ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
Bone Density Predicts Chances of Breast Cancer
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
CANCER
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Sharing Cancer Info May Be Empowering
CAREGIVING
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
For Dialysis Patients, More Pills = Lower Quality of Life
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Warmer-Than-Average Temperatures Raise Migraine Risk
Air Pollution Exposure May Slow Fetal Growth
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
EYE CARE, VISION
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
Gene-Transfer Proves Safe for Vision Problem
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
FITNESS
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
Higher Fitness Levels Tied to Lower Heart, Death Risks
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
Lower Vitamin D Levels in Blacks May Up Heart Risks
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Psychiatric Drugs Might Raise Cardiac Death Risk
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Wood Fires Can Harm the Youngest Lungs
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
SENIORS
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Add your Article

Just Say No to Nuts During Pregnancy

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- If you've got a strong family history of food allergies or allergic asthma, you might want to think twice before munching a handful of nuts when you're pregnant.

That's because recent research has found that regular consumption of nut products during pregnancy raises the odds of having a child with asthma symptoms by nearly 50 percent.

The study, published in the July 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found "consistent positive associations between maternal nut product consumption, such as peanut butter, during pregnancy and wheeze, dyspnea (shortness of breath), steroid use, doctor-diagnosed asthma and persistent wheeze in children from 1 to 8 years of age," said study author Saskia Willers, a doctoral candidate at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

As many as 4 percent of American children have food allergies, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Slightly more than 1 percent of people in the United States -- or about 3 million -- are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts.

Most allergies develop as a result of repeated "sensitization" to an allergen in susceptible individuals, and each time the body is exposed to the allergen, the reactions tend to increase. It's already recommended that children under 3 not be given nuts or nut products, because their immune systems are still developing and may be more susceptible to allergens, explained Dr. Jennifer Appleyard, chief of allergy and immunology at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit.

"If you say avoid nuts in children, and for nursing mothers because peanut protein can be transferred through milk, do we need to take it a step further and limit nuts during pregnancy?" said Appleyard.

To try to answer that question, Willers and her colleagues reviewed information gathered from interviews of more than 4,000 pregnant women -- 1,327 with a history of allergy or asthma and 2,819 with no such history. The women were asked about their diets, and their children were followed from birth to 8 years of age to assess whether or not diet impacted the risk of developing asthma.

They found no association between maternal consumption of vegetables, fish, eggs, milk or milk products and the development of asthma, according to the study. The researchers also found no association between rare or regular consumption of nuts and the development of asthma symptoms.

However, daily consumption of nut products increased the odds that a child would have wheezing by 42 percent, shortness of breath by 58 percent and steroid use to ease asthma symptoms by 62 percent, compared to children born to mothers who rarely consumed nuts. Overall, the odds of developing asthma symptoms for a child whose mother ate nuts daily were 47 percent higher, according to the study.

But, Willers said, it's too soon to recommend a complete nut ban during pregnancy. "The associations we found are pretty strong, only we are the first to find these effects, so they need to be confirmed by other studies before recommending the avoidance of peanuts and nuts during pregnancy," she said.

Appleyard agreed. "This subject definitely needs further investigation. And, if you can pass on the antibodies that cause nut allergy from mother to fetus, why not other allergies as well?" she asked.

However, she did suggest that women with a strong family history of food allergy may want to limit the amount of nut products they consume during pregnancy.

More information

To learn more about peanut allergy, visit the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.



SOURCES: Saskia Willers, M.Sc., doctoral candidate, Utrecht University, the Netherlands; Jennifer Appleyard, M.D., chief, allergy and immunology, St. John Hospital and Medical Center, Detroit; July 15, 2008, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine

Last Updated: July 15, 2008

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