Researchers from Harvard Medical School in Boston found that among 341 children aged three years, those whose mothers ate more than two servings of fish per week during pregnancy generally performed better on tests of verbal, visual, and motor development.
The findings were revealed in the Journal of Epidemiology, add to evidence that fish can be brain food. But, they underscore the importance of choosing low-mercury fish during pregnancy. "Recommendations for fish consumption during pregnancy should take into account the nutritional benefits of fish and the potential for mercury exposure," write the researchers, led by Dr. Emily Oken of Harvard Medical School in Boston.
Fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, and sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids are important in brain development in children and fetuses. The problem is that fatty fish are more likely to be contaminated with mercury, a metal that is toxic to brain cells, particularly in fetuses and young children.
Thus, pregnant women are advised to avoid certain fish altogether, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. All fish that have very high levels of mercury because they eat other fish and live longer. From time to time they accumulate mercury in their fatty tissue.
Health officials in the United States are also advised pregnant women consuming more than 12 ounces of fish per week. For this study, the researchers collected blood samples from 341 women during their second trimester and asked them how often they eat a variety of foods, including fish. When their child was three years old, they undergo standard tests of vocabulary, visual capabilities, and coordination of the hands and fingers.
Overall, the researchers found children whose mothers ate fish more than twice a week had higher test scores. However, children whose mothers had mercury levels in the top 10 percent of the study scored worse than those whose mothers had lower mercury levels.
The fish that have omega-3 but relatively low mercury are canned tuna and smaller oily fish such as salmon. White meat fish such as cod and haddock tend to have lower mercury, but have less omega-3 than fattier fish.
For pregnant women, eating fish is believed to be able to develop the brain of the fetus, because the sea fish beneficial for pregnant women. Intelligence that will be visible when the child was three years old. In a study to prove that a pregnant women who consume fish during pregnancy proved to have children who are more intelligent and better motor skills of the child in the womb during his mother does not consume sea fish.
Fresh sea fish is recommended for pregnant women. But if no, dried fish or fish is preserved as useful and efficacious for pregnant women and their fetuses. It can make a child who will be born to have the ability to absorb and capture visual vocabulary better and better motor skills. As it turns out the baby's brain development is largely determined by the time he was in the womb. It happened during the second trimester of pregnancy the mother.
The benefits of fish not only that, marine fish rich in protein it is also useful to prevent blindness. The benefits can also be obtained from green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and beans. Experts say if the pregnant woman does not include the two types of food (fish and green vegetables) then her son would need glasses to help his eyesight. Nevertheless vision problems can be avoided before birth that is by consuming foods rich in DHA. Whereas DHA alone banya there are fish in the sea.
While many examples of fish that contain DHA are tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines. Even so in consuming fish, especially raw fish must be careful. because seafood also contain microrganisme that can also pose a risk to pregnant women. If you are still in doubt with seafood, you can replace it with a safer food for example, beef, chicken, eggs or fish from inland water. Because however helpful in addition to saltwater fish are also at risk because of some marine fish have high mercury levels. Therefore it is advisable for pregnant women to choose the right fish. If it does not benefit the fish will disappear and change into the disease.
Women who eat fish during pregnancy could potentially higher childbearing intelligent. But remember, watch portions and choose low-mercury fish. Food is one of the essential aspects towards a healthy pregnancy. Because the food that is consumed before and during pregnancy to prepare the body's role in supporting the growth of the fetus.
Healthy fetus or baby is not only indicated by the increase in organ weight and physical completeness. Equally important is the mental aspect of intelligence and brain. One of the nutrients that are considered as healthy foods for the brain is omega 3 fatty acids which are found mainly in fish. That's why pregnant women (pregnant women) are encouraged to submit a list of fish in the diet to optimize the potential of the fetal brain in the womb. On the other hand, the fish is not completely safe because it could be contained in the body of toxic substances such as mercury that can harm the body if taken in excess amount. That is why health experts are still debating, to what safe levels of fish consumption for pregnant women, without causing fetus "poisoning" of mercury.
Administration Agency for Food and Drug Administration (U.S. Food and Drug Administration / FDA) recommends pregnant women consume no more than 12 ounces of fish per week. However, a coalition of medical nutrition scientists insist that the number is still too little. "Recent data shows that women still do not consume sufficient amounts of fish, and this is very worrying," said Judy Meehan, executive director of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, an organization that focuses on the health of pregnant women and children. "Quite simply, there is no other way to get a good intake of omega 3 for brain development as well as you get from a fish," he said.
Fish is an omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat that is essential for the beneficial neurodevelopmental brain. Intake of fish is less than the government recommendation in fact can cause mental development of children "disturbed". That results in the study of a number of American and British researchers published in the journal The Lancet in 2007 ago. In addition, this study also concluded that children born to mothers who consumed at least three servings of fish per week during pregnancy, has a mental function test results were better than their peers.
Dr. Emily Oken, an assistant professor of the Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in Boston, USA, also conducted a study assessing the nutritional benefit versus the risk of contamination "poison" of fish consumption during pregnancy. For this purpose, Oken and her team interviewed 341 women about fish consumption during the second trimester of pregnancy, also tested the levels of mercury in their blood.
When children are born already 3 years old, researchers conducted tests of motor and intellectual skills to these children. As a result, higher test scores were found in children whose mothers ate more than two servings of fish per week and have low mercury levels. "That is, the optimal benefits gained women who ate low-mercury fish," Oken said, adding that high scores remain obtained in pregnant women who ate canned tuna more than two servings a week.
Other research that seeks greater periodically collect data on more than 25,000 children born to mothers Danish nationality. It is known that children whose mothers ate more fish during pregnancy have the motor and cognitive skills better than children whose mothers ate fish in small amounts.
"Compared to women who ate the least fish, women who ate the most fish (about 14 ounces per week) had a 30 percent children with developmental better. This benefit is equal to one month old child or older child who fed breast milk exclusively for a year, "he said. The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition in collaboration with the Maternal Nutrition Group, an independent community of physicians, researchers and nutritionists, in 2007 advised pregnant women to eat fish as part of a healthy diet. However, many women who interpret the guidance provided by the FDA as a ban or limit consumption of fish.
In 2004, the FDA advised pregnant women, including new mothers and young children to avoid certain types of fish that was allegedly high levels of mercury, which is likely to "poison" the developing nervous system of infants and children. Kind include shark, swordfish (swordfish), king mackarel, and tilefish.
FDA advised to choose low-mercury types of fish and eat no more than 12 ounces, which is just two servings of fish or seafood per week. However, many Americans, including pregnant women, insufficient intake is recommended. "Our message, reduce the consumption of fish is not a good thing because the fish is important for baby's brain development!" Said Meehan.
In addition to fish, other food of which must be listed on the menu pregnant women are fruits and vegetables. Besides high in vitamins and minerals, two categories of foods are also rich in fiber and folic acid. Therefore, pregnant women are expected to consume fruits and vegetables at least five servings per day