Eating nuts during pregnancy reduces allergy risk

New research published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has concluded that pregnant women should eat nuts to reduce the chance of their child developing an allergy.

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by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 29th August 2012

The study, led by Ekaterina Maslova from the Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen suggests that the children of women who eat peanuts and other nuts during pregnancy are a third less likely to suffer from asthma by the age of seven, compared to those whose mothers avoid them

Study

The researchers used data from the Danish National Birth Cohort to examine associations between maternal peanut and tree nut intake during pregnancy and allergic outcomes in children at 18 months and 7 years of age.  They evaluated more than 60,000 mothers and their children from early pregnancy until the age of seven.

Results

It was found that “maternal intake of peanuts and tree nuts was inversely associated with asthma in children at 18 months of age.  Higher tree nut intake was inversely associated with a medication-related asthma diagnosis and self-reported allergic rhinitis”.

Conclusions

The researchers concluded that:

“Our results do not suggest that women should decrease peanut and tree nut intake during pregnancy; instead, consumption of peanuts and tree nuts during pregnancy might even decrease the risk of allergic disease development in children”.

They reminded that women with an existing nut allergy should continue to avoid them.

Source:  Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Peanut and tree nut consumption during pregnancy and allergic disease in children—should mothers decrease their intake? Longitudinal evidence from the Danish National Birth Cohort, August 2012

Photography: IainBuchanan @flickr

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