Mothers should be careful with sugar during pregnancy
In general, people should be more reluctant to consume sugar. Researchers have now found that women in particular should use sugar sparingly during pregnancy. The increased sugar consumption of expectant mothers can lead to asthma in their children.
In their latest study, scientists at the Queen Mary University of London found that if mothers have an increased sugar intake during pregnancy, this increases the likelihood of developing asthma in their children. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "European Respiratory Journal".
Doctors examine almost 9,000 mothers and their children for their study
Women should be careful about taking sugar during pregnancy. Increased consumption during this period could increase the likelihood of developing asthma in children, the researchers say. For their study, the experts examined almost 9,000 mothers and their children. To do this, they used the data from a worldwide leading birth cohort study called Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC).
Researchers are studying the rates of allergies and allergic asthma
For the cohort study, women were recruited who were pregnant in the early 1990s. The children of these women have been medically monitored since then. The scientists examined the associations between maternal sugar intake during pregnancy and the frequency of allergies and asthma in children aged seven years.
Strong associations of sugar consumption with allergies and allergic asthma were found
While there was only weak evidence of a link between free sugar intake during pregnancy and the development of non-allergic asthma, the experts explain a strong positive association with allergies and allergic asthma.
What does the increased sugar consumption do?
When comparing the 20 percent of mothers with the highest sugar intake and the 20 percent with the lowest sugar intake, it was found that there was an increased risk of 38 percent for the development of allergies in the offspring, the researchers say. Furthermore, the increased sugar consumption led to a 73 percent increased risk of allergic reactions to two or more allergens and the probability of allergic asthma was 101 percent higher, the authors say.
Pregnant women should avoid excessive sugar consumption
The research team found no connection to eczema or hay fever. Based on the observations, it is not possible to say whether high sugar intake during pregnancy is definitely the cause of allergies and allergic asthma in her offspring, explains author Professor Seif Shaheen. Given the extremely high sugar consumption in western countries, we will certainly need to test this hypothesis with some urgency, the researchers continued. In the meantime, they recommend that pregnant women follow current guidelines and avoid excessive sugar consumption.
Does fructose lead to health problems?
A connection between sugar and the development of asthma could be explained by the high intake of fructose, which then triggers an immune response. This can lead to inflammation in the development of the lungs, the scientists explain. A number of factors were also taken into account, which also have an impact on the health of the offspring. These included social factors and various aspects of maternal nutrition.
Offspring's sugar intake in early childhood does not affect outcomes
Most importantly, the sugar intake of the offspring in early childhood showed no association with the results in the analysis, the scientists emphasize. A randomized controlled trial is now needed to finally check the causality of the current results, the authors add. (as)