Fish brain might have been a school yard insult, but a new study just might be proving that having a fish IQ could be a compliment!
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the National Institutes of Health came together to analyze a recent survey by the China Jintan Cohort Study that took fish consumption and sleep quality data from 541 children, ages 9 to 11.
The study’s goal was to assess the correlation between eating fish at a higher frequency to better sleep and higher IQ in children.
After observations, the researchers found that higher fish consumption was related to both fewer sleep problems and higher IQ scores. The data revealed that children who consistently ate fish scored an average of 4.80 points higher on a Chinese version of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised than children who ate fish rarely.
This is thought to be the first study of its kind. However, the study was observational. This means that the data was reported by the parents and caregivers of the children, which cannot be considered controlled data. Another issue is that there was no consistency in what was meant by “fish” in the food questionnaire. Different types of fish contain different amounts of omega-3s, which is known to be beneficial to cell membranes in the brain. So it is possible that some children were eating more mackerel, salmon, and trout, which are higher in omega-3s, verses children eating a high quantity of tuna, which could have a high risk of mercury poisoning.
The study also lacked data on the participants social and economic backgrounds, which could be factors in the results.
While most types of fish are known to be healthy, the study is not enough proof to say that children who eat fish will always score higher on assessment tests and sleep better. However, this study is the beginning to many more!
But this begs the question, is the consumption of seafood safe for your health? It is essential to properly analyze fish and other marine food in order to keep food safety a priority. Chloramphenicol (CAP), a broad-spectrum antibiotic that exhibits activity against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, in shrimp and other marine food products, is commonly used in aquaculture as a disinfectant to prevent diseases, or as a chemotherapeutic agent to control diseases. CAP has been implicated as probable causative agent of aplastic anemia, a condition where bone marrow does not produce sufficient new cells to replenish blood cells, and as a possible carcinogen in humans.
Therefore, its use in aquaculture and meat producing animals has been banned in the European Union (EU), Canada, and the United States (USA). Despite this ban, CAP is still used illegally to treat seafood products because of its broad-spectrum activity, ready availability, and low cost.
The detection of low levels of CAP in imported shrimp from China, Thailand, and Vietnam have been reported by government agencies in the EU, Canada, and USA. As a result, the USFDA and other government agencies throughout the world have increased their sampling of imported shrimp and other food products.
Until LC-MS became more accessible, the most common approach for the analysis of CAP in seafood tissues involved sample clean-up utilizing liquid-liquid extraction and SPE followed by derivatization to form volatile derivatives that are subsequently analyzed by GC/Electron Capture. The current official USFDA method uses HPLC coupled with MS-MS detection, which eliminates the need for derivatization following liquid-liquid extraction and SPE.
The attached technical note describes an alternative approach for analyzing CAP in shrimp, which utilizes liquid-liquid extraction of the shrimp tissue followed by SPE for sample cleanup and concentration, and ultra-fast LC-MS/MS analysis using a Kinetex® core-shell C18 HPLC column.
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