The researchers, led by Brown University epidemiologist Yufei Li, found that the risk of melanoma was 22 percent higher in those who are around 43 grams of fish a day compared to those who ate the median amount which was 3 grams a day. They found that the amount of tuna consumed increases cancer incidence. It was consistent across numerous demographic and lifestyle factors. They also considered other risks like mole count, hair color, history of severe sunburn, and sun-related behaviors.

“We speculate that our findings could possibly be attributed to contaminants in fish, such as polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, arsenic, and mercury,” says Cho.

“Previous research has found that higher fish intake is associated with higher levels of these contaminants within the body and has identified associations between these contaminants and a higher risk of skin cancer.”

Everything nutritious that people believe they are getting from fish can get from other sources. Check out How to Ditch Fish Oil for Plant-Based Sources and Why Flaxseed Oil is Healthier than Fish Oil. Fish often have been exposed to many toxic chemicals like mercury which the consumer then eats when they eat the fish. Fish are also sentient creatures and can feel pain. There is no reason that we need to continue to eat these animals.

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