A new study shows that mothers who eat peanuts while breastfeeding and also incorporate the nut into a child's diet early can reduce the likelihood of an allergy. Much lower than with children who are only introduced to peanuts early in life.
The study, conducted at the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba and the University of Manitoba, was lead by Dr. Meghan Azad, scientist at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba and assistant professor in the Max Rady College of Medicine at the University of Manitoba.
“This could be a starting point for that maternal consumption of other foods in allergy development,” Azad said.
“It seems to be an important combination, because it was only the babies who received peanuts early, and also were breastfed by moms who ate peanuts who have these low rates of (allergies)," said Dr. Azad.
A total of 342 babies were included in the study. The lowest instance of peanut sensitivity was observed among children whose mothers consumed peanuts while breastfeeding and who also introduced peanuts before the age of 12 months. That low rate was just 1.7 percent.
Other studies have already shown that children at risk for allergies who are introduced to peanuts early in life are less likely to become allergic to them. This study builds on that and shows another pathway that could improve those odds and perhaps open a gateway to other allergic prevention.