sparked a pregnancy rumor by refusing to eat peanut paste during a recent royal
visit to a UNICEF famine relief center in Copenhagen, even though her husband
and their hosts, the Danish Crown Prince and his wife, all happily sampled the
food. Kate, 29, was caught on camera giving Prince William a knowing smile as
he scrutinized the product’s label, ABC News reports.
speculation that she may be carrying an heir to the throne is the Palace’s
emphatic announcement that Kate “has no nut allergy whatsoever,” so doesn’t
have any other medical reason to shun peanuts. If she is expecting, Kate may be
smart to say no to the legume, since new research suggests that eating peanuts
during pregnancy may raise the risk of some babies developing potentially
life-threatening peanut allergies, which have risen sharply among kids over the
been medical debate about how much of a threat eating peanuts during pregnancy
actually poses. Years ago, in a bid to prevent peanut allergies, which can
sometimes be fatal, the American Academy of Pediatrics briefly advised
high-risk women to avoid the legumes
when pregnant or breastfeeding. The group withdrew the recommendation in 2008
and issued a revision statement saying the impact of eating or avoiding peanuts
during pregnancy was unclear.
To be on the
safe side, moms-to-be may want to follow Kate Middleton’s example. Last year,
however, a study published in Journal
of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reported that babies with signs of
other food allergies may be at higher risk for peanut allergies if their moms
ingested peanuts during pregnancy. Those whose moms ate the most peanuts during
the third trimester of pregnancy were most likely to have babies with peanut
How risky is eating peanuts during pregnancy?
didn’t prove that eating peanuts during pregnancy triggers peanut allergies in
kids. The research merely shows that babies whose moms ate peanuts showed
strong sensitivity to the legumes when given standard skin-prick allergy tests.
In the study, the researchers evaluated 503 babies with likely signs of
allergies to eggs or milk, based on skin-prick tests, or food-allergy related
skin rashes. 140 of the babies had a strong sensitivity to peanuts, with this
reaction strongly linked to peanut consumption by their moms during pregnancy.
the researchers point out a need for further research. “Our study looked at
sensitization, not peanut allergy,” study researcher Scott H. Sicherer, MD, of
New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine told WebMD. “It is going to be a few
years before we know whether these children really do develop true peanut allergies.”
Dr. Sicherer doesn’t see a need to update the AAP guidelines, because there
still not enough evidence to tell for sure if eating peanuts during pregnancy
causes kids to develop lifelong allergies, as opposed to temporary sensitivity.