Doctors are changing their advice to parents who worry about the potential for nut allergies in their offspring. Mothers used to be told to avoid nuts during pregnancy. Now, data from the Nurses’ Health Study II shows that women who ate nuts or peanuts during pregnancy were less likely to have babies who developed nut allergies later.

There were 8,205 children in the study, and about 300 of them developed a food allergy during their first few years. Not quite half of those had allergies to tree nuts or peanuts. The women who consumed five or more weekly servings of peanuts or tree nuts during pregnancy had children who appeared more resistant to allergies to nuts. The study controlled for factors such as a family history of allergies.

[JAMA Pediatrics, online Dec. 23, 2013]  

Another study earlier this year found that babies being weaned from breast milk or formula were less likely to develop food allergies, including nut allergies, if they were fed foods from the family table rather than commercial baby foods. Last year, a Danish study found that pregnant women who ate tree nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts delivered babies who turned out to be 25% less likely to show symptoms of asthma in their first year and a half.  

Join Over 52,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

  1. Joel B
    Reply

    What is not stated here but was seen on a TV news snippet, the mothers in the JAMA had no food allergies. My wife has food allergies and ate peanut butter daily when pregnant. Our son was diagnosed with severe peanut allergy at 3.5 years. The non-disclosure or down play of this fact may have bad implications. I do understand peanuts are not nuts.

What Do You Think?

Share your thoughts with others, but be mindful of protecting your own and others' privacy. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from web visitors is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. In posting a comment, you agree to our commenting policy and website terms and conditions.