Dr. Morice performs hundreds of tubal ligation reversal surgeries per year. Dr. Morice is also a skilled OB-GYN doctor at this state-of-the-art Atchafalaya clinic. When Dr. Morice is not helping his patients, he’s reading about the latest discoveries in women’s health. Food allergies are a hot topic amongst mothers-to-be, and this new study sheds light on the issue of peanut allergies.
The prevalence of peanut allergies among children in the US has more than tripled in the last 10 years. Today, it is estimated that 1.4% of children in the US have a peanut or tree nut allergy.In response to this rise in allergies, researchers are working hard to determine what causes allergies.
Beginning in the late 1990s, pregnant mothers were advised to avoid eating peanuts during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Avoiding peanuts was believed to decrease the baby’s chances of developing a peanut allergy.
In 2008, this guideline was rescinded due to lack of evidence that eating peanuts during pregnancy lead to an increased risk of peanut allergy. The guidelines then flip-flopped. Currently, women are advised to not change their intake of peanuts during pregnancy. In other words, if you ate them before pregnancy, keep eating them at the same rate. If you didn’t eat them, there’s no need to introduce them into your diet now. And if you are allergic to peanuts, definitely don’t eat them during pregnancy.
Results from a recent study published in JAMA shed new light on peanut consumption during pregnancy. The results suggest that eating peanuts at least 5 times per month during pregnancy may actually lower the risk of the baby developing a peanut allergy.
The study tracked 10,907 mothers in the US and recorded data about their diet during pregnancy, including consumption of peanuts and tree nuts. In sum, 8,205 children were in the final study, and 140 of them had peanut allergies. The study found that the children of mothers who ate peanuts more than 5 times per week during pregnancy had the lowest risk of developing a peanut allergy.
These results support the theory that early exposure to common allergens may increase tolerance and decrease the risk of developing allergies. The results also support the current guidelines that peanuts do not need to be avoided during pregnancy.
However, this study was not able to prove a cause and effect between peanut consumption and a decreased risk of peanut allergy. Therefore, these results aren’t to be read as a reason to go out and buy a tub of peanut butter once you’re pregnant.
Instead, researchers see this as just one piece of a complicated puzzle. The article states, “Today, food allergy affects 1 in 13 children in the United States…Once we have a better understanding of why, we will be able to more confidently give advice and develop more specific preventive recommendations.”
Dr. Michael Young, the lead research in the study, added, ““We can’t say with certainty that eating more peanuts during pregnancy will prevent peanut allergy in children, but we can say that peanut consumption during pregnancy doesn’t cause peanut allergy in children.”
Need an OB-GYN in Morgan City, Louisiana? Interested in low-cost tubal reversal surgery? Dr. Trey Morice specializes in tubal ligation reversal surgery. Make an appointment or call for a free tubal reversal consultation at (985) 702-BABY.