Here is information that all parents should know: giving fish to your child, at least once a week, would prevent any risk of neurodevelopmental delay.
According to the results of a study, young children who regularly consume fish are less exposed to the risk of neurodevelopmental delay. TipsForWomens takes stock.
A study on children’s diet and saliva
In this work, the researchers studied a cohort of 142 children, from birth to 18 months. They more particularly studied children’s nutritional level between 6 and 12 months, using a questionnaire submitted to parents.
At the same time, they collected saliva samples from infants at 6 months and measured the activity levels of different bacteria within them. “We chose saliva because of its ease of access, its proximity to the developing brain and because the mouth represents one of the first sites of microbial contact for infants exploring their physical world” says Steven Hicks, associate professor of pediatrics at Penn State and co-author of the study.
Less neurological delay in children eating fish (at least once a week)
The team of researchers also studied social determinants of health such as maternal stress, family income and access to care, as well as demographic factors, such as ethnicity, for example, which could influence the results neurodevelopmental disorders of children.
Results: They discovered that neurodevelopmental delays were associated with the absence of fish consumption in infants at 12 months. The delays were also associated with increased activity of two salivary microbes: Candidatus gracilibacteria and Chlorobi.
And on the contrary, the positive influence of fish consumption on neurological development was also amplified by the child’s microbiome. “Our results suggest that diet, particularly fish consumption, may be a factor that may affect neurodevelopmental outcomes.” explains Professor Terrah Keck-Kester, assistant professor of pediatrics at Penn State.
Further work, particularly on a larger cohort, is necessary to confirm these initial results, but nothing prevents your child from regularly giving fish from the start of dietary diversification.