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Maternal diet during pregnancy and allergic sensitization in the offspring by 5 yrs of age: a prospective cohort study

Bright I Nwaru, Suvi Ahonen, Minna Kaila, Maijaliisa Erkkola, Anna-Maija Haapala, Carina Kronberg-Kippilä, Riitta Veijola, Jorma Ilonen, Olli Simell, Mikael Knip, Suvi M Virtanen
Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 2010, 21 (1 Pt 1): 29-37
20003068
To examine the effect of maternal diet during pregnancy on allergic sensitization in the offspring by 5 yrs of age. The Finnish type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention Nutrition Study. A population-based cohort study with 5-yr follow-up. A total of 931 children with human leukocyte antigen-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes for whom maternal pregnancy food frequency questionnaire data and allergen-specific immunoglobulin E measurement at 5 yrs were available. Increasing maternal consumption of citrus fruits [odds ratio (OR) = 1.14, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.05-1.25] and total fruit (OR = 1.36, 95% CI = 1.09-1.70) were positively associated with sensitization to inhalant allergens, after adjustment for potential confounders. Maternal intake of vitamin D (OR = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.35-0.91) was inversely associated with sensitization to food allergens. Maternal consumption of citrus fruits during pregnancy may increase the risk to allergic sensitization in the offspring, whereas vitamin D intake may have a beneficial effect. Further studies are required to define more closely the putative effect of maternal intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids on development of allergic diseases in the offspring.

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