Do peanuts cause asthma?
According to new research, they just might. A recent study suggests that pregnant mothers who eat nuts may impact their child's health later on. Women who consume nuts or "nut-products" like the beloved peanutbutter may increase the risk of asthma in their children by as much as 50%.
Before we go any further, I would like to point out for the record that peanuts are NOT nuts, they're legumes. It's true. Anyway, the Dutch researchers in charge of the study are leary of advising pregnant women to forego peanuts as they provide protein and nutrients. Although seafood also causes similar allergic reactions in children, the researchers were only able to make a connection to peanuts.
Four thousand women were surveyed for what they ate while pregnant along with their children's eating habits over eight years. The research indicated that women who ate nut products daily were more likely to have children with asthma. The link persisted despite factoring for the children's diet. Although there is no conclusive evidence at this time, the researchers think the toxin from the peanuts could pass through the placenta and sensitize the unborn baby. Needless to say, more studies are needed before anyone throws out her peanut butter jar!
Photo by Dr Stephen Dann.