Genetic variation in glutathione-related genes and body burden of methylmercury

Exposure to toxic methylmercury (MeHg) through fish consumption is a large problem worldwide, and it has led to governmental recommendations of reduced fish consumption and blacklisting of mercury-contaminated fish. The elimination kinetics of MeHg varies greatly among individuals. Knowledge about the reasons for such variation is of importance for improving the risk assessment for MeHg. One possible explanation is hereditary differences in MeHg metabolism. MeHg is eliminated from the body as a glutathione (GSH) conjugate.