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Home > Blog > Eating Peanuts During Pregnancy Lowers Allergy Risk For The Child

Eating Peanuts During Pregnancy Lowers Allergy Risk for the Child

By Jodie Parus, RD, LDEating Nuts During Pregnancy

The number of children in the U.S. with peanut allergies has more than tripled between 1997 and 2010. Allergic reactions to peanuts can range from mild to severe and potentially fatal anaphylaxis. For many years, expectant mothers were guided to avoid common allergens during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Research from the Nurses' Health study II suggests that pregnant women who are not allergic to peanuts or tree nuts and who eat them during pregnancy lower the risk of their child developing an allergy to the food. Peanut or tree nut allergies generally present in childhood upon initial exposure, therefore researchers looked at the correlation of mothers who reported eating peanuts or tree nuts and the risk of their child developing an allergy.

The study looked at 8,205 children, 308 of whom had food allergies, 140 being peanut or tree nut allergies.   Children whose mothers did not have an allergy and consumed peanuts or tree nuts at least five times a week had the lowest risk of developing an allergy.

This study is pursuant to the theory that early exposure to allergens results in a lower risk of developing food allergies. Mothers who are not allergic to peanuts or tree nuts should not eliminate nuts from their diets; as they are a great source of protein and folic acid.

References 

Ellis, M. (2013, December 26). "Eating peanuts in pregnancy lowers allergy risk for child." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270605.

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