ROCHESTER, N.Y., Jan. 24 (UPI) -- A new study finds women can safely eat fish while pregnant without much concern for mercury hurting their child.
The researchers looked at 1,500 mothers over the course of three decades and found those with high levels of fish consumption, about 12 meals per week with fish, didn't have children with any developmental problems.
"These findings show no overall association between prenatal exposure to mercury through fish consumption and neurodevelopmental outcomes," said Edwin van Wijngaarden, Ph.D., and associate professor in the University of Rochester Department of Public Health Sciences and a co-author of the study. "It is also becoming increasingly clear that the benefits of fish consumption may outweigh, or even mask, any potentially adverse effects of mercury."
They found the polyunsaturated fatty acids naturally found in fish can "augment or counteract the toxic properties of mercury." The FDA currently recommends pregnant women limit fish consumption to twice a week, but those guidelines are being reconsidered.
The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.