Maternal diet during pregnancy in relation to eczema and allergic sensitization in the offspring at 2 y of age

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pregnancyBackground: Maternal diet during pregnancy might be one of the factors that influences fetal immune responses associated with childhood allergy.

Objective: We analyzed the association between maternal diet during the last 4 wk of pregnancy and allergic sensitization and eczema in the offspring at 2 y of age.

Design: Data from 2641 children at 2 y of age were analyzed within a German prospective birth cohort study (LISA). Maternal diet during the last 4 wk of pregnancy was assessed with a semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire, which was administered shortly after childbirth.

Results: High maternal intake of margarine [adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 1. 49; 95% CI: 1.08, 2.04] and vegetable oils (aOR: 1.48; 95% CI: 1.14, 1.91) during the last 4 wk of pregnancy was positivelyassociated and high maternal fish intake (aOR: 0.75; 95% CI: 0.57, 0.98) was inversely associated with eczema during the first 2 y in the offspring. High celery (aOR: 1.85; 95% CI: 1.18, 2.89) and citrus fruit (aOR: 1.73; 95% CI: 1.18, 2.53) intakes increased the risk of sensitization against food allergens. In turn, sensitization against inhalant allergens was positively related to a high maternal intake of deep-frying vegetable fat (aOR: 1.61; 95% CI: 1.02, 2.54), raw sweet pepper (aOR: 2.16;95% CI: 1.20, 3.90), and citrus fruit (aOR: 1.72; 95% CI: 1.02, 2.92).

Conclusions: We suggest that the intake of allergenic foods and foods rich in n–6 polyunsaturated fatty acids during pregnancy may increase and foods rich in n–3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may decrease the risk of allergic diseases in the offspring.

Stefanie Sausenthaler, Sibylle Koletzko, Beate Schaaf, Irina Lehmann, Michael Borte, Olf Herbarth, Andrea von Berg, H-Erich Wichmann, Joachim Heinrich for the LISA Study Group

1 From the GSF–National Research Center for Environment and Health, Institute of Epidemiology, Neuherberg, Germany (SS, HEW, and JH); Dr von Hauner Children's Hospital (SK) and the Institute of Medical Data Management, Biometrics and Epidemiology (HEW), Ludwig-Maximilians–University of Munich, Munich, Germany; the Department of Pediatrics, Marien-Hospital Wesel, Wesel, Germany (BS and AvB); the Department of Environmental Immunology, UFZ–Center for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany (IL); the Departments of Pediatrics (MB) and Faculty of Medicine, Environmental Hygiene and Environmental Medicine (OH), University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany; the Municipal Hospital "St Georg" Leipzig, Children's Hospital, Leipzig, Germany (MB); and the Department of Human Exposure Research and Epidemiology, UFZ–Center for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany (OH)

source American Journal of Clinical Nutrition