A Cure for Peanut Allergies?

People who suffer from allergies understand the fear of becoming violently ill, or even facing a life-threatening situation due to minute traces of a particular substance. These substances are often otherwise harmless, or even prevalent food items. Peanuts, for example, are a particularly common food allergy trigger, afflicting millions of Americans both young and old. However, there may be a cure on the horizon.

A doctor-led research team at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in the U.K. conducted an experimental study recently that showed a small dose of the potentially lethal substance can actually save lives. Similar to a vaccine, the report posted in the Lancet medical journal stated 99 allergic children were administered a small dose of peanut powder. After a six month period of treatment, 84 to 91 percent of the children tested in the study could tolerate 800mg, or the equivalent of about five peanuts. This amount could be a potentially lethal dose to severely allergic patients, and could signal huge strides in the fight against food allergies.

Peanut allergies are particularly common in children, affecting between .5 and 1.4 percent of children in affluent countries. 400,000 school-aged children in the United States have this allergy, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. It is the most common life-threatening food allergy, and can place immense strain on families, as even a small amount of the protein can cause a dangerous reaction. Parents of children with this allergy are forced to remain hyper vigilant to prevent even trace amounts of the substance from contaminating their children’s food.

While this revolutionary treatment is not a cure, it may foreshadow an end of all such food allergies. For those who suffer from allergies, or parents who live in fear of a shared snack their kids might ingest at school, this hope is welcome news.

Author
Dr. Summit Shah

You Might Also Enjoy...

Anaphylaxis: Prevention and Treatment

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. Learn what to do if you develop anaphylaxis and how you can help prevent this potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.

What to do When Your Child Has Eczema

Eczema is a common skin condition that can be hard to ignore, especially when you’re a child. Discover what you can do to help your kids deal with eczema and the itchy, flaky, irritating rash it causes.

Get the Jump on Managing Spring Allergies

Do you wish you could just skip spring and its high pollen counts that make your eyes water and your nose drain? And what about all that sneezing? Learn how to manage springtime allergies before the wildflowers bloom and the grass grows.

What will palforzia do for peanut allergy sufferers?

It is expected that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will approve a new drug that treats peanut allergies in children in January. The drug, developed by a California-based startup called Aimmune Therapeutics, is Palforzia...