Human exposure to mercury (Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) through the ingestion of seafood raises human health-related concerns. In contrast, green tea has health benefits and its consumption potentially reduces bioaccessibility of dietary Hg. The present study aimed to assess the effect of green tea in total mercury (THg) and MeHg bioaccessibility in raw and cooked marine fish species commonly having high Hg levels. Preliminary results demonstrated that significantly higher reductions of bioaccessible THg were attained after the co-ingestion of green tea infusion (1 cup or more) in the oral and intestinal phases. Overall, the present findings clearly show that the co-ingestion of green tea along with seafood grilling strongly reduces THg and MeHg bioaccessibility in all fish species and consequently diminishes the probability of exceeding MeHg provisional tolerable weekly intakes through the consumption of these species with high Hg levels. Such results point out the need to better understand the beneficial/preventive role of green tea infusions and other food processing techniques in bioaccessibility reduction of other chemical contaminants present in food products. Such information is certainly useful to help consumers to wisely select their food, and to enable food safety authorities to integrate such information in risk assessment.
- Green tea
- Risk assessment