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Dietary selenium and mercury intakes from fish consumption during pregnancy: Seychelles Child Development Study Nutrition Cohort 2.

Neurotoxicology 2023 December 21
Some health agencies have issued precautionary principle fish advisories to pregnant women based on the presence of methylmercury (MeHg) in fish that could possibly be harmful to the developing fetus. Fish, however, is a rich source of selenium (Se) and other nutrients essential for normal brain development. Selenium is also thought to have a key role in alleviating MeHg toxicity. We estimated the dietary Se and MeHg intakes and dietary Se:Hg molar ratios from the fish consumed in a high fish-eating pregnant cohort where no adverse associations of fish consumption and outcomes has been reported. We used dietary data collected as part of the Seychelles Child Development Study Nutrition Cohort 2 (n = 1419). In this cohort 98% of participants consumed fish, with an average intake of 106.2 g per day. Daily Se intakes from fish consumption were 61.6 µg/ d, within the range recommended during pregnancy. The mean dietary Se:Hg molar ratios was 6. These findings demonstrate that fish consumption exposes pregnant Seychellois women to Se in excess of MeHg. Based on these findings, fish consumption, especially fish with Se:Hg ratios above 1, may help pregnant women achieve optimum dietary Se intakes, which may protect against MeHg toxicity.

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