Study finds pregnant women who eat peanuts reduce child's risk of allergy

By Kyle Johnson,

Pregnant women who chow down on peanuts, or other tree nuts, could potentially be reducing the chances that their child is allergic to nuts.

The study was published in the latest issue of JAMA Pediatrics, reports USA Today. The study roped in about 11,000 pregnant women and young children and observed them into their early years.

The study was conducted as doctors have noticed that tree nut allergies have increased to 1.4 percent of children over the past few years. In general, one in 13 children are allergic to some type of food, with 40 percent of the allergies being considered life-threatening.

According to Los Angeles Times, it used to be the other way around, where pregnant women were told to avoid eating nuts until 2008. Lead author, Dr. Michael Young, said in a statement, "By linking maternal peanut consumption to reduced allergy risk, we are providing new data to support the hypothesis that early allergen exposure increases tolerance and reduces risk of childhood food allergy."

Today notes that Dr. Carla Davis, of Texas Children's Hopsital's allergy, asthma and immunology department, said the study doesn't conclusively report that "eating nuts before, during or after pregnancy would be beneficial for the child in the prevention of food allergy."

image: Wikimedia Commons


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