Too Much Oily Fish Maybe Harmful To Pregnancy
Written by All Headline News   
Saturday, 14 October 2006 14:23

Scientists have issued a warning to pregnant women not to eat too much oily fish during their pregnancy as this may increase the risk of delivering the baby too early.In a report published in the New Scientist magazine, the researchers say the harm could be traced to the high levels of mercury in oily fish such as mackerel, salmon and sardines, BBC News reported.

However, they are not advising pregnant women to avoid eating fish, as it is needed to keep themselves healthy. They are suggesting that pregnant women should eat fish at least twice a day as recommended by the Food Standards Agency.

Fish to avoid during pregnancy because of high mercury content and other pollutants, are shark, marlin and swordfish. Women who are breastfeeding and those who are trying to conceive a child, are advised to eat two portions of oily fish per week.

Other women, and men and boys, can eat up to four portions per week. One portion is about 140g of fish - one tuna steak, for example. Oily fish are high in beneficial fats such as omega 3.

Separate studies show that eating enough fish during pregnancy can boost the babies birth weight and brain power and help prevent premature labor.

The research, which was also published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal, studied at least 1,024 pregnant women living in Michigan.

Dr Fei Xue and colleagues measured the amount of mercury those women had in their hair and compared this with the date that the women delivered their babies.

It was found that women with double the amount of mercury level in their hair samples, gave birth more than two weeks early.
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