Allergic infants are likely to be sensitive to peanuts if the mother has consumed peanuts during pregnancy, a study said.

A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reported that infants within the age group of 3 to 15 months are highly at risk for allergy. The research team lead by Scott H. Sicherer, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, at five research sites, extensively analyzed and assessed 503 infants.

These infants showed signs of allergies related to milk and egg, which perpetuate peanut allergies. The study revealed that 140 infants developed increased negative reactions to peanuts based on their blood tests. The underlying predictor was peanut intake during pregnancy.

"Researchers in recent years have been uncertain about the role of peanut consumption during pregnancy on the risk of peanut allergy in infants," said Dr. Sicherer. "While our study does not definitively indicate that pregnant women should not eat peanut products during pregnancy, it highlights the need for further research in order make recommendations about dietary restrictions."

Recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics suggested mothers with infants with allergic conditions, must limit the intake of peanuts during pregnancy and lactation, especially in cases that revealed family history. The recommendations were withdrawn due to the lack of scientific substantiation. Ongoing observational studies conducted by the Consortium of Food Allergy Research (CoFAR), are working towards identifying the factors contributing to an infant’s increased risk of egg, milk and peanut allergies.

The authors of the study caution, that the research has its own limitations and the results could only be conclusive if interventional and controlled studies further investigate and evaluate the findings.

"Peanut allergy is serious, usually persistent, potentially fatal, and appears to be increasing in prevalence," said Dr. Sicherer. "Our study is an important step toward identifying preventive measures that, if verified, may help reduce the impact of peanut allergy."