Human health risk–benefit assessment of fish and other seafood: a scoping review

Sofie Theresa Thomsen, Ricardo Assunção, Cláudia Afonso, Géraldine Boué, Carlos Cardoso, Francesco Cubadda, Alberto Garre, Johannes W. Kruisselbrink, Alberto Mantovani, János G. Pitter, Morten Poulsen, Hans Verhagen, Ermolaos Ververis, Hilko van der Voet, Bernhard Watzl, Sara M. Pires*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Fish and other seafood are important sources of nutrients, but they are also sources of chemical contaminants that may cause adverse health effects. This article aimed to identify existing risk–benefit assessments (RBA) of fish, shellfish, and other seafood, compare methodologies, discuss differences and commonalities in findings, and identify limitations and ways forward for future studies. We conducted a scoping review of the scientific literature of studies in all languages published from 2000 through April 2019. We identified 106 RBA of fish and other seafood across Europe, Asia, North America, Africa, and at the global level. Studies were heterogeneous in terms of types of fish and other seafood considered, beneficial and adverse compounds assessed, and overall methodology. Collected data showed that a diet consisting of a variety of lean and fatty fish and other seafood is recommended for the overall population and that women of childbearing age and children should limit the consumption of fish and other seafood types that have a high likelihood of contamination. Our review emphasizes the need for evidence-based, up-to-date, and harmonized approaches in RBA in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7479-7502
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number27
Early online date6 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2022


  • adverse
  • beneficial
  • contaminants
  • fish
  • Health effects
  • impact assessment
  • nutrients
  • seafood


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