Pregnant women who eat peanuts of peanut butter every day increase the risk of their child developing asthma by up to 50%, Dutch researchers said in an article in medical magazine on Tuesday.
Epidemiologists from Utrecht, Groningen and Rotterdam analysed the eating behaviour of some 4,000 pregnant women and followed the progress of their children for eight years.
Their analysis showed that children from mothers who ate peanuts daily had a much higher risk of asthma. Moderate amounts did not increase the risk.
Peanuts contain proteins which can cause allergic reactions which could cross the placenta during pregnancy, research leader Saskia Willers told the Volkskrant. ‘This could influence the development of the child’s lungs and immune system,’ she said.
Willers told Reuters news agency said it was important that other studies replicate the findings.
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