ISGlobal: Seafood consumption during pregnancy may improve attention capacity in children

ISGlobal: Seafood consumption during pregnancy may improve attention capacity in children

News from ISGlobal

A team of scientists from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) has studied the relationship between the consumption of various types of seafood during pregnancy and attention capacity in children at eight years of age. The results, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, show that eating a seafood-rich diet during early pregnancy is associated with better attention outcomes in children.

The study included 1,641 mother-child pairs from the INMA Environment and Childhood Project, a Spanish cohort study on the role of pollutants during pregnancy and their effects on children. Over the course of their pregnancies, the mothers completed numerous food-frequency questionnaires that assessed how often they ate more than a hundred different food items, including various types of seafood. Data on the children’s dietary habits were also collected using the same questionnaire at one, five and eight years of age. At eight years of age, the children also completed the Attention Network Task (ANT), a computer-based neuropsychological test designed to assess attention function.

The study builds on earlier research that analysed children at five years of age. “The consumption of seafood during the first trimester of pregnancy had a greater effect on children’s attention capacity than the consumption of seafood later in pregnancy or at five years of age, by which time some neurodevelopment processes have already been completed,” commented Jordi Júlvez, researcher in the Childhood & Environment programme at ISGlobal and lead author of the study.

More information:
ISGlobal website

J. Julvez,  Maternal Seafood Consumption during Pregnancy and Child Attention Outcomes: A Cohort Study with Gene Effect Modification by PUFA-related Genes. International Journal of Epidemiology, September 2019