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expert reaction to eating peanuts during pregnancy

Children appear to be less at risk for developing nut allergies if their mothers are not allergic and ate more nuts during pregnancy, according to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics.


Dr Adam Fox, consultant children’s allergist at Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“The results of this study are interesting but are contradictory with other studies that have either shown no effect of nut consumption during pregnancy or suggested a possible risk from increased consumption. To make things even more complicated, there is also strong evidence to suggest that nut allergy doesn’t develop until after birth and that it is exposure of the infant’s skin to nut protein that is most important in the development of allergy.

“With such differing results from different studies, it is currently impossible to offer advice about exactly what mothers should do regarding nut consumption during pregnancy but current international guidance is that there is no need to either avoid nuts, nor to actively eat them.”


‘Prospective Study of Peripregnancy Consumption of Peanuts or Tree Nuts by Mothers and the Risk of Peanut or Tree Nut Allergy in Their Offspring’ by A. Lindsay Frazier et al published in JAMA Pediatrics Monday 23 December.


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