Pregnant women who eat nuts or nut products like peanut butter daily raise the risk their children will develop asthma by 50 percent, Dutch researchers said on Tuesday.
Asthma is an inflammatory disease causing wheezing, coughing and labored breathing that can be life threatening.
In some countries as many as 30 percent of children develop the condition, according to the World Health Organization.
The study also showed that moderate amounts did not seem to have an effect, meaning it is too soon to say whether
pregnant women should give up nuts because they contain many important nutrients and healthy fats a developing fetus needs, they said.
“We were the first to find these strong effects on symptoms of asthma,” said Saskia Willers, an epidemiologist at Utrecht University, who led the study linking nuts with asthma.
“But until we are certain we don’t want to restrict them from the diet. So it is important that other studies replicate the findings,” she said.
Scientists do not exactly know why some children develop asthma, although some believe that allergies can trigger the disease that causes a narrowing of the bronchial tubes.
Nuts and seafood are known to contain allergens that cause food allergies but the Dutch team only found a link between peanuts and asthma, Willers said.
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