Peanut Allergy prevention–Eat Peanuts during Pregnancy

A study that makes sense.

The concept is called desensitization.

However I added a comment by a physician to emphasize that some people just can’t help themselves.

He says eating nuts is “healthier” and that might be a factor. What a crock–eating nuts is “healthier” like than what?

However allergists will tell you that exposure to allergens will desensitize the immune system. If fact anyone who has allergies that are significant is advised to get desensitization shots so this study merely shows that in utero exposure to peanut allergens by mom eating peanuts makes for less peanut sensitivity.

Peanut Consumption During Pregnancy Lowers Risk of Peanut Allergy in Offspring
JAMA Pediatr 2014 Feb 01;168(2)156-162, AL Frazier, CA Camargo, S Malspeis, WC Willett, MC Young
Research · March 04, 2014

There has been a significant increase in childhood prevalence of peanut or tree nut (P/TN) allergies. In this prospective cohort study (part of the ongoing Nurses’ Health Study II and Growing Up Today Study 2), the offspring of mothers who documented their peripregnancy dietary intake were assessed for P/TN allergies. Of 8205 children, 140 cases of P/TN allergies were documented. Offspring of nonallergic mothers who consumed more P/TN during the peripregnancy period were statistically less likely to develop P/TN allergies than children of mothers who consumed less (P = .004).

This study indicates that early allergen exposure (even during the peripregnancy period) can lower the risk of childhood food allergies.

Commentary by

David Rakel MD, FAAFP

The Earlier the Better

There has been controversy in the literature about the timing of maternal nut intake and associated allergy in their offspring. This study did not look at when these foods were given to the child but when the mother consumed them. It appears that those mothers who ate the most peanuts and tree nuts around the time of pregnancy had offspring with the least amount of allergy to these foods. This suggests that early allergen exposure increases the likelihood of tolerance, reducing the child’s risk. It should be noted that those mothers who ate more peanuts and tree nuts also ate a more nutritious diet overall, with more vegetables and fruit. This may suggest that eating a healthier diet may also be playing a factor in the child’s allergy risk.

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4 responses to “Peanut Allergy prevention–Eat Peanuts during Pregnancy

  1. Eating nuts is healthier than not eating. Turns out that eating almost anything is healthier than not eating. There are a few things you could eat that are actually worse for you than not eating, those items should be properly labelled and handled accordingly. Otherwise, eat up, there are starving kids in Africa.

  2. Hi, thanks for the article. Should I avoid nutmeg?

    • No. Nutmeg may have allergenic properties. The desensitization process is specific to the allergen.

      I don’t know anything bad about nutmeg.

  3. Women in the seventh month of pregnancy should always sleep on their left side. Sleeping in this position gives the greatest amount of blood to your fetus, and also allows blood to easily flow to your kidneys and uterus. Try not to sleep on your back, as it is the worst position for blood flow.

    Dr. Maureen Muoneke MD

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