Navigation Links
Consuming fish during pregnancy improves offspring's cognitive development and prosocial conduct

Blood samples were collected from 2,000 women at 20 gestational weeks and from the umbilical cord of the infant at birth

Can pregnant women improve their progeny's intelligence by eating fish?

Can pregnant women improve their progeny's intelligence by eating fish? A study recently submitted to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and coordinated by the University of Granada professor Cristina Campoy Folgoso revealed that infants born to mothers who consumed more fish during pregnancy score higher in verbal intelligence and fine motor skill tests, and present an increased prosocial behavior.

This study was conducted within the framework of the NUTRIMENTHE project ("Effect of diet on offspring's cognitive development"), which received funding of 5.9 million Euros from the European 7th Framework Programme (7PM). This study was coordinated by the University of Granada professor Cristina Campoy Folgoso.Fish oil is the primary source of long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the main component of brain cell membranes. The European Commission has confirmed and supports the healthy effects of DHA as "it contributes to the normal development of the brain and eye of the fetus and breastfed infants".

Effects of Fish Intake

The NUTRIMENTHE project is focused on the effects that genetic variants and maternal fish intake have on the offspring's intellectual capacity. The researchers mainly focused on polymorphisms in the fatty acid desaturase (FADS) gene cluster that encodes the delta-5 and delta-6 desaturase enzymes involved in the synthesis of long-chain fatty acids of the series omega-3 and omega-6.

The researchers collected blood samples from 2 000 women at 20 gestational weeks and from the umbilical cord of the infant at birth, and analyzed concentrations of long-chain fatty acids of the series omega-3 and omega-6. Then, they determined the genotype of 18 polymorphisms in the FADS gene cluster. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of maternal fish intake -as a source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids- on fetal development, and to determine how the different genotypes affect long-chain fatty acid concentrations in the fetus.

Dr. Pauline Emmett (University of Bristol), Dr. Eva Lattka (Helmholtz Zentrum Mnchen, the German Research Center for Environmental Health) and their research teams have determined how FADS gene cluster polymorphisms affect long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid concentrations in women during pregnancy.

Maternal Genotypes

According to the researchers, fatty acid concentrations in umbilical cord blood depend on maternal and offspring genotypes. Accordingly, maternal genotypes are mainly related with omega-6 fatty acid precursors, and offspring genotypes are related with the more highly elongated fatty acids of the omega-6 series. The study also revealed that concentrations of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) of the Omega-3 series -main component of brain cell membranes- depend on maternal and offspring genotypes. Dr Lattka states that "the fetal contribution of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids of the omega-6 series is more relevant than expected; fetal DHA concentrations depend on maternal and fetal metabolism", and concludes that "the amount of DHA transmitted to the fetus through the placenta might be crucial for fetal development".

In a previous study, this research team proved that fish intake during pregnancy is correlated with the IQ in 8-year old children. But, what causes that effect? The study revealed that fish intake is correlated with maternal blood DHA concentrations. However, it has not been clarified whether maternal DHA concentrations are directly correlated with the offspring's IQ. The NUTRIMENTHE project which is expected to conclude in 2013- is aimed at elucidating this question.

Contact: Cristina Campoy Folgoso.
University of Granada

Related biology news :

1. Pregnant women consuming flaxseed oil have high risk of premature birth
2. Young men consuming an alarming amount of salt
3. Unknowlingly consuming endangered tuna
4. Consuming vegetables linked to decreased breast cancer risk in African-American women
5. Consuming polyunsaturated fatty acids may lower the incidence of gum disease
6. High-caffeine-consuming boys get greater rush from caffeine than girls
7. University of Iowa researchers identify caffeine-consuming bacterium
8. Scientists identify microbes responsible for consuming natural gas in Deepwater Horizon spill
9. Experts discuss climate change during UH lecture series
10. During exercise, the human brain shifts into high gear on alternative energy
11. New study indicates link between weight gains during pregnancy and dieting history
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/22/2016)... 22, 2016  The American College of Medical Genetics and ... Magazine as one of the fastest-growing trade shows during ... the Bellagio in Las Vegas . ... of growth in each of the following categories: net square ... number of attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... June 20, 2016 Securus Technologies, a ... solutions for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring ... involved, it has secured the final acceptance by ... for Managed Access Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus ... to be installed by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... 2016 Paris Police Prefecture ... security solution to ensure the safety of people and operations ... the major tournament Teleste, an international technology group ... announced today that its video security solution will be utilised ... up public safety across the country. The system roll-out is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the creation of ... company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the Company"), ... portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the treatment ... represent an exciting class of therapies, possessing the ... cancer patients. Substantial advances have been achieved with ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has ... Association to serve as their official health care ... Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, ... coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. "We ... Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality services ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new Young ... cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool of ... More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , ... secured $1 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley ... up automation and to advance its drug development efforts, ... new facility. "SVB has been an incredible ... the services a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: