ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Ginkgo No Shield Against Alzheimer's
The Zen Way to Pain Relief
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Pain More a Cause of Arthritis Than a Symptom
Alcohol Abuse Can Damage Bones
CANCER
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Tanning Beds Shown To Raise Cancer Risk, Study Says
CAREGIVING
Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening
With Alzheimer's, Health-Care Costs Could Triple
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
DIABETES
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
DIET, NUTRITION
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Coffee Drinkers Might Live Longer
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Greenhouse Gases Hazardous to Your Health
Agent Orange Exposure Tied to Prostate Cancer Return
Database Helps Assess Your Breast Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
Certain Diabetes Drugs May Pose Eye Risk
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
FITNESS
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
Food and Water Supply Poisoned by Perchlorate
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
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Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development

MONDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Greater maternal consumption of fish and longer periods of breast-feeding are tied to better physical and cognitive development in infants, according to a new study.

The report, which looked at mothers and infants from Denmark, provides further evidence that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and compounds in breast milk aid infant development.

"These results, together with findings from other studies of women in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, provide additional evidence that moderate maternal fish intake during pregnancy does not harm child development and may on balance be beneficial," study lead author Emily Oken, an assistant professor at Harvard University, said in a university news release.

Researchers from the Maternal Nutrition Group at the Department of Epidemiology at Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, Denmark, also collaborated on the study, which was published in the September issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The research, which looked at 25,446 children born to mothers participating in a Danish study between 1997 and 2002, found that children whose mothers ate the most fish during pregnancy (about 2 ounces a day on average) were more likely to have better motor and cognitive skills. Meanwhile, those whose mothers ate the least fish had the lowest developmental scores at 18 months of age.

Children who were breast-fed for longer periods of time also scored better, especially at 18 months. Breast milk also contains omega-3 fatty acids. The benefit of fish consumption was similar among infants breast-fed for shorter or longer durations.

U.S. women are advised to limit their fish intake to two servings a week because some fish contain high traces of mercury, a known toxin. Most women in the study, however, consumed cod, plaice, salmon, herring and mackerel -- fish that tend to have low-mercury levels.

"In previous work in a population of U.S. women, we similarly found that higher prenatal fish consumption was associated with an overall benefit for child cognitive development, but that higher mercury levels attenuated this benefit," Oken said. "Therefore, women should continue to eat fish -- especially during pregnancy -- but should choose fish types likely to be lower in mercury."

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about mercury levels in fish.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: Harvard Medical School, news release, September 2008

Last Updated: Sept. 29, 2008

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