Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Controversy Over Pregnancy & Fish Consumption Rages on

With all the conflicting health information flying around about fish, it's been tough in the last few years to figure out whether or not the benefits outweigh the risks. From what I've read and discussed here at the blog (see the last two links), consensus seems to be tipping towards the fish-is-good side.

And the positive vibe continues this week with findings from a "huge" UK study
reported this week by the Washington Post.

In the University of Bristol study, researchers suggest that, for pregnant women, "advice to limit seafood consumption could actually be detrimental."

According to the Post piece, other studies have shown women who ate less than 12 ounces of seafood per week were 50 percent more likely to have kids with low IQs. These kids are more likely to have "social and communication problems," reported the Washington Post.

Question for doctors: does it have to be fish? If it's omega-3s that give the benefit, can women get that from another food source? I'm curious to know.

The Washington Post also provides some advice for picking the right fish. First, pick seafood with low levels of mercury like salmon and herring, and skip the stuff with higher levels like shark and swordfish. Albacore tuna is also high in mercury. Also, skip raw fish that "can be sources of listeria, a bacteria that sickens about 2,500 people annually," reports the Post.

More fascinating material on fish at Pound360…
Scared of Fish? Don't Be
Study: Benefits Outweigh Risks of Fish

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.