(NaturalNews) Could eating more peanuts and tree nuts during pregnancy actually reduce a child's risk of developing nut and other allergies? A new study out of Denmark suggests so, having found that expectant mothers who continue to eat nuts during their pregnancies produce children with fewer overall allergies compared to children born of mothers who follow outdated recommendations that advise against nut consumption during pregnancy.
For their study, which was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Ekaterina Maslova and her colleagues from the Centre for Fetal Programming at the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen evaluated nearly 62,000 Danish moms via a survey who gave birth between 1996 and 2002. The researchers also evaluated the medical records of the mothers' children from 18 months through seven years of age.
After comparing nut consumption patterns among mothers to allergy rates in their children, Maslova and her team discovered that nut consumption rates correspond with allergy rates, and mothers who eat more nuts have children that are less prone to allergies. After accounting for various outside factors, the team determined that children born to mothers who eat nuts are 21 percent less likely to develop asthma -- and when children reach seven years of age, the decrease in allergy likelihood drops to 34 percent.
Mothers who ate tree nuts more than once a week also bore 18-month-olds that were 25 percent less likely to have asthma or to experience wheezing compared to other children. Overall, allergy rates were noticeably lower among children whose mothers at nuts, compared to children whose mothers either ate fewer nuts, or completely abstained from eating nuts, during their pregnancies.
"There's some mixed data out there and this current study is showing that maybe there might be a benefit to your child in having less asthma later on if you continue to just eat the way you're still eating and not avoid (nuts)," says Dr. Todd Mahr, a pediatric allergist from Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, Wisc., who was not involved in the study.
The findings contradict an earlier study presented at the 2010 annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in New Orleans that appeared to show link between nut consumption and higher allergy rates. That particularly study; however, included nuts, eggs, and milk in its analysis, a research flaw that appears to have inaccurately pinned nuts as the culprit without assessing their effect on allergies separately from eggs and milk. (http://news.health.com/2010/02/28/pregnancy-allergies-asthma/)