Pregnant women can safely eat two servings of salmon a week without fear of endangering themselves or their babies, Spanish scientists have determined.
University of Granada researchers said their findings provide definitive evidence that salmon – consumed in moderation -- is a safe and healthy choice because it increases omega-3 fatty acid levels and improves antioxidant defenses in pregnant women and their babies.
The Salmon in Pregnancy Study involved a group of pregnant women who were divided into two groups. One consumed fewer than two servings of salmon each week from 20 weeks of gestation through delivery. The other group ate two servings of salmon over the same period.
The salmon in the study came from a fish farm and were fed a controlled diet of vegetable oils, algae and zooplankton that made them especially rich in omega-3 fatty acids and high concentrations of antioxidants –Vitamins A and E– and selenium.
In addition, the fish contained very low contaminant levels.
The researchers said blood samples revealed omega-3 fatty acid and antioxidant concentrations increased in pregnant women who did not frequently eat fish eat two servings of salmon weekly – and in their newborns. They also found no increased risks in the salmon-eating group.