Differences in the level of essential trace elements (iron, zinc and selenium) in seven fish species from different geographical areas during different seasons
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Fish are a good source of essential trace elements such as iron, zinc and selenium Iron, zinc and selenium are essential for proper growth, immune function and brain development during different stages of life. Therefore, it is important to have knowledge of the levels of these elements in fish that are commonly consumed. Fillet samples of Atlantic halibut, Greenland halibut, haddock, cod, saithe, herring and mackerel were collected in different seasons from 2006 to 2016 from the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea. The amount of iron, zinc and selenium was analysed by ICP-MS. Differences in the mean amount of these elements were found between all species. Pelagic fish species contained more iron, zinc and selenium than demersal species. The concentration of iron and selenium in most of the species was highest in the Norwegian Sea, whereas the level of zinc in most of the species was highest in the Barents Sea. The concentration of iron, zinc and selenium in most species was also different between different seasons, especially in pelagic species and Greenland halibut. The level of essential elements was also related to the biological characteristics (length, weight, condition factor) of the fish, although these relationships were weak and differed between different species and elements. Likely causes of the observed differences are discussed such as differences in the habitat, diet, and availability of food during different seasons and areas. The results are compared to reference levels in the “Norwegian Food Composition Table 2016” and the “Seafood Data” of NIFES. The mean concentration of essential elements in different species were different from the both of these tables in most cases, and had tended to decrease in recent years. Taken together, the results indicate there is a dietary benefit to consuming pelagic species over demersal species as a source of iron, zinc and selenium. There is also a benefit to eating certain species at certain times of the year. However, small differences between areas in the concentration of essential elements means that the dietary benefits of fish from different areas is more or less the same.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
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