New guidelines on oily fish
Health experts are agreed that the nutrients in oily fish are invaluable. But now a study claims it can be dangerous to have too much oily fish in pregnancy.
Posted: 13 October 2006
by Laura Lee Davies
Scientists writing in a medical journal now believe that if pregnant women eat too much oily fish regularly, it can bring about premature birth.
The valuable nutrients in oily fish are important for everyone, and in past research oily fish has been cited as important to the brain development of the growing fetus. However, this new study claims that the presence of mercury in oily fish can cause health issues like having a baby pre-term.
Pregnant women are already advised to steer clear of swordfish and shark because of the levels of damaging poisons like mercury which can be found in them. However, this is the first time oily fish has been named alongside them.
The Food Standards agency are keen to point out that pregnant women should include two servings of oily fish in the diet on a weekly basis, as they are still a rich source of important omega 3. Other fish, like tuna, is safe to eat and, though it is sometimes dressed in oil, it is not an 'oily fish'.
For more about the Food Standards Agency's advice on what to eat and what to avoid during pregnancy, go to www.eatwell.gov.uk.
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