Results of an ambitious research project has led some science and health experts to believe that a cure for the common peanut allergy may be available within three years.
It could also be the beginning of the end for all food allergies, claimed Dr. Andrew Clark of Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge, England, as reported by Richard Alleyne, writing for the Telegraph.co.uk.
The new study follows a successful former trial in which 23 children were given tiny amounts of peanut flour every day, gradually increasing the dose until they now can eat five or more nuts a day.
Previously these children would have risked going into anaphylactic shock or even death if they accidentally ate just a trace amount of peanuts. According to the research team, this has been the first successful use of so-called â€˜desensitization treatment.â€™ Earlier such attempts had caused serious reactions in the children with peanut allergies.
It’s believed that this treatment worked because small doses of peanut flour was put into yogurt which was eaten, rather than injecting peanut extract or oil as had been done in previous studies.
News of the new study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science held recently in San Diego.
Dr. Clark says the families involved in the study say the experience has changed their lives. They no longer feel they have to study every food label or fear eating certain snacks or things like Chinese foods. He says the research will continue and will report back in three years. If successful, Dr. Clark expects that clinical treatment could then begin for people with peanut allergies.
Treatment would likely last for two or three years, and hopefully when that’s completed long term tolerance can be maintained. But a long-term study is needed to find out, Dr. Clark says.
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