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Thread: Ladies, eat your fish!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    ex-Melbourne girl in Hong Kong

    Default Ladies, eat your fish!

    I just read this on Yahoo news.

    I've always thought it's odd that in the US and UK you're told to stay away from fish because of contaminants yet in Sweden we're told to have at least 2 serves a week but avoid large predatory fish and any seafood sourced from the Baltic....

    Fish diet in pregnancy may hone kids' IQ By MARIA CHENG, AP Medical Writer

    LONDON - Women who eat seafood while pregnant may be boosting their children's IQ in the process, according to new research published Friday in The Lancet.

    The results of the study were surprising, say the authors, and contradict American and British recommendations that pregnant women should limit seafood and fish consumption to avoid potentially high levels of mercury. The study relied on mothers' observations of their children's development and their reports of their food intake while pregnant.

    Mercury is found in small concentrations in fish and seafood, but can accumulate in the body. High amounts of the metal can damage the human nervous system, particularly those in developing fetuses. On the other hand, seafood including fish is also a major source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential to brain development.

    While experts believe further research is necessary to confirm these conclusions, the study's failure to find evidence of increased harm from eating fish is significant. Because seafood contain both nutrients and toxins, it remains a dilemma for regulatory authorities what kinds of recommendations should exist for pregnant women.

    The study, led by Dr. Joseph Hibbeln of the United States' National Institutes of Health, tracked the eating habits of 11,875 pregnant women in Bristol, Britain.

    At 32 weeks into their pregnancy, the women were asked to fill in a seafood consumption questionnaire. They were subsequently sent questionnaires four times during their pregnancy, and then up to eight years after the birth of their child. Researchers examined issues including the children's social and communication skills, their hand-eye coordination, and their IQ levels. As with any study based on self-reporting methods, however, the results cannot be considered entirely definitive.

    The study was primarily funded by Britain's Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, the University of Bristol, and the British government.

    Hibbeln and his colleagues concluded that women who ate more than 340 grams per week of fish or seafood the equivalent of two or three servings a week had smarter children with better developmental skills. Children whose mothers ate no seafood were 48 percent more likely to have a low verbal IQ score, compared to children whose mothers ate high amounts of seafood.

    "These results highlight the importance of including fish in the maternal diet and lend support to the popular opinion that fish is brain food," wrote Dr. Gary Myers and Dr. Philip Davidson of the University of Rochester Medical Center, in an accompanying commentary. Myers and Davidson were not connected to the study.

    Eating even more than three portions of fish or seafood a week could be beneficial, Hibbeln suggests. "Advice that limits seafood consumption might reduce the intake of nutrients necessary for optimum neurological development," he and his colleagues wrote.

  2. #2


    b456 - nothing to do with the thread lol but i was curious as to why u had elective cesarians...
    ps this is my first preg and i know nothing about anything lol

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    On the other side of this screen!!!


    Yay! Fish is yummy! Yes PG women here are told to eat fish too, only avoid those species high in Mercury! So no more flake down at the fish n chip shop!

    There was a really interesting TV doco on last week about Chn who were given fish oil supplements - Did anyone see that (I only caught the last ten minutes). Lucky DD loves her fish!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2006
    SA great!


    yeah i just cant eat fish, its so healthy but!:P
    absolutely agree with caro, some fish is alot worse than others for mercury.
    thank gosh i take blackmore, it actually HAS fish oil in it (and DHA and iodine), unlike elevitt!:P:P

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    I think its the omega3 that is the important ingredient in terms of brain development.
    Here in Denmark the medical profession still doesn't endorse Fish Oil supplements in pregnancy, but I believe many take them, particularly in the later stages.
    I have been taking a 'green' alternative which is the omega 3 supplement from plants, which is supposedly quite harmless, you can get it from your organic shops. I also take a preg multi-vitamin.

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