Mummy Buzz


Study: Eating Nuts During Pregnancy Reduces Allergy Risk

Early Exposure Creates a Natural Tolerance

pile of nuts

When it comes to allergens, advice on nut consumption during pregnancy has been conflicting, to say the least. But a recent study published in the JAMA Pediatrics claims that children whose mothers ate nuts while pregnant are less likely to have a nut allergy.

According to an article in the BBC, researchers believe early exposure to certain foods in the womb creates a "natural tolerance."

The study, stemming from Boston's Children's Hospital, examined the health habits of 8,000 children. Children whose mothers consumed nuts (including peanuts and tree nuts) during pregnancy were a third less likely to develop an allergy later in life. 

Of course this advice would preclude mothers who themselves have nut allergies.

And not everyone is thoroughly convinced. A UK consultant children's allergist at Guy's and St Thomas's NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Adam Fox pointed to research suggesting that nut allergy develops after birth, through "exposure of the infant's skin to nut protein."

So unfortunately guidance to expecting mothers is still something of a mixed bag, with women being told not to "avoid nuts, nor to actively eat them."

But at least there's no need to shy away from the PB&J you've been craving.

Spill it: Did you eat nuts while pregnant?
Read Erica Ehm's need-to-know advice about allergies.