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Here’s how consuming eggs during pregnancy helps cut risk of food allergies in babies

Eating eggs, peanuts and shellfish during pregnancy may help in protecting the new born from food allergy symptoms, says a recent study.

fitness Updated: Nov 22, 2017 10:26 IST
Asian News International, Washington D.C.
Pregnancy,Pregnancy Diet,Food Allergies
Research indicated that a mother’s diet can protect nursing newborns against food allergies. (Shutterstock)

There’s no need to say no to eggs during pregnancy. Rather, eating eggs, peanuts and shellfish during pregnancy may help in protecting the new born from food allergy symptoms, says a recent study. Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School have shown that pregnant mice, exposed to egg, transferred protective antibodies to their offsprings through their breast milk.

This research in mice reinforces recent guidance that women should not avoid allergenic foods while they are pregnant or breastfeeding. The research indicated that a mother’s diet can protect nursing newborns against food allergies.

Researcher Dr James R Baker said that this elegantly designed and controlled study shows that mothers should feel free to eat a healthy and diverse diet throughout pregnancy and while breastfeeding. “Eating a range of nutritious foods during pregnancy and breastfeeding will not promote food allergies in developing babies, and may protect them from food allergy,” Baker added.

The study’s findings are consistent with new dietary recommendations for pregnant and nursing mothers. Allergists now recommend that, unless mothers already have diagnosed food allergies, they should not avoid allergenic foods while pregnant and nursing.

At the same time, Baker noted that maternal and early childhood diets do not cause food allergies in children. Aided by a protein in the offspring’s gut lining and some immune cells, the food protein-antibody complexes are taken up and introduced to the offspring’s developing immune system, triggering the production of protective cells that suppress allergic reactions to the food.

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First Published: Nov 22, 2017 10:26 IST