The team of researchers participating in the study on salmon consumption during pregnancy. (Photo: UGR)
Farmed salmon benefits pregnant women and babies
Tuesday, March 20, 2012, 16:20 (GMT + 9)
A study performed by scientists at the University of Granada shows that eating two pieces of salmon per week during pregnancy is beneficial to both the mother and the baby.
According to the study, due to the levels of selenium and retinol contained in this type of fish, its consumption can increase the level of omega 3 fatty acids and improve the antioxidant defenses in the mother and in the child. In addition, it does not affect the level of oxidative stress in the body or the inflammatory response and vascular homeostasis.
The authors of this paper, lecturers Cruz Erika García Rodríguez, Ángel Gil Hernández, María Dolores Mesa García and Concepción María Aguilera García, highlight that the salmon must be from fish farms as the fish born in captivity has a higher nutritional content and lower levels of contaminants.
The research study has been conducted within the framework of a Project funded by the VI EU Framework Programme called The Salmon in Pregnancy Study (SiPS).
Researchers took a random sample of pregnant women consuming little fish and divided them into two groups. In the control group, women continued their usual diet while in the other group two weekly servings of this fish were added to their diet from week 20 of their pregnancy until the labour.
This salmon used in the study has been raised in fish farms and fed on a controlled diet, using selected ingredients such as oils and plants (algae and zooplankton), which are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids of vegetable origin. Besides, the feed contained antioxidants vitamins such as A, E, selenium and very low contaminant levels.
With the blood and urine samples taken from the participating women and from the newborns through the cord, scientists were able to show that women that consumed more salmon increased omega-3 fatty acids concentrations in their body and in that of their children.
In addition, scientists determined that the consumption of two servings of salmon during pregnancy does not increase oxidative stress considering the biomarkers of lipid oxidation and of oxidative damage to DNA determined in the study.
Besides, they observed increased levels of selenium and of retinol in pregnant women and of selenium in newborns. This enhancement of antioxidant defenses could be useful in preventing and/or reducing oxidative stress associated with normal pregnancy.
Furthermore, the study determines that fish consumption did not adversely affect the antioxidant defense system or the metabolism of carbohydrates or lipids in pregnant women. Nor did it affect the concentration of adipokine, cytokines or biomarkers of vascular homeostasis in their newborns.
By Silvina Corniola