Diet in pregnancy and baby allergies

Diet in pregnancy and baby allergies

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Food allergies are something that, unfortunately, is the order of the day today. In particular, the case of allergies to nuts is of particular interest, as it represents a serious public health problem in developed countries and is probably, together with allergies to cow's milk protein, one of the most studied. In some countries, such as the United Kingdom, there are even schools and nurseries that provide a nut-free environment, to ensure the safety of children allergic to them.

Can a mother's diet during pregnancy play a role in the early development of food allergies in her child?

In the case of allergies to nuts: some studies suggest that early exposure, either in the mother's womb or through milk during the breastfeeding period, to the antigen or allergen, in this case the proteins of nuts , increases the possibility of developing allergy to nuts. However, breastfeeding in itself does not seem to be a risk factor for the development of this allergy, but, in most cases, it can act by exerting a protective effect.

In utero sensitization is not a far-fetched idea, since the fetus is in contact with proteins, as well as other substances and flavors from the maternal diet, through the amniotic fluid. As for sensitization via breast milk, it is also possible, since the proteins ingested by the mother can be found in this biological fluid. It is based on the results of some clinical studies that the recommendations in certain countries include the prohibition of consumption of nuts during pregnancy and sometimes also during lactation.

Interestingly, soy and its derivatives can also contribute to the development of allergies to nuts, since some protein fractions of soy are homologous to the main proteins of nuts, which is why what is called cross sensitization occurs.

However, despite the many studies carried out, there is, in general, a great controversy about whether the consumption of certain foods by the mother during pregnancy and lactation, may or may not affect the appearance of allergies in the baby, and it does not seem there is reliable information, definitive investigations, nor consensus on the matter.

Although it is true that maternal feeding both during pregnancy and during lactation seems to be the most relevant factor when it comes to relating the consumption of certain antigens with the appearance of allergy in offspring, this result is limited to infants with predisposition to atopy via genetic inheritance, or what is the same, those children who sooner or later would develop the allergy. Therefore, it seems appropriate to recommend to those mothers who have a history of allergy, atopy or asthma, both on their part and through the paternal route, to take care of their diet in terms of allergens, be it nuts, soy, fish and shellfish ... On the other hand, not consuming potentially allergenic foods does not protect the baby from the development of allergy, but only postpones the moment in which it comes into contact with allergens, and therefore, develops sensitization if it is the case, for which is also not advisable to obsess over the subject.

You can read more articles similar to Diet in pregnancy and baby allergies, in the Diets category - menus on site.

Video: Food Allergies and Pregnancy or Breastfeeding (December 2022).