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Restricting Fish Consumption By Mothers-To-Be Because Of Mercury Content May Be Misguided

September 30, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Guidelines for pregnant women that discourage excessive fish consumption because of mercury contamination should get another look, British researchers reported. Their study analyzed 103 food and drink items consumed by nearly 4,500 expectant mothers. They found that the 103 items together accounted for less than 17 percent of total mercury levels in the body. They also found that herbal teas and alcohol, especially wine, were also associated with the highest mercury blood levels. The researchers concluded that limiting fish consumption during pregnancy probably doesn’t reduce mercury intake significantly. But fish is beneficial for the unborn child, because of iodine and omega 3 content.
Jean Golding et al., "Dietary Predictors of Maternal Prenatal Blood Mercury Levels in the ALSPAC Birth Cohort Study", Environmental Health Perspectives, September 30, 2013, © Golding et al.
Food & Nutrition
Women's Health
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United Kingdom
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