<ol> <LI> To investigate through clinical trials (with Caucasian and African-American women) whether routine consumption of selected fish species can improve plasma concentrations of the omega-3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)) while reducing hair or blood mercury concentrations <LI> To demonstrate that an online outreach training program for nurses and dietitians can result in positive behavior changes with respect to fish consumption.
Non-Technical Summary: A Infants are exceptionally sensitive to the adverse long-term health effects resulting from exposure to environmental toxicants. Exposure to methylmercury, a developmental toxicant found primarily in fish, has been predicted to negatively impact the health of 400,000 newborns every year in the U.S., with adverse effects (abnormal memory, attention and language skills) possibly lasting past childhood. B Fish is nutritionally important for providing long chain omega-3 fatty acids that are important for perinatal health. Since maternal transfer of mercury and omega-3 fatty acids are the primary routes for fetal (placental transfer) or infant (maternal milk) exposure. C There is a critical need to develop specific advice for childbearing-aged women based upon the 2004 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee's recommended intake i.e., consume 8 ounces of fish per week. A The purpose of this study is to validate existing advice for childbearing-aged women based upon the 2004 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee's recommended intake i.e., consume 8 ounces of fish per week. B This study will also measure impact (knowledge, attitude and behavior) of an online training for nurses and dietitians with respect to fish consumption. <P> Approach: Determine whether childbearing-aged women who consume fish and have elevated hair mercury levels (>1 ppm), who then minimize their intake of higher mercury fish (>200 ppb), and consume 6-8 ounces of fish (<75 ppb mercury; >1.54 g of EPA plus DHA/100 g fish) per week will significantly decrease their hair and blood mercury concentrations while maintaining or improving their plasma EPA/DHA status during a 3-month intervention trial. Our control group will consume an equivalent amount of fish that is both lower in mercury and EPA/DHA.