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Eating Peanuts During Pregnancy May Increase Chance of Peanut Allergy

By November 12, 2010

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A study by researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital found that the more peanut products that mothers ate during pregnancy, the more likely their babies were to test positive for peanut allergy.

The study looked at babies with a known history of milk or egg allergies, but no previous testing for peanut allergy or history of reactions to peanuts. Most of the babies had not yet tried to eat a peanut.

The babies had positive blood tests for peanut allergy. They may or may not develop symptoms of peanut allergy in the future.

Researchers cautioned that this study does not prove that pregnant women should avoid peanuts. There have been some studies that found that avoiding allergens can actually increase the risk of food allergies. 

Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend avoiding any food during pregnancy, even for families with a history of food or other allergies. The AAP also changed its guidelines in 2008 for introducing solids to babies at risk of food allergies. Read more about the AAP guidelines for preventing food allergies in at-risk babies.

November 13, 2010 at 7:47 pm
(1) ReactionHQ says:

The Asthma and Allergy research center in the UK came to the same conclusions in the mid 90′s. Despite peanut avoidance among pregnant women, the numbers of children with peanut allergy continued to rise. Other studies in Australia 2009 also found that peanut avoidance during pregnancy/infancy is counterproductive.

I lived with anaphylaxis (severe allergy) for 35 years until I overcame it in 2006. I found that the cause of peanut allergy was not because peanuts were ingested when pregnant and/or eaten during infancy. There are a lot of other factors involved of which researchers neglect or miss. Unfortunately they are only looking at the allergy from one perspective. That is probably the reason why it took someone living with it to reverse it.

In Perfect Health
Michelle Flanagan
Ex-Anaphylactic & Founder of Reaction HQ

November 14, 2010 at 8:32 am
(2) beebee says:

Perhaps the reason babies are developing peanut allergies is because peanut oil is GRAS – generally recognized as safe. The FDA does not have a complete list of all GRAS ingredients because they gave the pharmaceutical companies the right to “self-affirm” ingredients as GRAS. These ingredients do not appear on the package insert, are not submitted to the FDA, and are a trade secret. Peanut oil is likely one of the ingredients in the vitamin K shot that is given to most newborns. It is also listed in patents for vaccine adjuvants and can be an unlisted ingredient in all of the childhood vaccines.

November 15, 2010 at 9:44 pm
(3) foodallergies says:

Hi — Do you know who decides which foods get on the “GRAS” list? Is it the FDA? I’d love to look at how they decide this.


November 16, 2010 at 11:09 am
(4) foodallergies says:

ReactionHQ – Researchers still don’t know what causes allergies. This study suggested one thing, but the researchers caution that there are other studies which have found different results. We just (frustratingly!) don’t know yet.

Did you “outgrow” your allergy, or did you do a form of immunotherapy?

Thanks for you comment!

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