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J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2002 Oct;48(5):345-51.

Nutrition during pregnancy may be associated with allergic diseases in infants.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition, School of Medicine, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima 770-8503, Japan.


The prevalence of allergic diseases is high in Japan, even in infants. Their risk for developing allergies is influenced by the antigens in the mother's diet during pregnancy. We hypothesized that, apart from the antigens, hypersensitivity induced through high energy and nutrient intake by mothers during pregnancy may be a factor for allergic diseases in their babies. In this study, we tried to confirm our hypothesis. Allergy histories of parents and their infants, body characteristics and food and nutrient intake were measured by a questionnaire and a food frequency questionnaire, respectively. A total of 2,642 responses were obtained (return rate, 94.7%). The major allergic diseases in the infants were atopic dermatitis (6.0%), food allergy (3.7%) and bronchial asthma or asthmatic bronchitis (3.2%). About 60% of the infants with allergies had a family history of allergies. Family history of allergy, age of infant, order of birth, head and chest circumferences of infants, BMI of mothers before pregnancy and delivery and intake of lipids (fat and vegetable oil) and vegetables by mothers related positively, and the intake of protein, carbohydrates and milk and its products correlated negatively with allergic diseases in the infants (p < 0.05). The results, together with previous reports, suggest that a high intake of energy and lipids (fat and vegetable oil) during pregnancy may accelerate allergic diseases in infants.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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