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|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2008|
|Authors||Dewailly, E.; Chateau-Degat, M. L.; Suhas, E.|
|Journal Title||Asia Pac J Clin Nutr|
French Polynesians, like other remote maritime populations are intimately connected to the ocean which nourishes their daily life and culture. Their reliance on fish raises the issue of potential exposure to harmful natural and anthropogenic contaminants as well as providing essential nutrients. The purpose of this study was to assess the risks and benefits of fish consumption in French Polynesia. This cross-sectional study included 195 adults aged 18 years old and over from the Tahiti and Moorea islands. Fatty acids, selenium (Se) and mercury (Hg) blood concentrations were measured in participants and were all very high. Blood concentrations indicate that Hg, Se and omega-3 fatty acids have a common origin, i.e. fish consumption. In comparing the Polynesian group with northern populations, we found that the Polynesian group had levels of Hg similar to those observed in Inuit populations (geometric mean (range): 90.3 (15-420) nmol/L vs. Inuit: m(r): 79.6 (4-560) nmol/L). Similar results were observed with Se blood concentrations. The fatty acid concentration was also similar to that of the Inuit population even though the specific profile of fatty acids differed. For the first time, we report very high blood concentrations of mercury, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids in a fishing population from the South Pacific, comparable to those reported among fishing populations from the Northern hemisphere. Further work is ongoing to better substantiate public health nutritional policies.
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