Breastfeeding could contribute to nut allergies: Study

Jul 12, 2012, 11:34 IST | PTI

Babies who are solely breast-fed for the first six months after birth are more likely to develop a nut allergy, a new research has claimed

The research that studied the link between breastfeeding and nut allergies in 15,000 children here found that the risk of developing a nut allergy was one-and-a-half times higher in children who were only breastfed in their first six months, Australian news agency AAP reported.

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It said that children who were fed food and fluids other than breast milk were more likely to be protected against nut allergies. The study was undertaken by Australian National University.

Scientists, however, urged caution about interpreting the study's results, saying it could be that children at higher risk of developing allergies are simply breast-fed for a longer time.

ANU Medical School's Marjan Kljakovic said although the study did not examine maternal diets, it was more likely the eating habits of mothers rather than the breast milk that was the problem.

"I think people should discourage the eating of nuts during pregnancy and breastfeeding," Kljakovic said. The findings have been discarded by Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) researcher Jennifer Koplin.

She said women were currently not advised to avoid nuts during pregnancy or breastfeeding. "There's absolutely no strong evidence that eating nuts while pregnant or breastfeeding will cause allergy," Koplin said. 

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