Scientists are finding that there is a relationship between what a mother eats and her child’s IQ. Using women in Britain for the study, researchers concluded that women who eat less fish had kids with lower IQs than those whose mothers ate plenty of fish.
Study leader, Margaret Rayman, of the University of Surrey worked with colleagues at the University of Bristol to study mothers and children and their urine samples. In the samples, they were seeking iodine concentration, which tells them how much fish the mother ate during pregnancy.
After the first leg of the study, the researchers checked the IQs of children at age 8 and reading ability at age 9. That’s when it was determined that two thirds of pregnant women were iodine deficient.
Mothers with the lowest levels of iodine had kids with the lowest IQs.
“Our results show the importance of adequate iodine status during early gestation and emphasize the risk that iodine deficiency could pose to the developing infant, even in a country classified as only mildly iodine deficient,” the researchers concluded. “Iodine deficiency in pregnant women in Britain should be treated as an important public health issue that needs attention.”
While the study showed that the women who ate fish during pregnancy positively affected the IQ of their children, there is still a risk when women who are pregnant eat fish and seafood. Fish is commonly the cause of many allergies and also the cause of food poisoning when it is not correctly stored and cooked. Caution must be exercised when pregnant women consume fish and other seafood.