ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Acupuncture May Not Help Hot Flashes
Soybean Chemicals May Reduce Effects of Menopause
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Many Americans Fall Short on Their Vitamin D
Returning to the Road Tricky After Injury
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
CANCER
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Omega-3 May Safely Treat Precancerous Bowel Polyps
CAREGIVING
Mild Flu Season Coming to a Close
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
Recession Scrambling Health Spending in U.S.
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Smog Tougher on the Obese
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
DIABETES
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
DIET, NUTRITION
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Herb Shows Potential for Rheumatoid Arthriti
Coffee Beans May Be Newest Stress-Buster
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Gas Cooking Might Up Your Cancer Risk
Climate Change Linked to Longer Pollen Seasons
Topical Drugs May Pollute Waterways
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
Statin Drugs Cause Eye Disorders
Vision Test for Young Children Called Unreliable
FITNESS
Exercise Keeps the Brain Young
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Kids More Apt to Smoke If Mom Did While Pregnant
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
B-Vitamins Help Protect Against Stroke, Heart Disease
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Don't Leave Your Kids In The Car !
Babies Who Eat Fish Lower Eczema Risk
Boosting Kids' Stroke IQ May Save Lives
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
SENIORS
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
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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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