One Fish, Two Fish for Expecting Moms

Pregnant women often avoid seafood due to concerns that high levels of mercury found in some fish may harm the developing baby.  However, a study of 225 moms and their children participating in the Seychelles Child Development Nutrition Study suggests that a mom’s intake of healthy, omega-3 fats found in fish may influence developmental outcomes in her child.  The authors reported a direct, positive relationship between omega-3 fatty acid levels in mom’s diet while pregnant and her child’s language development scores at age 5 with no adverse effects of prenatal mercury exposure.  (The data were collected in the Republic of Seycelles, where fish consumption is greater than in the United States and mercury levels in fish are similar.)  The study’s authors suggest that the polyunsaturated fats found in fish may offset any effects of mercury while providing additional benefits for mom and baby.  Further research is clearly needed.

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