Saturday December 7, 2019

Prenatal Fish Consumption NOT Linked to Autism Risk in Babies

The researchers also found poor social cognition if mothers ate no fish at all, especially for baby girls

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Fat
Fish is an excellent source of the omega-3s EPA and DHA while flax, walnuts and canola oil are good sources of ALA omega-3. Pixabay

Instead of increasing risk of autism, eating fish twice a week during pregnancy may actually give newborns several nutritional benefits, suggests a new research.

The findings — published in journal Molecular Autism — found no evidence to support claims that mercury in fish is linked to the development of autism or autistic traits in newborns.

“All species of fish contain traces of mercury, which can harm brain development, but we have found that the health benefits of fish, probably from nutrients such as vitamin D, Omega-3 fatty acids, selenium and iodine, outweigh the risks from mercury,” said co-author Caroline Taylor from the University of Bristol in Britain.

For the study, the researchers examined the assumption that mercury exposure during pregnancy is a major cause of autism, using evidence from nearly 4,500 women.

They analysed blood samples, reported fish consumption and gathered information on autism and autistic traits from one of the largest longitudinal studies to date.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

The researchers also found poor social cognition if mothers ate no fish at all, especially for baby girls.

“Our findings further endorse the safety of eating fish during pregnancy. Importantly, we’ve found no evidence at all to support claims that mercury is involved in the development of autism or autistic traits,” said lead author Jean Golding, Professor at the University of Bristol.

Also Read: Gene Responsible For Autism Identified

“This adds to a body of work that endorses eating of fish during pregnancy for a good nutritional start to life with at least two fish meals a week,” Golding noted. (IANS)

Next Story

Morning Sickness Can Increase Autism Risk in Children: Study

Awareness of an association may create the opportunity for earlier diagnosis and intervention in children at risk of autism

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Children
For the study published in the American Journal of Perinatology, researchers reviewed the electronic health records of nearly 500,000 pregnant women and their Children born between 1991-2014 in Southern California. Pixabay

Children whose mothers had hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness, during pregnancy were 53 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, a study said.

Hyperemesis gravidarum occurs in less than five per cent of pregnancies. Affected women experience intense nausea and are unable to keep down food and fluids.

This could lead to dangerous dehydration and inadequate nutrition during pregnancy.

“This study is important because it suggests that children born to women with hyperemesis may be at an increased risk of autism,” said the study’s lead author Darios Getahun, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research and Evaluation.

“Awareness of this association may create the opportunity for earlier diagnosis and intervention in children at risk of autism,” Getahun said,

For the study published in the American Journal of Perinatology, researchers reviewed the electronic health records of nearly 500,000 pregnant women and their Children born between 1991-2014 in Southern California.

They compared children whose mothers had a diagnosis of hyperemesis gravidarum during pregnancy to those whose mothers did not.

Children
Children whose mothers had hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness, during pregnancy were 53 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, a study said. Pixabay

The researchers found that exposure to hyperemesis gravidarum was associated with increased risk of autism when the disease was diagnosed during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy, but not when it was diagnosed only in the third trimester.

Exposure to the disease was associated with the risk of autism regardless of the severity of the mother’s hyperemesis gravidarum, the study said.

ALSO READ: Here’s the Right Way To Choose Detergent for Baby Clothes

The results are consistent with the hypothesis that women experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum have a poor nutritional intake, which might, in turn lead to potential long-term neurodevelopment impairment in their children. (IANS)