Scientists from the University of Bristol found that babies born to mothers who ate fish typically had higher IQs and performed better in maths and science tests.
Current warnings to limit the intake of fish high in mercury has caused confusion and has led mothers to shun the food entirely, but this means they are more likely to harm their babies development by depriving them of key nutrients such as long-chain fatty acids, iodine, vitamin D and selenium.
Writing in the journal NeuroToxicology co-author Dr. Caroline Taylor said, “We found that a mother’s mercury level during pregnancy is likely to have no adverse effect on a child’s development provided that the mother eats fish. Only if she did not eat fish was there some evidence that her mercury level could have a harmful effect on the child.
The study was funded by the UK Medical Research Council and the UK Wellcome Trust.