Mothers who eat nuts during pregnancy may prevent the unborn fetus from developing a nut allergy, a study has shown.
Scientists analysed data on more than 8,000 American children, including 140 who had peanut or tree nut (P/TN) allergies.
Those with mothers who ate nuts five times a week during pregnancy emerged as the lowest P/TN allergy risk.
US lead researcher Dr Michael Young, from Boston Children's Hospital, explained:
"Our study showed increased peanut consumption by pregnant mothers who weren't nut allergic was associated with lower risk of peanut allergy in their offspring.
"Assuming she isn't allergic to peanuts, there's no reason for a woman to avoid peanuts during pregnancy."
The Charity Allergy UK have said the research into cat allergies could be a "big step forward" in understanding allergic reactions, even suggesting the findings could lead to treatments for dog allergies.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have discovered that a common cause of reactions is found in cat allergen.
Allergy UK's Director of Clinical Services Maureen Jenkins said:
Scientists have discovered how allergic reactions to cats are sparked, leading to new hopes of a preventative treatment.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge discovered that the common cause of reactions is found in cat allergen, which triggers a large immune response in sufferers including coughing, wheezing and sneezing.
Lead author of the research Dr Clare Bryant said she hoped the research would "lead to new and improved treatments for cat and possibly dog allergy sufferers."
Doctors have reportedly discovered a child's risk of developing an allergic disease is doubled if a parent of the same sex has suffered from it. Daybreak's Cordelia Kretzschmar reports.
Eczema is a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and cracked. It is a long-term, or chronic, condition.
Atopic eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is the most common form of eczema. It mainly affects children, but can continue into adulthood.
Asthma is a condition that affects the airways - the small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs.
When a person with asthma comes into contact with something that irritates their airways, the muscles around the walls of the airways tighten so that the airways become narrower and the lining of the airways becomes inflamed and starts to swell.
Sometimes, sticky mucus or phlegm builds up, which can further narrow the airways.
These reactions cause the airways to become narrower and irritated - making it difficult to breath and leading to symptoms of asthma.
- 1,456 patients were recruited from birth 23 years ago.
- Research found that the risk of asthma in boys was only increased if their fathers suffered from the condition.
- However, if mothers had asthma, it doubled the risk in their daughters but not sons.
- Research also showed maternal eczema led to a 50% increased risk of eczema in girls, while paternal eczema did the same for boys.