Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Mediterranean Diet: Prenatal Benefits?

Study Suggests Diet by Pregnant Moms Can Reduce Allergy Risk for Their Kids

Mediterranean Diet and Allergic Disease continued...

The women completed food-frequency questionnaires during pregnancy, and they reported on their children's diets later on. They were also asked about their children's allergy and asthma symptoms and the children were tested for reactions to six common allergens after age 6.

Roughly a third of the mothers were considered to have had a low-quality Mediterranean diet while pregnant, while two-thirds were judged to have had high-quality Mediterranean diets.

Based on this analysis, eating a high-quality Mediterranean diet during pregnancy was associated with an 88% reduction in persistent wheeze risk among offspring and a 45% reduction in allergic disease risk.

Chatzi tells WebMD that the findings must be duplicated, and more research is needed to understand why a Mediterranean diet may be protective.

"We know that fruits, vegetables, and legumes are high in antioxidants, and there is evidence that antioxidants protect against inflammatory diseases like asthma and allergies," she says.

Safe for Pregnant Women?

But it is not clear if eating a largely plant-based diet, with protein derived mainly from fish and eggs, is a good idea for pregnant women and their unborn babies.

A 1994 study found that pregnant women who followed the diet got only about a third of the daily recommended intake of iron.

Greer says the single best thing an expectant mom can do to reduce her child's risk for allergic disease is to plan to breastfeed exclusively for at least four months.

That was the main recommendation of the AAP nutrition committee in its new guidelines for preventing allergic disease, released just last week.

"The best evidence we have says breastfeeding helps protect high-risk children against asthma and allergies," he says.

1 | 2

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Woman looking at pregnancy test
calendar and baby buggy
dark chocolate squares