Sugar & Pregnancy

Sugar intake during pregnancy may increase the risk of allergy

High maternal sugar intake during pregnancy may increase the risk of allergy and allergic asthma in the offspring, according to an early study led by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) involving almost 9,000 mother-child pairs.

While some research has reported an association between a high consumption of sugar-containing beverages and asthma in children, the relation between maternal sugar intake during pregnancy and allergy and asthma in the offspring has been little studied.

The team speculate that the associations may be explained by a high maternal intake of fructose causing a persistent postnatal allergic immune response leading to allergic inflammation in the developing lung.

When comparing the 20 per cent of mothers with the highest sugar intake versus the 20 per cent of mothers with the lowest sugar intake, there was an increased risk of 38 per cent for allergy in the offspring (73 per cent for allergy to two or more allergens) and 101 per cent for allergic asthma.

“Given the extremely high consumption of sugar in the West, we will certainly be investigating this hypothesis further with some urgency.  In the meantime, we would recommend that pregnant women follow current guidelines and avoid excessive sugar consumption.” Lead researcher Professor Seif Shaheen from QMUL.

Date: July 5, 2017
Source: Queen Mary University of London
Journal Reference: Annabelle Bédard, Kate Northstone, A. John Henderson,
Seif O. Shaheen. Maternal intake of sugar during pregnancy and childhood
respiratory and atopic outcomes. European Respiratory Journal,
 2017; 50 (1): 1700073 DOI: 10.1183/13993003.00073-2017

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