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No link between prenatal mercury exposure and autism-like behaviors found

No Link Between Prenatal Mercury Exposure and Autism-Like Behaviors Found

The potential impact of exposure to low levels of mercury on the developing brain — specifically by women consuming fish during pregnancy — has long been the source of concern and some have argued that the chemical may be responsible for behavioral disorders such as autism. However, a new study that draws upon more than 30 years of research in the Republic of Seychelles reports that there is no association between pre-natal mercury exposure and autism-like behaviors. (Credit: © Yoram Astrakhan / Fotolia)

“This study shows no evidence of a correlation between low level mercury exposure and autism spectrum-like behaviors among children whose mothers ate, on average, up to 12 meals of fish each week during pregnancy,” said Edwin van Wijngaarden, Ph.D., an associate professor in the University of Rochester Medical Center‘s (URMC) Department of Public Health Sciences and lead author of the study which appears online today in the journal Epidemiology. “These findings contribute to the growing body of literature that suggest that exposure to the chemical does not play an important role in the onset of these behaviors.”

The debate over fish consumption has long created a dilemma for expecting mothers and physicians. Fish are high in beneficial nutrients such as, selenium, vitamin E, lean protein, and omega-3 fatty acids; the latter are essential to brain development. At the same time, exposure to high levels of mercury has been shown to lead to developmental problems, leading to the claim that mothers are exposing their unborn children to serious neurological impairment by eating fish during pregnancy. Despite the fact that the developmental consequences of low level exposure remain unknown, some organizations, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, have recommended that pregnant women limit their consumption of fish.

“The Seychelles study was designed to follow a population over a very long period of time and focus on relevant mercury exposure,” said Philip Davidson, Ph.D., principal investigator of the Seychelles Child Development Study and professor emeritus in Pediatrics at URMC. “While the amount of fish consumed in the Seychelles is significantly higher than other countries in the industrialized world, it is still considered low level exposure.”

… lends further evidence to an emerging belief that the “good” may outweigh the possible “bad” when it comes to fish consumption during pregnancy. Specifically, if mercury does adversely influence child development at these levels of exposure then the benefits of the nutrients found in the fish may counteract or perhaps even supersede the potential negative effects of the mercury.

“This study shows no consistent association in children with mothers with mercury level that were six to ten times higher than those found in the U.S. and Europe,” said Davidson. “This is a sentinel population and if it does not exist here than it probably does not exist.”

Read entire article at ScienceDaily.

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Dare I hope?

“This republican party is hurting the country. I would love a real debate over policy in this country but instead we are the party that embraces the crazies.

In 2008 when some crazy lady at a McCain rally said Obama is an arab McCain took away the mic and stopped it. That was one the best moments in the 08 race. He said that Obama is a good family man, a good citizen that he just disagreed with on policy. Thats what we need to get back to.

Over the last 4 yrs we have become the party synonymous with calling the president a communist, a socialist, a marxist, not born here, a Kenyan, a muslim, an anti American who secretly hates the country and on and on and on. The leaders of the party should do like McCain and stop this crap. But they don’t. And what they don’t realize is that while they allow it to continue, the independents (who don’t subscribe to this insanity) look at us like we are the party of lunatics. Today the average american looks at a republican and thinks “he must be one of those who thinks Obama isn’t an american” or some other garbage.

We are losing this election for a number of reasons but one main reason we are getting killed with women and independents is because we allow this lunacy to continue. Look, Obama is an american, he’s not a Marxist, communist, socialist or whatever else you guys think. We can have a real debate over policy and that would only benefit the whole country. But instead we have maniacs like Alan West in Fl. who publicly claim he has a list of 78 to 81 democrats in congress who are members of the Communist party!!!

This is ridiculous and NOBODY in our party comes out and says this guy is insane. They approve of it. We are not the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower or Reagan.

As republicans we can admit that Obama has done some good things for the country. And we can also argue that there are things he hasn’t done. He is not the worst president in our history, thats insane and a completely uneducated statement. And to keep babbling this rhetoric and garbage is only hurting the party and the country. There is nothing wrong with compromising and working with democrats, its how we became a great nation.

We need to have a grown up conversation about the future of the country. But we stand NO chance in winning any election if we keep making the independents think we are completely crazy. We can believe in science and we can treat him like the president. It would be great to see our party act like the republican of years past.

via Too Informed To Vote Republican

I am stunned someone said this. And it gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, we can pull ourselves out of this downward spiral we seem to be falling into. 

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