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Healthy diet during pregnancy may limit children's food allergy risk

Category: Allergy Testing

A pregnant woman's diet may play a major role in her developing baby's risk of receiving a positive food allergy test in the future, according to a new study published in the Journal of Physiology.

A team of French researchers found that the babies of mothers who ate more polyunsaturated fats while pregnant were significantly less likely to develop food allergies as they grew up.

Polyunsaturated fats are also known as omega-3 fatty acids. They are commonly found in fish, and have been the subject of a number of investigations in recent years, as evidence has surfaced suggesting the nutrients may have a number of important health benefits.

In the present study, the researchers found that higher levels of polyunsaturated fatty acid consumption caused the stomach of babies to develop differently. The alterations seen in these individuals helped their digestive and immune systems cope with foods that could potentially cause allergic reactions.

"The end result is that the baby's immune system may develop and mature faster - leading to better immune function and less likelihood of suffering allergies," said Gaëlle Boudry, who led the investigation.

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