Eating Nuts While Pregnant, May Decrease Baby’s Chance of Allergy


Do you want to prevent nut allergies in your future son or daughter? Well, it seems that more nuts are the way to go.

peanutsA recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that expecting mothers who are not allergic to nuts and eat five or more servings of them a week, may be helping to build their infants’ tolerance and decreasing their chances of developing nut allergies.

The lead author, Dr. Michael Young of Boston Children’s Hospital told CBS news: “In women who ate peanuts and tree nuts more than five times a week, they had children that had a 30 percent reduction in the risk of developing peanut and tree nut allergies.”

There have been earlier studies suggesting that expecting mothers stay away from nuts; but the rates of nut allergies among children have actually tripled from 1997 to 2010; from .4 percent to 1.4 percent. Young said the earlier studies were based on less reliable data.  This recent study looked at over 8,000 children and found 140 cases of nut allergy.

The American Academy of Pediatrics in 2000 had similar guidelines warning pregnant women to avoid eating nuts, but after reviewing the unreliable data, they rescinded their recommendations in 2008.

But for mothers who are allergic to tree nuts, there was no decrease in risk for their infants.

Today there is no universal standards for the consumption of nuts during pregnancy or for children under the age of 3.

“The results of our study are not strong enough to make dietary recommendations for pregnant women,” says Young. It pretty much is left up to individuals and their healthcare providers. The data reassures pregnant women that they can eat nuts without causing the offspring to develop an allergy.

S.C. Rhyne is a blogger and novelist in New York City. Follow the author on twitter @ReporterandGirl or facebook- TheReporterandTheGirl.

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