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Pregnancy Timeline by SemestersFemale Reproductive SystemFertilizationThe Appearance of SomitesFirst TrimesterSecond TrimesterThird TrimesterFetal liver is producing blood cellsHead may position into pelvisBrain convolutions beginFull TermWhite fat begins to be madeWhite fat begins to be madeHead may position into pelvisImmune system beginningImmune system beginningPeriod of rapid brain growthBrain convolutions beginLungs begin to produce surfactantSensory brain waves begin to activateSensory brain waves begin to activateInner Ear Bones HardenBone marrow starts making blood cellsBone marrow starts making blood cellsBrown fat surrounds lymphatic systemFetal sexual organs visibleFinger and toe prints appearFinger and toe prints appearHeartbeat can be detectedHeartbeat can be detectedBasic Brain Structure in PlaceThe Appearance of SomitesFirst Detectable Brain WavesA Four Chambered HeartBeginning Cerebral HemispheresEnd of Embryonic PeriodEnd of Embryonic PeriodFirst Thin Layer of Skin AppearsThird TrimesterDevelopmental Timeline
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March 21, 2012--------News Archive Return to: News Alerts

Omega 3 rich foods.

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Pregnant Women Can Eat Salmon 2 Times Per Week

Research finds that omega-3 fatty acid concentrations improved when pregnant women ate two servings of salmon weekly - the same results were obtained for their newborns

University of Granada researchers have proven that eating two servings of salmon reared at a fish farm (enriched with omega-3 fatty acids and only slightly contaminated) a week during pregnancy is beneficial both for the mother and child.

This research study – conducted within the framework of a Project funded by the VI EU Framework Program called The Salmon in Pregnancy Study (SiPS) – reveals that the intake of salmon increases omega-3 fatty acid levels both in the mother and child and improves their antioxidant defenses; the cause is the selenium and retinol content of salmon. In addition, salmon does not alter oxidative stress levels, inflammatory response or vascular homeostasis.

To carry out this study, a randomized sample of pregnant women with low fish intake was selected.

The sample was divided into two groups: the control group – which continued with their regular diet– and the Salmon group – which incorporated two servings of "treated" salmon from 20 weeks of gestation until term. The salmon used in this study had been reared in a fish farm under a controlled diet including special ingredients (vegetable oils and food as algae and zooplankton); through this diet, salmon became rich in omega-3 fatty acids and presented high concentrations of antioxidant vitamins – as Vitamins A and E – and selenium; in addition fish contained very low contaminant levels.

University of Granada researchers have demonstrated that the intake of salmon increases omega-3 fatty acid levels and improves antioxidant defenses in pregnant women and their babies.

The salmon employed in the study was only slightly contaminated and had been previously enriched with omega-3 fatty acids at a fish farm

Blood and urine samples were taken from the two groups, who were also asked to complete a questionnaire of food habits at weeks 20 and 34 of gestation – which would provide information about food intake during the previous 12 weeks. Subsequently, blood and urine samples were taken again at week 38 of gestation and at labor – where also cord blood samples were taken.

The researchers found that omega-3 fatty acid concentrations improved when pregnant women who did not frequently eat fish ate two servings of salmon weekly; the same results were obtained for the newborns.

Two servings of salmon per week help the mother and her child reach the minimum recommended omega-3 fatty acid intake.

Also, they found that the biomarkers for lipid oxidation and oxidative damage to DNA were not affected by the intake of salmon. So, they concluded that eating two servings of salmon a week during pregnancy does not increase oxidative stress. In fact, selenium and retinol concentrations were increased in pregnant women's plasma, and selenium concentrations increased in the newborns.

This improvement in antioxidant defenses might help prevent and reduce the additional oxidative stress associated with pregnancy.

Finally, eating salmon reared at a fish farm did not negatively affect pregnant women's antioxidant defenses, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, adipokine and cytokine concentrations and biomarkers for vascular homeostasis in the newborns.

The authors of this study are University of Granada professors Cruz Erika GarcíaRodríguez, Ángel Gil Hernández, María Dolores Mesa García and Concepción María Aguilera García.

Miles EA, Noakes P, Kremmyda L-S, Vlachava M, Diaper ND, Rosenlund G, Urwin H, Yaqoob P, Rossary A, Farges M-C, Vasson M-P, Liaset B, Frøyland L, Helmersson J, Basu S, García E, Olza J, Mesa MD, Aguilera CM, Gil A, Calder PC. The salmon in pregnancy study-study design, subject characteristics, maternal fish and marine n-3 fatty acid intake, and marine n-3 fatty acid status in maternal and umbilical cord blood. Am J Clin Nutr 2011; 94(6): 1986S-1992S.

García-Rodríguez CE, Helmersson-Karlqvist J, Mesa MD, Miles EA, Noakes PS, Vlachava M, Kremmyda LS, Diaper ND, Godfrey KM, Calder PC, Gil A, Basu S. Does increased intake of salmon increase markers of oxidative stress in pregnant women? The Salmon in Pregnancy Study. Antioxid Redox Signal 2011; 15(11): 2819-2923.

García-Rodríguez CE, Mesa MD, Olza J, Vlachava M, Kremmyda LS, Diaper ND, Noakes PS, Miles EA, Ramirez-Tortosa MC, Liaset B, Frøyland L, Rossary A, Farges MC, Vasson MP, Aguilera CM, Helmersson-Karlqvist J, Godfrey KM, Calder PC, Basu S, Gil A. Does consumption of two portions of salmon per week enhance the antioxidant defense system in pregnant women? Antioxid Redox Signal 2012, in press.

Contact: Cruz Erika García Rodríguez. Departmentof Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II, University of Granada Institute for Nutritionand Food Technology "José Matáix". Biomedical Research Center. Phone Number:+34 958 24 10 00 Ext. 20379. E-mail address: erikagr@ugr.es

Original article: http://canal.ugr.es/health-science-and-technology/item/55521