A Smart Catch

Fish really is brain food

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

(HealthDayNews) -- Eating fish does contribute to your intelligence, particularly before and just after you're born.

Researchers at the University of Connecticut has found that some fish are high in a certain chemical that's vital to brain and nerve cell growth in fetuses and newborns.

Babies can't make enough docahexanoic acid -- or DHA -- a fatty acid that helps the brain develop. They must take whatever their mothers give them, either through the umbilical cord or by breast-feeding after they're born. And note that baby formula isn't fortified with DHA.

Women who eat cold-water species, like salmon, trout, sardines and tuna, give their babies a better chance at maximizing brain tissue development, the research found.. Other fish high in the chemical are herring, swordfish and mackerel.

Last Updated: