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Eating Fish Makes Brainy Babies

A recent study, by Harvard University, has shown that babies born to mothers who ate plenty of fish during pregnancy perfomed better in cognitive functioning tests at age 6 months.

These tests correlate to IQ in later life. It is suggested that fish contains high amounts of beneficial nutrients, particularly the omega 3 fats which may play a critical role in neurocognitive development.

The study also measured the levels of mercury found in the women and found that the infants who scored highest on cognitive tests were those whose mothers ate more fish but had low levels of mercury (hair analysis).

Current recommendations do caution pregnant women about the risk of pollutants found in fish, such as  mercury and PCB's, advising them to limit their intake of oily fish ( 2/ week) and to avoid swordfish, shark or marlin.

This new research concludes that the optimum benefit is associated with consumption of fish that are high in omega 3 fats but have lower levels of mercury, such as salmon, mackerel and sardines.

If you need more advice on what to safely eat during pregnancy, please contact This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

You may also find the faq section useful (' what about the toxins found in fish ?' ).

Source: Food and Behaviour Research website www.fabresearch.org

Updated October 2006 

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