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    New advice on fish for pregnant women: Eat more of the good stuff


    Contemporary OB/GYN Editor-in-Chief Charles J. Lockwood, MD, MHCM, welcomes the updated advice. “There is a growing appreciation of the benefits of fish consumption by pregnant women,” he said. (See Dr. Lockwood’s editorial on this from December 2007.) “However, the maternal health and fetal development benefits of fish oils and protein must be balanced with the risk of in utero mercury exposure.

    “To strike such a balance, the FDA wishes to transition from warning pregnant women to limit consumption to 8-12 oz of seafood per week to encouraging consumption of up to 8-12 oz of seafood per week. The admonition against consuming fish with the highest mercury concentrations continues. I strongly endorse this approach.”

    Choices lower in mercury, says the FDA, include some of the most commonly eaten fish, such as shrimp, pollock, salmon, canned light tuna, tilapia, catfish and cod.

    Before issuing final advice, the agencies will consider public comments, seek the advice of the FDA’s Risk Communication Advisory Committee, and conduct a series of focus groups.

    The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which supported previous FDA and EPA recommendations on fish consumption, is reviewing the proposed update.

    In a June 10 press release responding to the draft advice, ACOG encouraged women to follow the updated FDA recommendations. 



    To get weekly advice for today's Ob/Gyn, subscribe to the Contemporary Ob/Gyn Special Delivery.

    Susan C. Olmstead
    Ms. Olmstead is the Editorial Director of Contemporary OB/GYN.


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