Myth: Eating Fish During Pregnancy Causes Autism

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on November 29, 2018 · 0 comments

The advice about eating fish during pregnancy is often contradictory and complicated. Pregnant women want what is best for their developing baby. Many shun fish because they are concerned about the effect of mercury on brain development in their unborn child.

Though all marine life may contain traces of mercury, a recently completed, large, long term study found no link between mercury and autism in children. The researchers analyzed blood samples of pregnant women, asked about fish consumption during pregnancy, noted the number of mercury-containing dental fillings, and traced the number of autism cases after birth. One of the lead researchers, Professor Jean Golding, of the Bristol Medical School, said our findings endorse the safety of eating fish during pregnancy and we found no evidence to support claims that mercury is involved in the development of autism.

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