Maternal healthy diet may play a role in the development of allergic diseases and need further investigation.
Pregnant women (n= 969) were recruited at 12 weeks gestation; a FFQ was completed at 36 weeks. Reported symptoms of allergic disease were obtained during infants first three years, and at 10 years. Children were skin prick tested to a panel of food and aero-allergens and food challenges conducted. Healthy Eating Index (HEI) was calculated as: multivitamin/mineral intake (2) + folic acid (1) + omega-3 fatty acids (1) + regular white fish(1)/ fatty fish intake (2) +citrus fruit (1) + ≥ 5/day fruit and vegetables (2) = 10
Maternal diets scored low on HEI: 949/969 (97.9%) scored 0-5 and 20/969 (2.1%) scored 6-10. Using this binary HEI factors, no association with atopy (+ SPT) (3 years; p=0.589 and 10 years; p= 0.519), reported allergic diseases (3 years; p=0.489 and 10 years; p=0.636) and food allergy (FA) (3 years; p=0.450 and 10 years; p=0.365) was seen. HEI as continuous variable was associated with FA by 3 years (p= 0.010; OR 1.244 [95% CI: 1.055 – 1.468]) even after adjusting for maternal allergic history and smoking, pet exposure and sibship. FA at 10 years showed no association (p=0.128, OR 0.723 [0.475 – 1.099]). Fatty fish intake was associated with increased risk of atopy by 3 years (p=0.023).
The role of healthy diet on development of allergic disease need more investigation using a robust method measuring food intake and sufficient numbers of healthy eating mothers.