What is it?
"Methyl mercury -- the type that is found in fish and can also be found in a variety of herbal remedies -- is a known neurotoxin," she says. "That means that it can affect the way the nerves work within the body. The term 'mad hatter' actually comes from the physical symptoms associated with mercury used by felters who manufactured hats. The symptoms included trembling (sometimes called hatter's shakes), loss of coordination, slurred speech, irritability, loss of memory, and depression."
She says ethyl mercury is the "mercury preservative" (also known as thimerosal) that was used in vaccines in the past. Ethyl mercury is NOT the same as methyl mercury and it does NOT accumulate in fish, according to Dr. Natterson.
The FDA issued a warning about fish consumption in 2004, urging women of childbearing age and children to reduce their fish intake in order to protect the developing nervous systems (including brains) of fetuses, infants and children. But no specific warnings have been issued for adult men, she says.