Scientists say possible cure found for peanut allergies

Peanuts_wShells_blogResearchers from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia may have found a cure for people with potentially fatal peanut allergies according to a recent article.

This research has already transformed the lives of about 30 children who were involved in the experiment and were given a daily dose of peanut protein together with a probiotic known as Lactobacillus rhamnosus, in an increasing amount over an 18-month period.

The dose of the probiotic was the equivalent of eating 44 pounds of yogurt each day and by the end of the trial, 80% of the children no longer had any type of reaction after eating peanuts.

“Many of the children and families believe it has changed their lives, they’re very happy, they feel relieved,” lead researcher, Mimi Tang said in the article. “These findings provide the first vital step towards developing a cure for peanut allergy and possibly other food allergies.”

Currently, almost three in every 100 Australian children have a peanut allergy and it is the most common cause of food-induced anaphylaxis, a medical emergency that causes constriction of airways, swelling of the throat, and a severe drop in blood pressure. While peanut allergies can range from mild to severe, symptoms can occur within minutes after exposure.

“We focused on peanut allergy because it is usually a lifelong allergy and it is the most common cause of death from food anaphylaxis,” Tang said in the article.

Next, further research will be done in an effort to confirm whether patients can still tolerate peanuts in the years to come.

“We will be conducting a follow-up study where we ask children to take peanuts back out of their diet for eight weeks, and then we will test them again to see if they’re still tolerant.”

In the article Tang warned parents against trying the treatment at home and said that although most of the children involved had no reaction, others did experience an allergic reaction, some of which were serious.

“For the moment this treatment can only be taken under the supervision of doctors as part of a clinical trial,” Tang said.

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