Crab consumption blamed for kidney failure in China

Published on
November 9, 2017

Claims that eating large amounts crab can cause health problems are making the rounds on Chinese social media,  following the emergence of a case in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, reported in the national press, where a Mr. Li claims he suffered kidney failure and gout from gorging on the crustaceans.

Several leading medical experts weighed in on the medical effects of seafood in an extensive report in the People’s Daily – the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party – this week. 

“Don’t eat more than three [crabs] at a sitting,” advised Wang Yu Mei, a doctor in the stomatology department at the Traditional Chinese Medicine hospital in Beijing. He advised consumers to eat the crabs with vinegar, ginger, or white wine.

Conspicuous consumption of high-priced crabs and similar pricey seafood appears to have become a health issue in China as increased wealth leads to banqueting and gluttony. Another medic, nutritionist Zhang Su Ge at the Number 3 People’s Hospital in Zhengzhou city, is quoted in the People’s Daily article warning consumers to avoid over-consumption of seafood. 

The healthiness of eating crab and other seafood is being talked about more in Chinese media, with doctors on the Mandarin-language “Health Call” phone-in show on China National Radio in particular making it a frequent topic of conversation.

Contributing Editor reporting from Beijing, China

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