Study: Peanut Allergies May Be Stopped in the Womb [video]

New Study: Eating Peanuts while pregnant reduces child allergiesAccording to a new study peanut allergies in children can be stopped in the womb by mothers who eat more peanuts and tree nuts while pregnant. This study found children of mother’s who are not allergic to peanuts and tree nuts who ate five or more servings a week had a reduced risk of allergies as opposed to kids whose mothers consumed less than one serving a month.

Authors of the study believe pregnant women who consume nuts during pregnancy are actually helping their child build up an immunity to nut allergies. This study, from Boston Children’s Hospital, reverses previous doctor recommendations.

The study used data from an ongoing nurses’ health study. Participants included children whose mothers had previously reported on their eating habits during pregnancy. Out of the 8,205 children included in the study researchers found that just over 300 had developed a nut allergy; out of those cases 140 were tree nut or peanut allergies.

This is the first study to provide evidence that this is possible, according to CNN. In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics withdrew advice that parents should not feed young children nuts.

With more research on nut benefits on the way, pregnant women should consider eating them in order to give their child a better chance of avoiding a lifelong, life-threatening allergy.

The significance of this study is it contradicts previous studies which supported the idea that eating nuts during pregnancy had no effect or could heighten the risk of the child developing an allergy to nuts. The authors of this newer study claim prior studies had less reliable data to base their finding on.

This study supports the theory that early exposure to allergens increases the likelihood of tolerance and will in turn lower the risk of childhood food allergy. Lindsay Frazier, study author, said additional prospective studies are necessary to duplicate this finding.

Authors of the study said they can’t prove a cause and effect for their findings because they are so many variables that influence the way children develop allergies. As a result they can’t issue an official recommendation for parents to eat more nuts. Nuts have been recommended as part of a healthy diet so there is nothing wrong with pregnant women eating them as an effort to contribute to the fight against peanut allergies with their future child.

When a person has a peanut or tree nut allergy even the smallest amount can cause a negative reaction. Peanut allergies can range from simple more minor irritations to serious life threatening issues. More recently there has been a rise in the number children who have an increased sensitivity to nuts, even their smell.

While it is a normal expectation to find nuts in foods like nut butter or breads it’s not as common in sauces and other such items. If a peanut or tree nut allergy is suspected it’s imperative to carefully check labels before purchasing or consuming products.

Currently about one in every 13 children in the United States have a food allergy. Out of this number about 40 percent have a history of potentially life threatening reactions; according to said Ruchi Gupta, an associate professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

Gupta also said “When parents see such a huge rise in food allergies, they really want to know if and how they can help their child avoid it. Eating the food which sparks concern seems like an easy and probable connection. One thing for sure, according to Gupta, not eating them does not cause less of an allergy.”

According to a new study peanut allergies can be stopped in the womb by mothers who eat more peanuts and tree nuts while pregnant. Tuesday’s findings are the first in humans to link increased exposure to peanuts and tree nuts in uteri and reduced allergies in children.



By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)


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