Children with peanut allergies could overcome the life-threatening reaction for up to four years Australian researchers say
18 August, 2017, 00:24
At the end of stage one in 2013, the study deemed 82 per cent of the children to be tolerant to peanuts compared to four per cent in the placebo group.
Children who are allergic to peanuts may soon be able to consume the nuts as part of their regular diet, Victorian researchers have found.
The probiotic, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, commonly found in yogurt was then combined with peanut protein in increasing amounts during those 18 months.
In the recent follow up trial, 80% of the children who gained tolerance are still consuming peanuts as part of their regular diet and 70% passed a further test created to determine long-term tolerance to peanuts.
Astonishingly, their desensitisation to peanuts persisted for up to four years after treatment.
The 48 children were treated with an experimental immunotherapy treatment.
Food allergies affect one in 20 children and two adults out of 100, with the most prevalent being the reactions to seafood, cow's milk, eggs, and peanuts.
In the worst-case scenario, peanut allergies can cause anaphylaxis, which can kill.
"The probiotic and peanut oral immunotherapy treatment, or PPOIT, was associated with long-lasting ability to tolerate peanut four years after stopping the treatment", she said, in a Murdoch statement.
The children who still appeared to be cured four years later "had been eating peanut freely in their diet without having to follow any particular program of peanut intake", says Mimi Tang, the lead researcher.
Peanut allergies are often severe and can be deadly, forcing parents, kids, schools, and other institutions to remain hyper-vigilant about avoiding exposure.
It's the life-threatening allergy that's seen peanuts blacklisted all over Australia, but a new study might be the saviour allowing peanut butter back into kids classrooms. "This is a major step forward in identifying an effective treatment to address the food allergy problem in Western societies".
Scientists say the probiotic works to change how the immune system reacts to the allergy and encourage a tolerance - and it's set the ball rolling for what could be a life-changing cure for many families.
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