Consuming large numbers of fish is said to have a higher risk of skin cancer

Updated: 14.06.2022 – 14:21

Applies to non-fried consumption
Consuming large numbers of fish is said to have a higher risk of skin cancer


Regular screening is important Skin cancer screening.  According to the study, eating fish may also increase the risk of black skin cancer.

Photo: Getty Images / LightFieldStudios

Regular screening is important Skin cancer screening. According to the study, eating fish may also increase the risk of black skin cancer.

Researchers in the US have made an interesting discovery: analysis of data from hundreds of thousands of people tested has shown that eating fish can increase the risk of skin cancer.

In fact, fish are healthy. Contains iodine, vitamin D and protein. Fatty species such as salmon and mackerel also provide omega-3 fatty acids, which strengthen the immune system and have an anti-inflammatory effect. Nutritionists therefore recommend eating fish twice a week. But now a study has found that people who eat fish regularly may be at increased risk for black skin cancer.


Fish are said to increase the risk of skin cancer


Everyone who likes fish is said to have an increased risk of melanoma. This is according to a study by Brown University (USA), which analyzed data from more than 490,000 test subjects who were initially healthy and had a mean age of 62 years. In the study, participants stated how high their fish consumption was in the previous year, how often and in what form – fried or not fried – they ate fish.


The researchers collected information for 15 years and used it to investigate the link between fish consumption and the incidence of skin cancer. Socio-demographic factors and the participants’ body mass index were also taken into account. Range of exercise, family cancer, alcohol, tobacco and caffeine consumption, calorie intake and average UV radiation around the participants were also considered, according to fitbook.de.

During the study period, 5034 subjects developed malignant melanoma and 3284 additional cases of early-stage skin cancer were diagnosed. According to scientists, high consumption of fish has increased the risk of both forms of cancer.

How many fish increase the risk of skin cancer?


In particular, higher consumption of unfried fish and tuna is said to increase the risk of malignant melanoma and early melanoma. Those who ate an average of 43 grams of fish a day had a 22 percent higher risk of malignant melanoma and a 28 percent higher risk of early-stage cancer compared to those who ate only 3 grams. The average portion is around 140 to 170 grams of fish.



Possible reasons why fish could cause skin cancer


In a university statement, co-author Eunyoung Cho assumes that it is not the fish itself that is dangerous to health, but the mercury it contains. “We suspect that our results may be due to pollutants in fish such as polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, arsenic and mercury,” Cho said. “Previous research has found that higher consumption of fish is associated with higher levels of these substances in the body, and found a link between them and a higher risk of skin cancer.” Because the current cancer study did not measure how many and what contaminants subjects had in their bodies, more studies are now needed to confirm this link.


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Sources: fitbook.de, Verbraucherzentrale.de, ndr.de


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