Mercurial Effects of Fish-Rich Diets

By Janet Raloff, 15:49 PM April 15, 2008

In the spring of 2000, one of Jane M. Hightower's patients had been concerned about hair loss, so the internist referred the woman to a specialist in her building. That dermatologist probed the woman's medical history but could find no explanation. That is, until she suddenly recalled a radio broadcast about mercury poisoning in people who had been eating lots of fish from tainted lakes. Their symptoms included hair loss.

So, the dermatologist asked her patient if she ate much fish. Indeed,...

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