According to a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics, mothers without nut allergies who consumed higher amounts of nuts during their pregnancies had lower incidences of P/TN allergies in their children.
In a large prospective cohort study of female nurses, dietary data were collected using a food frequency questionnaire, as well as lifestyle and medical history; with information updated every four years.
Then in 2004, questionnaires were given to the children of the female participants, who were between the ages of 10 and 14. The questionnaire gathered medical and lifestyle information from the children, which was then confirmed by medical records and allergy test results. Researchers found that of the 8,205 mothers included in the initial cohort, 140 of their children developed a peanut or tree nut allergy. Two board-certified pediatricians, including a board-certified allergist/immunologist, independently reviewed each potential case.
Analysis of the data indicated that frequent consumption of P/TN by mothers during pregnancy was associated with a decreased risk of P/TN allergy in their offspring. In fact, the researchers found the more P/TN the mother consumed, the lower the risk was for her child in developing an allergy.
The study concluded that its findings support the idea early allergen exposure increases the likelihood of tolerance and lowers the risk of childhood food allergy.