Maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation may help protect the child against allergic disease, suggests a meta-analysis in PLOS Medicine (the link provides free access to the article).
Researchers analyzed the results of more than 400 studies that examined diet during pregnancy or lactation or infant feeding, and the effects on allergic or autoimmune outcomes in the offspring. Maternal or infant probiotic supplementation was associated with reduced risk for eczema in children ages 4 and under (relative risk, 0.78). Fish oil supplementation during pregnancy and lactation was associated with lower risk for allergic sensitization to egg at 1 year (RR, 0.69).
Other dietary interventions, like maternal avoidance of allergenic foods during pregnancy or lactation, did not affect a child’s allergy risk.