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AVOID TOO MUCH MERCURY FOR PREGNANT WOMAN

AVOID TOO MUCH MERCURY FOR PREGNANT WOMAN
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Pregnancy woman need so much nutrition for the health of be born baby. One of the suggestion food for pregnant woman is eating fish. But woman should know that some fish have a lot of mercury that make problem for pregnancy. That why pregnancy woman should know about how much to eat fish, and what other kind of food that have the same benefit such eating fish.

Fish and shellfish have gained star status on the dinner menu. Several medical groups now advocate tuna, salmon, and their fishy (and shellfish) cousins as important to a heart-healthy and overall healthy diet.

But for women, the choice has been less clear. The concern: Are fish and shellfish safe -- if pregnancy and children are in the picture? Could mercury in fish put an unborn, newborn, or young child at risk? Should pregnant women eat fish?

Various reports have turned up conflicting results -- some indicating risk, others pooh-poohing all the worry. To clarify this murky issue, WebMD turned to some of the nation's experts.

"[Pregnant] women should be cautious because their unborn fetus is very sensitive to toxicity from mercury," says Robert Goyer, MD, professor emeritus and chairman of pathology at University of Western Ontario. Goyer participated in a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) study evaluating the credibility of the EPA's mercury studies.

"We came up with the same results the EPA did," Goyer tells WebMD. "We don't know which stage of fetal development is more critical -- whether it's the third trimester or the moment of conception, or if it's continuous exposure to mercury during pregnancy. But all this has been factored together in the EPA/FDA advisory."

Advice for Pregnant Woman

The EPA and FDA advise pregnant women, young women who may become pregnant, or women who are nursing:

  • Do not eat: Shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury.
  • Eat up to 12 ounces a week: Shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish. (An average can of tuna is 6 ounces.)
  • Buy canned tuna carefully. Light tuna has less mercury than albacore ("white") tuna. However, up to 6 ounces (one average meal) of albacore tuna per week is safe.
  • Check local fish advisories: Locally caught fish should be checked with local health departments. If no advice is available, eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) per week of fish you catch from local waters, but don't consume any other fish during that week.
  • Apply these guidelines to young children: They can eat these low-mercury fish and shellfish. However, feed children smaller portions.

Also should consider about :

  • Fish sticks: Frozen fish sticks and fast-food fish sandwiches are commonly made from fish that are low in mercury.
  • Tuna steaks generally contain higher levels of mercury than canned light tuna.

Undisputed Benefits of Omega-3 Fats

The omega-3 fats in many fish and seafood are known to lower risk of heart disease and benefit the brain. The American Heart Association advises at least two servings a week of fish like mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon because of these healthy fats.

In a developing fetus, omega-3 fats promote brain, eye, and motor development, the EPA notes.

Pregnant Women and Big Fish Risks

The mercury in fish and seafood is indeed the big concern -- although there are other toxins like PCBs that have warranted some worry. Mercury exists naturally in the environment, but more is released into air, land, and water by trash burning, fossil fuel combustion in factories, mining, and the dumping of sewage sludge in croplands.

Once mercury gets into surface water, it quickly makes its way through the aquatic food chain. In smaller organisms, there is usually an insignificant amount of mercury. But as fish get older or as bigger fish eat smaller ones, the mercury content begins to build.

Fish at the top of the food chain - pike, bass, older or large tuna, tilefish, king mackerel, shark, and swordfish - tend to have higher levels of mercury, from one to 1 million times greater than the amount in the waters, according to the EPA.

If you're eating a lot of fish, mercury accumulates in your bloodstream over time. While the body naturally gets rid of mercury, it may take a year for the levels to drop significantly. Thus, it may be present in a woman even before she becomes pregnant. This is the reason why women who are trying to become pregnant - or pregnant women -- should also avoid eating certain types of fish. (by Robert Goyer, MD. WebMD.com - Baby.TopResource.NET Reference)

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