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Fish Consumption in Pregnancy: More Mackerel Boosts Babies' Brains

Image: Fish Consumption in Pregnancy: More Mackerel Boosts Babies' Brains
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By    |   Tuesday, 19 Jan 2016 12:09 PM

Fish consumption during pregnancy gives a big boost to babies' brains, a new study has found.

Reuters reported that researchers followed 2,000 mother-child pairs from the first trimester of pregnancy through each child's fifth birthday, and found that the mothers who ate the most fish had babies with improved brain function more often than the mothers who ate the least.

The data used for the study came from the Spanish Childhood and Environment Project, which studied women and children in Spain between 2004 and 2008.

The study's lead author, Jordi Julvez of the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona, said that many of the women ate swordfish, albacore tuna, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, salmon, as well as lean fish like hake and sole.

"On average, the women had consumed about 500 g, or three servings, of seafood per week while pregnant. But with every additional 10 g per week above that amount, children’s test scores improved, up to about 600 g. The link between higher maternal consumption and better brain development in children was especially apparent when kids were five," Reuters wrote. Above 600 grams per week of fish, the study found no additional brain benefit.

Julvez said that, while the results of the study were promising, expecting mothers should mind mainstream guidelines for the time being.

"I think that in general people should follow the current recommendations," Julvez said. "Nevertheless this study pointed out that maybe some of them, particularly the American ones, should be less stringent."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 2014 guidelines encourage fish consumption for pregnant women, but no more than 12 ounces a week.

Surprising to some was the fact that the study found no increased danger from mercury of other pollutants associated with fish.

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Fish consumption during pregnancy gives a big boost to babies' brains, a new study has found.
fish, consumption, pregnancy, seafood
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2016-09-19
Tuesday, 19 Jan 2016 12:09 PM
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