Fish consumption during pregnancy may improve metabolic health of offsprings
Fish is a major source of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that are important for the developing fetus.
US: Fish is the major dietary source of ω-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, which may have anti-inflammatory properties and may be associated with cardiometabolic benefits. It is a major source of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that are important for the developing fetus. However, fish is also a common source of exposure to mercury, which may be associated with opposing consequences.
In order to solve this debt of eating or not eating a fish during pregnancy, a group of researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC conducted a population-based prospective birth cohort study that was published in JAMA Network Open.
The study showed that children whose mothers ate fish from one to three times a week during pregnancy were more likely to have a better metabolic profile -- despite the risk of exposure to mercury -- than children whose mothers ate fish rarely (less than once a week).Researchers looked at 805 mother and child pairs from five European countries participating in a collaborative research project known as the HELIX study, which is following women and their children from pregnancy onwards.
During their pregnancy, the women were asked about their weekly fish consumption and tested for mercury exposure. When the children were from 6 to 12 years old, they underwent a clinical examination with various measurements including waist circumference, blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and insulin levels. These measures were combined to calculate a metabolic syndrome score.
The result of the study were
1)Fish intake consistent with health recommendations (1 to 3 times per week) during pregnancy was associated with a 1-U decrease in metabolic syndrome score in children compared with low fish consumption (<1 time per week) after adjusting for maternal mercury levels and other covariates.
2)A higher maternal mercury concentration was independently associated with an increase in the metabolic syndrome score of their offspring.
3)Compared with low fish intake, moderate and high fish intake during pregnancy were associated with reduced levels of proinflammatory cytokines and adipokines in children.
The results of this study suggested that moderate fish intake consistent with current health recommendations during pregnancy was associated with improvements in the metabolic health of children, while high maternal mercury exposure was associated with an unfavorable metabolic profile in children.
Next, the researchers had planned to look at the effects of consuming different types of fish with different nutrients and mercury levels and to follow up on these children until the age of 14-15 years.
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