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Sea-food is Brain-food

A study published in Canadian Press, February 16, 2007 reports that women who eat fish while pregnant, have smarter children. Pregnant women having an intake of 340 grams a week of fish or seafood had smarter children with better developmental, motor skills and increased IQ. Children born of mothers who ate no seafood, particularly during gestation, were 48 per cent more likely to have a low verbal IQ score, compared to children whose mothers ate high amounts of seafood.

Another study published in BBC News Friday January 20, 2006, asserts that eating oily fish and seeds in pregnancy can boost children's future brain power and social skills. A study of 9,000 mothers and children in Avon suggested those who consumed less of the essential fatty acid Omega-3 had children with lower IQs. These children also had poorer motor skills and hand-to-eye co-ordination.

Fish indeed is Brain Food

Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel are an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acids Arachidonic acid (AA), Docosahexonoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) -- all of which play pivotal roles for brain growth and function, besides lowering dementia and stroke risks, slowing down mental decline. They play a vital role in enhancing memory, especially as we get older.

Essential fatty acids synthesis in the body

Good nutrition for motherhood begins before conception, providing a head start for both the mother and the baby. This is especially true for nutrients, such as essential fatty acids, that are below the radar screen of many women and their doctors. Two polyunsaturated fatty acids AA and DHA, are building blocks of brain cells, the vascular system, and other tissues. The mother has two ways of providing AA and DHA for the fetus. One is to make them from precursor fatty acids and the other is to procure it from the diet. However for AA, either choice appears sufficient, but for DHA, few foods other than fish and shellfish contain DHA. Women in the U.S. have one of the lowest intakes of fish in the world. The second source of DHA is conversion of the precursor, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), to EPA and subsequently DHA. However, unlike the synthesis of AA, these conversions are highly inefficient with 5% or less being converted to EPA and even lesser to DHA.

Producing child prodigies

Around 200 students of Fylde School, class XI have helped pioneer a new way of ensuring GCSE exam success. They have churned the school's highest ever recorded exam results after taking Omega 3 fish oil supplements as part of a pilot study in the lead-up to their GCSEs last summer. The experiment discovered that, by taking one Omega 3 capsule a day for 12 weeks, pupils achieved a 79 per cent improvement in reading and spelling and that the biggest improvements were amongst girls.A number of studies carried out in recent years have vouched that the essential nutrient is a vital tool in improving educational skills, such as concentration and memory capacity, and tackling behavioral difficulties.

So you see how sea food, especially oily fishes play a role of paramount importance for the neurodevelopment of the developing child, ameliorating his/her motor skills (eg, hand eye co-ordination), and boosting his IQ (particularly verbal intelligence).

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