T Nation

Moms' Omega 3s & Kid IQs


I'm guessing the T-Vixens will all have smart kids - but please pass this info along to your interested friends.



[i]Dr Hibbeln and Dr Golding have been examining this data bank for the effects of maternal nutrition?in particular, the effects of omega-3 intake. Dr Hibbeln announced their conclusions on January 17th at a scientific meeting organised in London by the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition.

Perhaps the most startling finding was that the children of those women who had consumed the smallest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids during their pregnancies had verbal IQs six points lower than average. That may not sound much, but it would have a serious effect on a country's brainpower if it were widespread. And the finding is particularly pertinent because existing dietary advice to pregnant women, at least in America, is that they should limit their consumption of seafood in order to avoid exposing their fetuses to trace amounts of brain-damaging methyl mercury. Ironically, that means they avoid one of the richest sources of omega-3s.

Dr Hibbeln, however, says his work shows that the benefits of eating such fish vastly outweigh the risks from the mercury in them. Indeed, in the Avon study, it was those children exposed to the lowest levels of methyl mercury who were at greatest risk of having low verbal IQ.

The researchers' second finding was that at 3? years of age, those children with the best measures of fine-motor performance were the ones whose mothers had had the highest intake of omega-3s. Their third finding was that a low intake of omega-3s during pregnancy led to higher levels of pathological social interactions such as an inability to make friends as a child grew up.[/i]