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Eating Nuts While Pregnant May Protect Offspring Against Allergies — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
December 24, 2013

Eating Nuts While Pregnant May Protect Offspring Against Allergies

By Kelly Young

Frequent nut consumption during pregnancy could protect offspring against nut allergies, according to a JAMA Pediatrics study.

Researchers studied physician-confirmed tree nut and peanut allergies among roughly 8200 children (ages 10 to 14 years) whose mothers had completed food-frequency questionnaires around the time they were pregnant.

Mothers who ate five or more servings of nuts per week had reduced risk for nut allergy among their offspring (adjusted odds ratio, 0.58), compared with those who ate less than one serving per month. Risk reductions were observed with just one to four weekly servings. For mothers with existing allergies to tree nuts, high consumption of peanuts (or vice versa) was associated with a nonsignificantly increased allergy risk in their children.

An editorialist concludes: "Pregnant women should not eliminate nuts from their diet as peanuts are a good source of protein and also provide folic acid, which could potentially prevent both neural tube defects and nut sensitization."

Reader Comments (1)

Sheri Blanchard Other Healthcare Professional, Obstetrics/Gynecology

This sounds worthy of further investigation. At the risk of being a wet blanket, however, one would assume that a woman who consumes nuts on a regular basis does not have nut allergies, and therefore her offspring might be less prone to have or develop nut allergies.

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