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Women Should Eat More Tuna And Fish: Says Study United Kingdom, October 3, 13

A large-scale British study has suggested that concerns over mercury levels in tuna and other fish may be unfounded. The research concluded that eating fish has numerous health benefits and researchers hope that “many more women will now consider eating fish during pregnancy.”

The study compared the mercury levels in blood samples of more than 4000 pregnant women with information about their diet and lifestyle. They found that only 7 percent of mercury found in women’s bodies was accounted for by fish, while 17 percent came from other food and drink. Pollution, dental fillings and pesticides also contributed to an increased level.

Less than 1 percent of the women tested had a higher mercury level than what is recommended by the US National Research Council. Researchers outlined that the advice for pregnant women to limit their intake of tuna and other seafood was unlikely to substantially reduce mercury levels.

SA Health and Medical Research Institute theme leader of healthy mothers, babies and children, Professor Maria Makrides said that pregnant women should eat fish two or three times a week in order to consume an adequate amount of Omega-3 fatty acids.

She explained that the key was to avoid long-living predatory fish which were more likely to contain higher levels of mercury. The study was published in Environmental Health Perspective.