0

votes

Overdosing on superfoods (specifically oysters)?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 18, 2013 at 3:36 PM

I think the verdict has come in that eating pounds of liver a day over and over might be dangerous to one's health, but what about oysters? I just read the nutrition data and apparently just the amount I had with breakfast (half a pound) had 225 mg, or 1500% of the daily value for zinc. I didn't realize oysters had such an absurd amount of zinc in them. If I ate 1 pound a day, which I was planning on doing, then we're talking a half GRAM of zinc per day 3000%. Is this going to kill the shit out of me or does the copper and stuff balance it out so I can eat however much I want whenever I want?


EDIT: A couple responses made it seem like this is somehow a restrictive diet, I'm 6'3" 200+ pounds and active. I eat over 3500-4000 calories per day. 1 pound of oysters is 1/10th of my overall calorie needs, There Fore this is NOT an overly restrictive diet, lol... My diet is well rounded and I include a wide variety of foods, from shellfish to fish to beef poultry, some dairy, tubers, vegetables and herbs. My question is if this will have a toxic effect not what my diet should look like. -Thnx

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 01, 2013
at 11:16 PM

That's pretty awesome that you can get your own oysters, However, zinc iron and copper tend to balance each other out and oysters are rich in all 3. Not to say someone wouldn't develop a Cadmium? Toxicity eventually but there's no research to support your position that they necessarily would. Casanova ate something like 20-40? Oysters a day and not only did he live to a ripe older age but he was getting poon all the while, probably because of elevated testosterone levels among other things. That being said, I don't eat many oysters anymore, I got tired of them.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 31, 2013
at 12:00 AM

Thanks for your answer, I found it the most helpful.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 25, 2013
at 04:38 PM

I don't think there's anything wrong with being an optimizer/adventurer as stated below. Nevertheless, you might benefit from reading this: http://www.archevore.com/panu-weblog/2011/2/8/therapy-versus-life.html

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 25, 2013
at 04:37 PM

I don't think there's anything *wrong* with being an optimizer/adventurer as stated below. nevertheless, you might benefit from reading this: http://www.archevore.com/panu-weblog/2011/2/8/therapy-versus-life.html

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 25, 2013
at 03:40 PM

There is some magnesium in the seafood, that along with the potatoes I eat puts me >100% rda for sure, also my potassium is above 100%. Ty for your comment MayaBee :)

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 25, 2013
at 11:54 AM

I was under the impression that oysters contain the lowest levels of mercury of any seafood though? I should note that my oysters are cooked and canned bumblebee oysters, and the link you provided says "If shellfish is cooked thoroughly and at the correct temperature then it should not result in food poisoning". People also say livers are the filters of the body. Ty for the link though, +1'ed.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 24, 2013
at 09:54 PM

Also, superfoods definitely exist.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 24, 2013
at 09:44 PM

Cool, so can I eat too many oysters?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 24, 2013
at 09:15 PM

Hey thanks Katie, I've learned a ton since I started and like to think I'm in control of my body now also. One of the main reasons I'm eating so many oysters is because 1, they're cheap canned 4$/lb and 2) I think I can use oysters to help master mind control. Oysters have dopamine and seem to increase sex hormones like testosterone and progesterone. Plus there's this neurosurgeon called jack kruse Who is a little crazy, but he seems to successfully argue that oysters are like supposed to be THE best food for your brain and central nervous system or something. :)

F8c2f1fa3dc7b8575bdb3dd52fc97541

(30)

on January 19, 2013
at 05:57 PM

since last april is pretty cool, so you should be in full control now, of your body, that is. and you sure look like it, man ;) but okay, there's also mind control which is pretty tough to master, but it's worth it. maybe your health won't be affected by huge meals because you are tuned now, but why make your body a recycling machine then?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 19, 2013
at 12:22 PM

Do you have a bell curve showing the diminishing returns for different nutrients, or am I supposed to trust the rda to be accurate? Should the rda be adjusted to account for the fact tha I eat almost twice the daily calories so would I need twice the daily nutrients?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 19, 2013
at 02:38 AM

I like you JayJay, but yea dude, these are the meat weights, no shells included- so it's technically a lot of oysters, lol.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 19, 2013
at 02:37 AM

Yea, I guess I'd rather have too much than too little though, unless there's reason to believe I'll experience toxicological side effects, which nobody has posted yet. The other thing is oysters are rich in a ton of minerals, not just zinc, n copper, so I'd rather be safe than sorry.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 19, 2013
at 01:16 AM

Of course, you don't absorb everything, biology isn't 100% efficient. If you saturate a receptor, you'll be unable to absorb more, what you don't absorb keeps on truckin' through your GI tract and moves past these receptors and the nutrients are lost.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 19, 2013
at 12:48 AM

I'm not inclined to think it's wasteful necessarily, except maybe for the b12, I'm pretty sure I'm pissing a lot of that out. Is there any reason to think that my body isn't using these nutrients, or do you have any articled showing a point of diminishing returns? Would this depend on gut absorption? Would there be any way to test for this other than a 24 hour urine piss test or something?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 19, 2013
at 12:39 AM

Question...you talking a pound of oysters (the meat) or a pound shell and all? Cause I've been putting down 2lbs of mussels (but thats with shell weight) a few times a week as of late. They are great!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 18, 2013
at 09:28 PM

It's an inefficient use of calories, nutrients... just wasteful.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 18, 2013
at 09:26 PM

If you need calories, eat calories. Oysters aren't a great source of calories, they are, as you've discovered, a great source of zinc.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 18, 2013
at 07:57 PM

Well, I can tell you that I just don't want to eat that much liver, but I do want to eat that much oysters, at least, so far, lol.. I've only been plaeo since last April, so I'm not really sure if that's 'long enough', lol.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 18, 2013
at 07:56 PM

+1 for coining the phrase "adventurer optimizer type".

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 18, 2013
at 07:56 PM

to know if they're are any precautions I should consider because of the amount of zinc. I've supplemented with 200-300mg of zinc in the past for weeks at a time. The studies on that basically show that for short intervals (months at a time) there don't seem to be any toxilogical effects. And that the eventual negative effects that do arise are usually because of a mineral imbalance which can result from non-whole-food mass supplementing of supplements. Oysters seem to have a very nice balance, so I was just wondering really if anyone had any reason to believe I could overdose on them.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 18, 2013
at 07:54 PM

I wanted to tell you not to put me in the serious illness camp, but then you went ahead and put the **or they're adventurer optimizer types**. This describes me, I agree that crazy experiments to cure serious illnesses might not be the best time to get the ball rolling so to speak. I'm more of the pre-emptive optimizer type. I've settled any health issues I might of had already, this is more like an okay, so I got a good base, what's next? What can I try that might be even more awesome. I have reason to believe that oysters might be extremely beneficial for optimization, so I really just want

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 18, 2013
at 07:47 PM

okay, I kinda see where you're coming from but understand that 1 pound of oysters is only about 400 calories. I'm 6'3" 200+ pounds and active. I eat over 3500-5000 calories per day. 1 pound of oysters is 1/10th of my overall calorie needs, TF this is NOT an overly restrictive diet, lol... My diet is well rounded and I include a wide variety of foods, from shellfish to fish to beef poultry, some dairy, tubers, vegetables and herbs. Maybe I shouldv'e specified this above, and I think I will now, but my question is if this will have a toxic effect not what my diet should look like.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 18, 2013
at 04:26 PM

Sorry if I answered your question with a question, but I've always wondered about folks' proposed diets that seem overly restrictive. Maybe folks just want to eliminate/control variables as much as possible, I don't know, leading to massive over-similification.

  • Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

    asked by

    (10989)
  • Views
    27.2K
  • Last Activity
    1426D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

12 Answers

best answer

3
742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on January 19, 2013
at 01:07 AM

I was doing something similar for a while, because the oysters I had in my freezer were going bad. After a while I started noticing a metalic taste in my mouth. That is when I knew I was probably overdosing zinc. I personally wouldn't do it, because it does seem like a lot of zinc, but if you don't happen to have any negative symptoms go ahead.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 31, 2013
at 12:00 AM

Thanks for your answer, I found it the most helpful.

4
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 18, 2013
at 03:49 PM

Why would you want to eat 1 pound of oysters daily? Why do folks fall in this trap of restrictive narrow diets?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 18, 2013
at 09:26 PM

If you need calories, eat calories. Oysters aren't a great source of calories, they are, as you've discovered, a great source of zinc.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 19, 2013
at 02:37 AM

Yea, I guess I'd rather have too much than too little though, unless there's reason to believe I'll experience toxicological side effects, which nobody has posted yet. The other thing is oysters are rich in a ton of minerals, not just zinc, n copper, so I'd rather be safe than sorry.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 18, 2013
at 04:26 PM

Sorry if I answered your question with a question, but I've always wondered about folks' proposed diets that seem overly restrictive. Maybe folks just want to eliminate/control variables as much as possible, I don't know, leading to massive over-similification.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 19, 2013
at 01:16 AM

Of course, you don't absorb everything, biology isn't 100% efficient. If you saturate a receptor, you'll be unable to absorb more, what you don't absorb keeps on truckin' through your GI tract and moves past these receptors and the nutrients are lost.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 18, 2013
at 09:28 PM

It's an inefficient use of calories, nutrients... just wasteful.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 19, 2013
at 12:48 AM

I'm not inclined to think it's wasteful necessarily, except maybe for the b12, I'm pretty sure I'm pissing a lot of that out. Is there any reason to think that my body isn't using these nutrients, or do you have any articled showing a point of diminishing returns? Would this depend on gut absorption? Would there be any way to test for this other than a 24 hour urine piss test or something?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 18, 2013
at 07:47 PM

okay, I kinda see where you're coming from but understand that 1 pound of oysters is only about 400 calories. I'm 6'3" 200+ pounds and active. I eat over 3500-5000 calories per day. 1 pound of oysters is 1/10th of my overall calorie needs, TF this is NOT an overly restrictive diet, lol... My diet is well rounded and I include a wide variety of foods, from shellfish to fish to beef poultry, some dairy, tubers, vegetables and herbs. Maybe I shouldv'e specified this above, and I think I will now, but my question is if this will have a toxic effect not what my diet should look like.

3
2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on January 18, 2013
at 03:44 PM

I think this is why variety in a diet is important. Eating half a pound of oysters is not going to hurt you but eating it daily may not be ideal. Rotating oysters with other fish, beef, and poultry though would give a great balance of different minerals. I personally eat meat once or twice a day usually (about a half pound serving) and I strive to include seafood 3 days a week at least. On the other days I eat mostly beef. I think that a plan like this would be more ideal than a pound of oysters a day.

2
24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on January 18, 2013
at 07:09 PM

By trying something new or arguably extreme, you are making yourself an experiment. Usually, people who resort to weird things have a serious illness they are trying to cure, or they're adventurer optimizer types. Dr. Atkins couldn't lose his fat, Art De Vany has his T1 wife and child, Rob Wolff had his weird issues, etc.

The human body is a far-from equilibrium system. As with random genetic mutations, things tend to go wrong far more often then they go right. Radical experiments will tend to break, rather than fix.

Radical experiments can cause problems you never had previously. Read what ex-vegans often write, for instance. Never underestimate how many ways your body can unexpectedly malfunction.

So unless you have an active problem, it's probably best not to try something too radical with diet until it's fairly well established.

A part of me wants to try every hyped supplement, for example. But I know better to be conservative with the non-traditional stuff. Although the curiosity and daredevil in me usually has the last say.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 18, 2013
at 07:56 PM

+1 for coining the phrase "adventurer optimizer type".

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 18, 2013
at 07:54 PM

I wanted to tell you not to put me in the serious illness camp, but then you went ahead and put the **or they're adventurer optimizer types**. This describes me, I agree that crazy experiments to cure serious illnesses might not be the best time to get the ball rolling so to speak. I'm more of the pre-emptive optimizer type. I've settled any health issues I might of had already, this is more like an okay, so I got a good base, what's next? What can I try that might be even more awesome. I have reason to believe that oysters might be extremely beneficial for optimization, so I really just want

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 18, 2013
at 07:56 PM

to know if they're are any precautions I should consider because of the amount of zinc. I've supplemented with 200-300mg of zinc in the past for weeks at a time. The studies on that basically show that for short intervals (months at a time) there don't seem to be any toxilogical effects. And that the eventual negative effects that do arise are usually because of a mineral imbalance which can result from non-whole-food mass supplementing of supplements. Oysters seem to have a very nice balance, so I was just wondering really if anyone had any reason to believe I could overdose on them.

2
F8c2f1fa3dc7b8575bdb3dd52fc97541

on January 18, 2013
at 03:58 PM

you are probably relatively new to paleo, because once you've done it long enough, you just don't want to eat that much... happened to me, anyway.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 18, 2013
at 07:57 PM

Well, I can tell you that I just don't want to eat that much liver, but I do want to eat that much oysters, at least, so far, lol.. I've only been plaeo since last April, so I'm not really sure if that's 'long enough', lol.

F8c2f1fa3dc7b8575bdb3dd52fc97541

(30)

on January 19, 2013
at 05:57 PM

since last april is pretty cool, so you should be in full control now, of your body, that is. and you sure look like it, man ;) but okay, there's also mind control which is pretty tough to master, but it's worth it. maybe your health won't be affected by huge meals because you are tuned now, but why make your body a recycling machine then?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 24, 2013
at 09:15 PM

Hey thanks Katie, I've learned a ton since I started and like to think I'm in control of my body now also. One of the main reasons I'm eating so many oysters is because 1, they're cheap canned 4$/lb and 2) I think I can use oysters to help master mind control. Oysters have dopamine and seem to increase sex hormones like testosterone and progesterone. Plus there's this neurosurgeon called jack kruse Who is a little crazy, but he seems to successfully argue that oysters are like supposed to be THE best food for your brain and central nervous system or something. :)

2
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on January 18, 2013
at 03:51 PM

Have you ever heard an expression, "Too much of a good thing"? It is with everything - grass-fed beef, supplements, vitamins, and even liver.

Think of adding more veggies, berries and maybe a sweet potato to make it a complete meal. Then you will have a variety of nutrients and they will complement each other. Add some lemon juice and some fat - yum, yum!!!

As for a half a pound of oysters for breakfast - I wish I could afford that! :)

1
Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 01, 2013
at 08:38 PM

A pound of oysters severely overdoes the RDA's for zinc and iron, which could make you sick in the short run. What's more concerning is heavy metals, especially cadmium, for long term toxicity.

An oyster or two a day is all I want, fried with some bacon, eggs and heavy cream. More than that I'd probably get tired of them. I enjoy shucking them, but a limit of oysters fits in a 10 oz jar. I don't want to eat up all my work in one sitting.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 01, 2013
at 11:16 PM

That's pretty awesome that you can get your own oysters, However, zinc iron and copper tend to balance each other out and oysters are rich in all 3. Not to say someone wouldn't develop a Cadmium? Toxicity eventually but there's no research to support your position that they necessarily would. Casanova ate something like 20-40? Oysters a day and not only did he live to a ripe older age but he was getting poon all the while, probably because of elevated testosterone levels among other things. That being said, I don't eat many oysters anymore, I got tired of them.

1
A4ec6ec2cb2885cc4fefab6d883a15a0

on May 01, 2013
at 06:35 PM

Wow! And I came here to see if the 3oz of oysters I eat daily is too much zinc. It's 75mg about 600% of the recommended amount.Day in and Day out might accumulate quite a bit of Zinc over time.... Lots of B12 in Oysters as well, good stuff.

1
34e5b1a156d36a631127c4ec46981cfb

on January 25, 2013
at 06:13 AM

Please do not eat one pound of Oysters a day. The short answer is that you can overdose on anything, including water. Oysters are not safe to eat in large quantities for a few reasons and heavy metals is one of those reasons. You are correct to question the Zinc content. They also contain Mercury and Lead. The number one reason I would not eat shellfish more than once a week is that all shellfish are natural bio-filters. Their function is to clean the ocean. All the toxins that people dump in to the ocean (think about that for a moment) end up being eaten by something at some point. It's often Shellfish and microorganisms that break down the junk in the ocean.

Now read this: http://www.medic8.com/healthguide/food-poisoning/shellfish-toxins.html

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 25, 2013
at 11:54 AM

I was under the impression that oysters contain the lowest levels of mercury of any seafood though? I should note that my oysters are cooked and canned bumblebee oysters, and the link you provided says "If shellfish is cooked thoroughly and at the correct temperature then it should not result in food poisoning". People also say livers are the filters of the body. Ty for the link though, +1'ed.

1
94a4a87e3d2e1e9160b6ed77678b4bea

(1311)

on January 24, 2013
at 10:04 PM

My query is whether you are also getting a good dose of magnesium in your diet as well to balance out the zinc? I take epsom salt baths and use topical magnesium oils before showers to add extra magnesium.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 25, 2013
at 03:40 PM

There is some magnesium in the seafood, that along with the potatoes I eat puts me >100% rda for sure, also my potassium is above 100%. Ty for your comment MayaBee :)

0
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on January 24, 2013
at 09:39 PM

There's no such thing as a superfood. Some foods have more of one (or more nutrients) than others and that's good. But there's nothing magic about any one kind of food that means you should eat it in proportions that cuts other stuff out of your diet. A varied diet is best. Plus depending on the nutrient, it can be easy to get too much and have it be a detriment (e.g. Antioxidants)

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 24, 2013
at 09:44 PM

Cool, so can I eat too many oysters?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 24, 2013
at 09:54 PM

Also, superfoods definitely exist.

0
44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on January 19, 2013
at 07:38 AM

One doesnt need to be a rocket scientist to figure out eating oysters all day long is far from optimal. Theres a bell shaped curve for nutrients. You can have too much zinc. Like i know that liver is about the most nutrient dense foods there is but, i wouldnt be eating it a pound per day everyday, that would be stupid. I like liver, and limit it to once a week. I wish i had access to oysters, the best zinc supplement there is. One of those minerals that are hard to get. I get my selenium from lamb kidneys, iodine from kombu and seafood (also fish offal like roe, milts and lately, burbot liver).

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 19, 2013
at 12:22 PM

Do you have a bell curve showing the diminishing returns for different nutrients, or am I supposed to trust the rda to be accurate? Should the rda be adjusted to account for the fact tha I eat almost twice the daily calories so would I need twice the daily nutrients?

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!