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Fish during pregnancy can lead to smarter children

Fish during pregnancy can lead to smarter children

According to a study published in American Journal of Epidemiology, pregnant moms who eat fish every week can help their babies develop smarter brains.

According to a Reuters report, study carried out on 2,000 mothers who were tracked in the first trimester until their babies reached five-years old stated that mothers who had more fish in their diet during the pregnancy, had children with better brain function compared to moms who ate lesser quantity of fish.

The researchers also saw that, even as the pregnant moms ate about 600 grams (21 ounces) of fish weekly, they were not at any risk of poisoning and other similar threats due to pollutants found in seafood.

Seafood consumption during pregnancy is thought to be beneficial for child neuropsychological development, but no large cohort studies with high fatty fish consumption have analyzed the association by seafood subtype.

Researchers evaluated 1,892 and 1,589 mother-child pairs at the ages of 14 months and 5 years, respectively, in a population-based Spanish birth cohort established during 2004 2008. Bayley and McCarthy scales and the Childhood Asperger Syndrome Test were used to assess neuropsychological development. Results from multivariate linear regression models were adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics and further adjusted for umbilical cord blood mercury or long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid concentrations.

Overall, consumption of seafood above the recommended limit of 340 g/week was associated with 10-g/week increments in neuropsychological scores.

By subtype, in addition to lean fish, consumption of large fatty fish showed a positive association; offspring of persons within the highest quantile (>238 g/week) had an adjusted increase of 2.29 points in McCarthy general cognitive score (95% confidence interval: 0.42, 4.16). Similar findings were observed for the Childhood Asperger Syndrome Test.

Beta coefficients diminished 15% 30% after adjustment for mercury or long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid concentrations. Consumption of large fatty fish during pregnancy presents moderate child neuropsychological benefits, including improvements in cognitive functioning and some protection from autism-spectrum traits.

Fish during pregnancy can lead to smarter children