Study Shows Eating Peanuts While Pregnant May Reduce Child's Allergy Risk

According to new research, eating peanuts while pregnant may reduce your child's risk of peanut allergies. The study, which was published in Food Research International, examined whether feeding mice peanut products could protect against peanut allergy in their offspring.

The study, conducted by a research team at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, found that mice that ate peanuts while pregnant could protect their offspring against peanut sensitization. “Our study demonstrated that maternal feeding of peanuts alone had a protective effect against peanut sensitization of the progeny,” said the study authors.

The protection against peanut sensitization could occur both before and after birth; the study authors added that breast milk “may be, at least in part, responsible for this protection.” The results of this research could have important implications for expectant mothers, particularly those who have a family history of allergies. Many doctors advise pregnant women to avoid peanuts because of the unknown effects on her unborn child. Yet it is now thought that such an approach may actually lead to an increased risk of allergies.

In recent years, childhood peanut allergies have been a growing issue. “This increase has been speculated to be due to either early introduction of peanut to the immature immune system, or delayed dietary introduction of peanut,” said the authors. They also noted that the environment in the womb is known to have a substantial impact on a child's developing immune system. They suggest that early exposure in the womb to allergens could affect the prevalence of childhood allergies.

Read more about the study here: http://www.foodnavigator.com/Science-Nutrition/Peanuts-in-pregnancy-may-...

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