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Benefit-risk Assessment of Fish and Fish Products in the Norwegian Diet – An Update.
Article in English | IMSEAR | ID: sea-164517
Request from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) In September 2013, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority requested VKM to update relevant parts of the benefit-risk assessment of fish in the Norwegian diet published by VKM in 2006. The background for the request was new knowledge and data on the content of some nutrients and contaminants both for wild and farmed fish since 2006. The proportion of vegetable ingredients used in farmed fish feed has in recent years increased, and new national dietary surveys for adults and children have been conducted. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority referred to VKM’s report from 2006, which pointed out that the positive impact of fish consumption on public health was especially due to the content of polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin D in fish. Further, VKM concluded that the contaminants that could pose a potential risk to public health through fish consumption mainly were methylmercury, dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs (dl-PCBs). The request included a reassessment of fish consumption in Norway with focus on specific nutrients; n-3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), vitamin D, and the minerals iodine and selenium, and on specific contaminants; mercury, dioxins and dl-PCBs. VKM was asked to address the main changes in the use of raw materials in farmed fish feed and how these affect the levels of nutrients, mercury, dioxins and dl-PCBs and in fish feed. Further, VKM was asked to address to what extent levels of nutrients and contaminants in fish have changed since 2006, to describe these changes and estimate the human intake of the substances in question on the basis of recent dietary data. VKM was also requested to consider the benefits of eating fish with regard to the intake of nutrients and the risks associated with the intake of mercury, dioxins and dl-PCBs and comment on whether this change the conclusions from the report in 2006. Additionally, on the basis of updated knowledge, VKM was asked to comment whether other substances, like pesticide and residues of veterinary medicinal products, could affect the conclusions with regard to the impact on public health. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority and the Directorate of Health will use the updated assessment as a basis for public recommendations concerning the consumption of fish and fish products. How VKM has Addressed the Request The VKM appointed a working group consisting of VKM members and external experts to answer the request. Several of the scientific panels of VKM reviewed the report during its preparation. The Scientific Steering Committee of VKM has given their final assessment and approval of the current report. In the current report, VKM has mainly used data from national surveillance and monitoring programs for nutrient and contaminant concentrations in fish feed, farmed fish and wild caught fish, but occurrence data have also been derived from peer reviewed articles. VKM has estimated fish consumption in three population groups (2-year-olds, adults and pregnant women). The estimated fish consumption was compared to national dietary guidelines. To assess health effects of fish consumption, the current estimated fish intakes were also compared with assessments done by recognised international bodies and results from epidemiological studies addressing possible associations between fish consumption and specific health outcomes. Literature searches were done to identify relevant epidemiological studies. VKM has not systematically assessed reviews or meta-analyses nor individual studies for weight of evidence, but merely summarised the studies retrieved from the literature search. It was considered being beyond the scope of this assessment to review individual studies included in reviews or meta-analyses. Furthermore, based on current fish consumption in the various population groups, intake of nutrients and exposure to contaminants from fish were estimated. For benefit characterisation of the specific nutrients the estimated nutrient intake was compared with national recommendations of nutrients intake and for EPA and DHA a comparison was also done with European recommendations. For risk characterization of contaminant exposure from fish, VKM used health based guidance values set by international risk assessment bodies (WHO, EFSA). VKM noted that the request from NFSA was restricted to fish, whereas the VKM report in 2006 included both fish and other seafood. VKM focused on specific nutrients and contaminants as requested by the NFSA. In addition, VKM also commented on other substances that could affect the risk assessment, such as residues of veterinary medicinal products including residues of antibiotics, new contaminants from fish feed like the pesticide endosulfan, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), mycotoxins, the synthetic antioxidants ethoxyquin, butylhydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylhydroxytoluene (BHT), as well as environmental contaminants like brominated flame retardants and perfluorated organic compounds Background In the Norwegian diet fish is important source of well-balanced proteins, and important nutrients such as EPA and DHA, vitamin D, iodine and selenium. On the other hand, fish is also a source of exposure to chemical contaminants like dioxins, PCBs and mercury. Over the last 10 years there has been a great change in raw materials used in fish feeds, and in 2013 terrestrial plant proteins and vegetable oils accounted for 70% of the feed. The changes in concentrations of nutrients and contaminants in fish feed for farmed Atlantic salmon and trout are reflected in changed concentrations and compositions of the same nutrients and contaminants in the farmed fish fillet. The current national dietary guideline is to eat fish as dinner meals 2-3 times per week for all age groups, representing 300-450 g fish per week for adults, including at least 200 g fatty fish, such as salmon, trout, mackerel and herring. Fish is also recommended as bread spread. Further, a daily supplement of vitamin D to infants from 4 weeks of age is recommended, and if this supplement is taken as cod liver oil it will in addition ensure an adequate supply of EPA and DHA. The present benefit-risk assessment is comprised of three elements, i.e. benefit assessment, risk assessment and benefit-risk comparison. This methodology is in accordance with the guidance given by EFSA in 2010. Fish Consumption in Norway and Comparison with National Dietary Guidelines VKM has used information about fish consumption from more recent national dietary surveys among 2-year-olds (Småbarnskost 2007) and adults at 18-70 years of age (Norkost 3, 2010/2011), as well as information for pregnant women who answered the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa2, 2002-2008) food frequency questionnaire. The national food consumption survey Ungkost 2000, which covers the age groups 4-, 9-, and 13-year-old children, was considered too old to be used and it is therefore not known if their fish consumption patterns have changed, neither in amount consumed nor type of fish consumed. Even though there are methodological differences between the dietary surveys used in 2006 and 2014, the amount of fish consumed appears to be unchanged for all population groups. Furthermore, in 2014, lean fish and fatty fish contribute with about 60 and 40 percent, respectively, of the total fish consumption, which is similar to 2006. Given a portion size of 150 g fish, the average adult eats fish equivalent to 2-3 dinner servings per week and the average pregnant woman eats fish equivalent to 1-2 dinner servings per week, while the average two-year-old eats fish equivalent to 1-2 dinner servings per week given a portion size of 75 g. The table below describes fish intake in the selected populations. Fish consumption (expressed as raw fish), mean grams (g) per week in 2-year-olds (Småbarnskost 2007, n=1674), adults (Norkost 3, n=1787) and pregnant women (MoBa, n=86277) Population groups Mean fish consumption g/week Fish roe Fish, total Lean fish (≤ 5% fat) Fatty fish (> 5% fat) and liver 2-year-olds 112 70 35 7 Adults 364 210 147 7 Pregnant women 217 126 77 14 VKM concludes that of the different population groups, only adults (18-70 years of age) with an average or higher fish consumption reach the national food based dietary guidelines for total fish consumption. Mean total fish consumption and fatty fish consumption in children (2-year-olds) and pregnant women, as well as the mean fatty fish consumption in adults are lower than recommended. In pregnant women and 2-year-olds, fish consumption is too low to meet the food based dietary guidelines Health Effects of Fish Consumption VKM is of the opinion that according to epidemiological studies, the net effects of the present average fish consumption in Norway for adults including pregnant women is beneficial for specific cardiovascular diseases (particularly cardiac mortality, but also with regard to ischaemic stroke, non-fatal coronary heart disease events, congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation), as well as for optimal neurodevelopment of foetus and infants. Furthermore, VKM is of the opinion that those with fish consumption less than one dinner serving per week may miss these beneficial effects. The health benefit of fish consumption is reported from 1-2 dinner servings per week and up to 3-4 dinner servings per week. For higher fish intake per week, the limited number of consumers in epidemiological studies does not allow for drawing firm conclusions about the actual balance of risk and benefit. More knowledge is needed to reveal the beneficial mechanisms of fish consumption. Benefit Characterisation of Nutrients in Fish VKM is of the opinion that there has been minor or no changes of the composition and concentrations of nutrients in wild caught fish since 2006. Due to replacement of fish oil and fish protein with plant prote

Full text: Available Index: IMSEAR (South-East Asia) Type of study: Etiology study / Observational study / Qualitative research / Risk factors Language: English Year: 2015 Type: Article





Full text: Available Index: IMSEAR (South-East Asia) Type of study: Etiology study / Observational study / Qualitative research / Risk factors Language: English Year: 2015 Type: Article