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Mercury Exposure During Pregnancy Linked to ADHD (and the 10 Best & Worst Fish for Pregnancy!)

Mercury Linked to ADHD & 10 Best Fish for Pregnancy

So the ongoing debate over whether fish is safe to eat during pregnancy continues: Yesterday, the hot topic got another talking point with the release of a new study that links prenatal mercury exposure to ADHD.

The new information is sure to scare new moms who consumed fish during their pregnancies and is likely to force expectant mothers to swear off any and all fish until after their little ones arrive safely in their arms.

But the study is twofold, so be sure to read on and make sure you’ve got all the information as conflicting as it may seem and check out the 10 best and worse fish to consume during your pregnancy.

The craziest thing about this study is that it appears to contradict itself at least at first glance.

The study “suggests that low-level prenatal mercury exposure [read: small amounts of mercury, not some massive amount] may be associated with a greater risk of ADHD and (emphasis mine) that fish consumption during pregnancy may be associated with a lower risk of these behaviors.”

HUH??

So eating mercury-containing fish during pregnancy might be linked to your child’s development of ADHD. And eating mercury-containing fish during pregnancy might lower your child’s risk of ADHD.

OK, this clearly needs to be laid out in simpler terms.

While mercury exposure during pregnancy may very well be linked to the development of a child’s ADHD, eating fish in the proper amounts and the right kinds actually provides nutrients vital to protecting your child’s brain from developing conditions like ADHD (nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids).

So don’t be too quick to stop eating fish during your pregnancy, just know which ones are the safest to eat and which ones should be avoided. To help you with that, here’s a handy round-up of the best and the worst, as provided by the American Pregnancy Association.


Study Source: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, via EurekAlert

Click here to view the American Pregnancy Association’s full list of mercury levels in fish.

Main Photo: iStockphoto

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