The association remained even after controlling for the child's diet.
Additionally, the authors noted, there was a small effect of daily maternal fruit consumption during pregnancy on reducing the risk of wheeze in children, but other factors such as health-consciousness and consumption of prenatal vitamins may have been contributing factors in ways that were undetectable in this study's design.
"These findings emphasize the critical important of additional investigations into the environmental exposures for both mother and child that underlie the pathogenesis of asthma," says John E. Heffner, M.D., past president of the American Thoracic Society. "It is important, however, to emphasize that such associations do not confirm a causative linkage."
While a strict low-allergen diet is not recommended for most expectant mothers because it risks both maternal and fetal malnutrition, Ms. Willers notes that peanuts may be the exception to that general recommendation. "Peanut is a potent allergen, and peanut allergy is associated with anaphylactic shock and is less likely to be outgrown than other allergies."
"Future studies need to unravel if effects of maternal diet during pregnancy can be attributed to specific nutrients, specific foods or that consumption of certain foods is part of a dietary pattern indicative of a healthier lifestyle in general," concluded Ms. Willers.
|Contact: Keely Savoie|
American Thoracic Society