According to The Guardian, Australian researchers seem to have made a breakthrough!!
Australian researchers have found a treatment for peanut allergy in children.
A small clinical trial conducted at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia has revealed that two-thirds of children treated with an experimental immunotherapy treatment were cured of their peanut allergy. More important findings of this research show promise of peanut tolerance (non-allergic reaction) for up to four years after treatment. The treatment consisted of combining a probiotic with peanut oral immunotherapy, known as PPOIT. The trails consisted of reprogramming the immune system’s response to peanuts by instead of avoiding the allergen developing a peanut tolerance.
The study has lead researchers to think that by combining the probiotic with the immunotherapy, this provides the immune system with the “nudge” it needs to develop a peanut tolerance.
Clinical Trail Results:
Forty-eight children were enrolled in the PPOIT trial and were randomly given either a combination of the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus with peanut protein in increasing amounts, or a placebo, once daily for 18 months.
At the end of the original trial in 2013, 82% of children who received the immunotherapy treatment were deemed tolerant to peanuts compared with just 4% in the placebo group.
Four years later, the majority of the children who gained initial tolerance were still eating peanuts as part of their normal diet and 70% passed a further challenge test to confirm long-term tolerance.
Tang, the scientist involved in conducting the trail, said the results were exciting and had been life-changing for participants. “The way I see it is that we had children who came into the study allergic to peanuts, having to avoid peanuts in their diet, being very vigilant around that, carrying a lot of anxiety with that and, at the end of treatment and even four years later, many of these children who had benefited from our probiotic peanut therapy could now live like a child who didn’t have peanut allergy.”
The results of the research are published in the Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.
“This is a major step forward in identifying an effective treatment to address the food allergy problem in western societies,” Tang said.
What is a Peanut Allergy
According to WebMD, a peanut allergy is a reaction that occurs when the body identifies peanuts as harmful substances; hence creating an allergic reaction. When people have a peanut allergy, after eating peanuts or food containing peanuts, the body’s natural defense system or immune system, that is suppose to fight off infections and diseases-overreacts and fights off the peanut as if it was a disease. The overreaction in some cases can have a serious, or even life-threatening reaction.
How Many people suffer from allergies
According to the Food Allergy Research and Education, researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies, including 5.9 million children under age 18. That would mean that 1 in 13 children, or roughly two children in every classroom are allergic to something. Additionally, roughly about 30 percent of children with food allergies are allergic to more than one food.
Of more concern, is that the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports that the prevalence of food allergy in children has increased by 50 percent between 1997 and 2011. Not to mention that between 1997 and 2008, the prevalence of peanut or tree nut allergy appears to have more than tripled in U.S. children.
Can Food Allergies Be Outgrown?
According to the Food Allergy Research and Education, although allergies to milk, egg, wheat and soy are often resolved in childhood, children appear to be outgrowing some of these allergies more slowly than in previous decades. Many children continue to be allergic beyond age 5. To add to the matter, the Food Allergy Research and Education further reports that allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish are generally lifelong.
Is There a Cure to Allergies?
According to the Food Allergy Research and Education, there seems to be no cure for food allergies. Current cures for food allergies are generally managed by avoiding the problem food(s) and learning to recognize and treat reactions symptoms. Food allergy therapies are currently under study in clinical trials, but none yet has been proven to work for general use.