Do Probiotics During Pregnancy Prevent Allergies?


Infant food allergies can cause lots of stress for both parents and babies, and are sometimes hard to diagnose and treat. Rather than having to learn to cope with babies who are allergic to peanuts, pollen or who experience other common food reactions, wouldn’t it be better to prevent the onset of allergies altogether?

A New Study Shows Probiotics Prevent Allergies

Recent research shows that this may be a real possibility. Dr. Erick Forno of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh has shown that there may be a strong link between taking probiotics while pregnant and lowering the risk for infant food allergies.

New analysis conducted by Forno and his team was based on a double blind study in which an experimental group of 25 mothers and infants supplied with probiotics were compared with a control group who were given a placebo during pregnancy through the child’s first year. The incidences of children developing common food allergies in both groups were compared.

Results revealed that the group given the probiotic supplements showed a 12% lower risk for developing common food allergies! Dr. Forno indicated that further research should be conducted before advising the public to use probiotics in pregnancy in order to prevent food allergies, but the evidence based on this study seems to indicate a strong positive correlation, which is something many of us already knew all along!

A Cleaner Environment Could Cause Food Allergies

Dr. Forno made reference to the “hygiene hypothesis”, which says that modern, cleaner environments prevents infants from developing the immune system. This is due to the fact that without exposure to probiotics, healthy gut flora, bacteria, infectious diseases, parasites, and microorganisms -the immune system does not learn what to fight and what to accept, which can lead to many different kinds of allergies.

The analysis conducted by the research team at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh therefore suggests that exposing children to probiotics in the womb and in the first year of life helps to strengthen the developing immune system, helping to prevent the onset of allergic reactions.

We tend to be afraid of disease in our culture and overprotective to the point of destroying our own defenses. Early exposure to probiotics, as well as taking other measures — such as allowing our kids to play in the dirt and avoiding antibacterial soaps, and eating lots of yogurt — can be helpful as well in preventing or possibly even reversing food allergies. And, as this study shows, taking probiotics during pregnancy can reduces risks as well.

Photo credit: Pregnancy Portrait

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Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

11 thoughts on “Do Probiotics During Pregnancy Prevent Allergies?

  1. While you do indicate that this is in its research phase, the title of your blog post is misleading. The fact is that no one knows why some have allergies and some don’t. Is the hygiene theory the culprit? Perhaps. Is it the use of HGC blockers in infants? Perhaps. Is it crappy luck in DNA? Perhaps. As the mother of a nine year old peanut and egg (and dairy until he was five) allergic child who also suffers from Oral Allergy Sydrome and multiple environmental and pet allergies while my other two children exhibit none of these, I disagree with these assumptions that people make based on very early research. This may help, this may not. They don’t know. While I pray for a cure everyday because the very real threat of a painful death for my child is only a “food” away despite our vigilance to keep him safe, spreading false hopes and or incomplete information makes those of us who live it daily sound like “crazy moms” when we address the known and factual truth of what food allergies do and are.

  2. Heather – I’m right there with you – mine is almost 7 and
    PN / TN allergic.

    Cheeseslave – Probiotics might not hurt during pregnancy
    but it’s quite a stretch to say they reduce the risk of LTFA.
    25(?) people sampled — making a 12% reduced risk – I
    Would expect a larger study group even in a Science Fair
    Project to draw that conclusion

  3. I appreciate your healthy message but this post is simply misleading and irresponsible. YOU even quote Dr. Forno as saying that, “further research should be conducted before advising the public to use probiotics in pregnancy in order to prevent food allergies.” Yet, the text on your lead picture and your article state that “probiotics prevent food allergies” as fact.

    This is socially and professionally irresponsible. You have thousands of followers. Your followers have followers. Consider the negative effect this misuse could cause. Intentionally spreading a misleading message about food allergies, a subject itself which is already widely misunderstood even by medical experts, that could ultimately hurt moms and children? Who does that?! More importantly, WHY?

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