A validated diet history questionnaire assessed the intake of dairy foods, calcium and vitamin D during pregnancy in order to examine the association with childhood allergic disorders in Japanese children (23-29 months). Study participants were 1,354 mother-child pairs, followed between 2007 and 2008. Wheeze and eczema diagnoses were determined by the criteria of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood.
High maternal intake may be protective
Higher maternal intake of total dairy products during pregnancy was significantly associated with a reduced risk of infantile eczema. The consumption of cheese during pregnancy was significantly related to a reduced risk of physician-diagnosed infantile asthma (-56%). Maternal intake levels of yogurt and calcium during pregnancy were also significantly inversely associated with physician-diagnosed infantile atopic eczema: -51% for yogurt and -66% for calcium. However, high vitamin D consumption during pregnancy increases the risk of infantile eczema.
The authors recommend further pre-birth cohort studies with a detailed assessment of dietary habits during pregnancy and childhood allergic disorders to confirm these findings.