As we reported earlier, Jeremy Piven left a Broadway production in late December due to a diagnosis of mercury poisoning. We could only speculate that a diet heavy on fish was the root cause — and now the actor himself has confirmed as such. As FOX News reports,
“And the truth is, Piven could not have gotten out of the play without a real diagnosis for insurance purposes. He says that years of being a fish eating vegetarian was enough to do the trick and act as a catalyst.”
So Piven is a pesco-vegetarian. What makes that dangerous in today’s world is the crazy amounts of mercury often found in large game fish like Tuna, Swordfish, and Cod. And if you’re someone with Piven’s wallet, hitting up sushi a couple times a week might just be a part of the lifestyle. Back in January of 2008, the NY Times ran an investigation that found 5 out of 20 random stores and restaurants in NYC had tuna with mercury levels so high that the Food and Drug Administration could take legal action to remove the fish from the market. “No one should eat a meal of tuna with mercury levels like those found in the restaurant samples more than about once every three weeks,” said one expert.
Thankfully, it look like Piven is recovering nicely — most likely by subscribing to a full vegetarian diet. For more information on mercury and fish, check out Oceana’s info on the topic.