Food allergies in Australia are now so common that 1 in 10 babies born in today have an allergy. Researchers are trying to find the reason why we have such a high rate of food allergy and what we can do to reduce the risk. The PrEggNut study is investigating possible links between eating eggs and peanuts during pregnancy and the risk of babies developing allergies.
Eating peanuts and eggs during pregnancy
Peanut and egg allergies are really common in young children. Most outgrow egg allergies quite quickly, but not everyone does. Peanut allergies are more likely to be life long. We have been managing both of these allergies in our family for a very long time.
Wouldn’t it be good to find out whether eating peanuts and eggs during pregnancy reduced the risk of your baby developing food allergies?
The PrEggNut Study
Researchers at the the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth are investigating the relationship between eating eggs and peanuts during pregnancy and breastfeeding and allergy risk. They are working with a number of other research organisations around Australia including the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and SAHMRI. At the end of the study researchers hope to be able to make recommendations about how much egg and peanut women should eat during pregnancy and breastfeeding to reduce egg and peanut allergies in babies.
Who is taking part?
Participants were invited to take part if they were less than 23 weeks pregnant with one baby and lived in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne or Sydney (Australia). To take part participants must also have had:
- at least 2 family members (including a partner or children) with or with a history of medically diagnosed allergic disease (asthma, eczema, hay fever or food allergy); and
- plans to breastfeed for at least 4 months; and
- NO egg or peanut allergy themselves.
What does the study involve?
Participants are randomly assigned to either:
- a “standard egg and peanut diet” group (typical for most women); or
- a “high egg and peanut diet” group.
They are also asked to follow the diet advice for their group from 22 weeks gestation until their baby is 4 months of age (or until no longer breastfeeding).
The study will compare egg and peanut allergies in the two groups of babies when they are 1 year old.
The PrEggNut study is closed to new participants. Researchers were aiming to enrol over 2100 people in the study. Studies like this are a great way to get involved and help investigate ways to reduce the risks of food allergies into the future.
To find our more about the study, see your State’s study website:
Perth – Telethon Kids Institute
Adelaide – SAHMRI
Melbourne – Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Sydney – Children’s Hospital at Westmead/University of Sydney/Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District
Phone: (02) 4734 1827
We are looking forward to hearing the results of the study and any recommendations it leads to about eating peanuts and eggs during pregnancy.
Other ways to help
Allergy Spot is committed to supporting research that will help people living with allergies. If you weren’t able to participate in this study but would like to support the work of Telethon Kids, SAHMRI, MCRI or other fantastic allergy researchers, see our fundraising post for more information about fundraising and donations.