A new study gives reassurance that women who eat nuts or peanut butter during pregnancy are not raising the risk that their children will have nut allergies. Peanut allergies affect up to 2 percent of the population. Women once were advised to avoid nuts in pregnancy to avoid triggering allergies in their offspring, but that advice was later rescinded.
The new research involves more than 8,000 children born to female nurses in a long-running health study. Of the children, 140 were allergic to nuts. Those whose moms ate nuts at least five times a month during pregnancy were 69 percent less likely to have nut allergies than those whose moms rarely consumed nuts. The study was published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.