The adage, 'eat a rainbow' is especially important during pregnancy. Keep reading...Michelle
From Reuters Health Information
Mom's Diet During Pregnancy May Alter Infant's Allergies
By Joene Hendry
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Feb 19 - Eating lots of vegetables and fruits during pregnancy may lower the chance of having a baby with certain allergies, hint study findings from Japan.
Greater intake of green and yellow vegetables, citrus fruit, and veggies and fruits high in beta carotene may lessen the risk of having a baby with eczema, Dr. Yoshihiro Miyake at Fukuoka University and colleagues found.
Foods high in vitamin E similarly may lessen the risk of having a wheezy infant, they reported online January 22nd in Allergy.
Beta carotene and vitamin E are two of many antioxidants thought to benefit health. But prior investigations of maternal antioxidant intake and childhood allergies offered conflicting findings. This area of research "is still developing," Dr. Miyake noted in an email to Reuters Health.
In the current study, Dr. Miyake's team evaluated vegetable and fruit intake during pregnancy in 763 women, as well as eczema or allergic wheeze in their infants.
The women were 30 years old on average and about 17 weeks pregnant at enrollment.. When their babies were between 16 and 24 months old, the women provided birth and breastfeeding history, number of older siblings, and exposure to smoke.
The team found that 21% of the youngsters wheezed or had a "whistling in the chest in the last 12 months," and fewer than 19% had eczema.
According to the investigators, mothers who ate greater amounts of green and yellow vegetables, citrus fruits, or beta carotene while pregnant were less apt to have an infant with eczema.
For example, after allowing for other eczema risk factors, eczema was more common among infants whose mothers ate the least versus the most green and yellow vegetables - 54 and 32 infants, respectively.
Likewise, higher intake of vitamin E during pregnancy was associated a reduced likelihood of having a wheezy infant -- a finding that supports previous investigations from the U.S. and U.K.
Boosting intake of green and yellow vegetables, citrus fruits, and antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamin E among pregnant women "deserves further investigation as measures that would possibly be effective in the prevention of allergic disorders in the offspring," the researchers conclude.
Reuters Health Information © 2010