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Food allergy education, advocacy, and support

To Eat or Not to Eat During Pregnancy

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There has been a lot of confusing information about whether the diet during pregnancy can affect the development of food allergies in children.

peanuts-orange-clothIn a recent study from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA, December 2013), higher pregnancy consumption of Peanuts/Tree Nuts was associated with a lower risk of developing P/TN allergy in the children. In this study, children were followed from birth till adolescence. The children were born to mothers who reported their diet during, or shortly before or after, their pregnancy as part of an ongoing Nurses’ Health Study.

Among the 8205 children, 140 were diagnosed with peanut/tree nut allergies. Researchers found a statistical difference in the incidence of P/TN allergy in the children whose non- PN/TN-allergic mothers ate nut products more than 5 times per month during pregnancy compared to the moms who ate it less than one time per month. More peanut/tree nut during pregnancy meant less peanut/tree nut allergy in the kids. This study supports the idea that early allergen exposure increases tolerance and lowers the risk of childhood food allergy.

Read the full JAMA article online.