Researches may have found a connection between food allergies in infants and maternal eating habits such as eating peanuts. According to a report published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, women who eat peanuts during pregnancy may be at increased risk of having infants allergic to peanuts. Peanut allergies are one of the most common and most severe allergies among children today.

Five different sites participated in the study in the United States. The sites collected information from more than 500 infants between the ages of 3 months and 15 months. Infants in the study presented with a likelihood of milk allergy, egg allergy or severe eczema symptoms. None of the infants had tested positive for peanut allergies. About 140 of the 500 infants tested sensitive to peanuts on a blood test. These results were linked to a maternal habit of eating peanuts during pregnancy.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggested women with a family history of peanut allergies avoid peanuts during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. The suggestion was later withdrawn due to incomplete or insufficient medical support, but a grant of nearly $30 million was given to the Consortium of Food Allergy Research for further research on peanut allergies and their associated with maternal peanut consumption.

This study is highly limited because results are based on interview and self-reported information. The prevalence of peanut allergies and the severity of these allergies are pushing researchers to find a better way to reduce allergy instances and treat people with peanut allergies.

Source: Scott H. Sicherer MD, Robert A. Wood MD, Donald Stablein PhD, Robert Lindblad MD, A. Wesley Burks MD, Andrew H. Liu MD, Stacie M. Jones MD, David M. Fleischer MD, Donald Y.M. Leung MD, PhD, Hugh A. Sampson MD. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 29 October, 2010.

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