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Fish Stories

06/27/2009

If you’ve been pregnant and visited an OB, read a magazine, signed onto a forum or visited a pregnancy website, you’ve probably encountered severe commands and dire warnings against eating too much fish, especially tuna. Here’s what I found in 2008:

According to extensive research, even if a pregnant woman eats double the amount of fish recommended by the FDA, she will still be protected from reaching the “mercury harm” limit by 500%.

Going even further in the research, fish contain the necessary Omega 3 fatty acids that prevent heart problems, strokes, diabetes, arthiritis, different kinds of cancer, and kidney disorders. Furthermore, fish consumption helps to eliminate pre-term delivery, post partum depression and even low birth weight!

A 2005 study published in Archives of Neurology showed that elderly people who eat fish at least once a week can slow their rate of mental decline by 10 to 13 percent.  Research published in the same journal in 2003 found that adults who consume fish once or more each week have a 60% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. 

A 2004 study of children in Bristol, England showed that the children of pregnant women who consumed high amounts of fish scored higher on mental development tests.  I read elsewhere that those who were born to those who avoided fish while pregnant scored in the low 25 percentile of the IQ test given.

Even if Americans could eat enough fish to jeopardize their health from mercury intake, it would take decades for the speculative health effects to take place. EPA scientist Kathryn Mahaffey invented a statistic that 630,000 children are born with such high levels of mercury in their blood that they are at risk for having neurological disorders. This statistic was based not on the number of children born with mental problems due to high-fish intake by their mothers, but on the amount of mercury intake recommended by the FDA for pregnant women to consume, which is 10 times lower than the amount of mercury that the EPA itself believes might cause health risks!

The standards set down by the Canadian government, the British Food Standards, and the World Health Organization for fish intake (especially while pregnant) is 4.7 times higher than what the American EPA/FDA permits.

Long story short – environmentalists have created statistics and myths to protect fish from being eaten, despite the numerous overall health and specific brain benefits that research proves fish hold, despite the small amount of mercury they ingest because they are fish.

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