2017 01 SET

The pregnant woman who has sweet tooth…she delivers atopic children!

The important effect of maternal diet during pregnancy on fetal health.

The important effect of maternal diet during pregnancy on fetal health has been studied.  

Is there a correlation between maternal consumption of free sugar during pregnancy and risk to give birth to a child with allergy or allergic asthma?

This question was put by some English researchers, who recently published their very interesting data (Bédard A. et al, Eur Respir J 2017), reviewed by Ingrid Torjensen in a recent Research News (Torjensen I. et al, BMJ 2017).

The researchers used data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), which looks at the offspring of predominantly white women living in Avon, UK, who were due to to give birth from 1 April 1991 to 31 December 1992.  

Bédard et al. found in 8956 children a weak evidence of a link between high levels of free sugar intake (sugar that is added to foods or naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juice) in pregnancy and allergy (odds ratio comparing highest versus lowest quintile of sugar intake were 1.38, 95% confidence interval 1.06 to 1.78) or allergic asthma (2.01, 1.23 to 3.29) diagnosis at age 7-9 years. 

No association was found between maternal free sugar intake and atopic dermatitis, total IgE or lung function.

Numerous potential confounders are in that research (such as background maternal characteristics, social factors, difficult to evaluate the real free sugar intake during pregnancy), that needs further studies.  

However, given the extremely high consumption of sugar in the West, the researchers recommend that pregnant women avoid excessive sugar consumption and follow a balanced diet.

- Bédard A, Northstone K, Henderson AJ, Shaheen SO. Maternal intake of sugar during pregnancy and childhood respiratory and atopic outcomes. Eur Respir J 2017;358:1700073:10.1183/13993003.00073-2017.
- Ingrid Torjesen. Sugar intake in pregnancy is linked to child’s allergy and allergic asthma. BMJ 2017;358:j3293 doi: 10.1136/bmj.j3293 (Published 2017 July 06).

Article by Antonino Francesco Capizzi