Australian researchers say they may have found the key to curing peanut allergy
While Britain has gone gooey over peanut butter of late (sales are up by 13.3%), one in 100 people suffer from an allergy to the nut.
Australian researchers may have found the key to the cure.
The study at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne gave 30 children with a peanut allergy a daily dose of the nut protein (equivalent to 6-7 nuts) as well as a probiotic (called lactobacillus rhamnosus) over 18 months.
The probiotic dose, which increased in amount over time, was equivalent to eating about 20kg of yoghurt each day.
Mimi Tang, lead researcher, said: “The treatment was very effective, just over 80% of children who received the probiotic peanut therapy tolerated peanut, compared with 4% of children who received placebo.
“These findings provide the first vital step towards developing a cure for peanut allergy and possibly other food allergies.
“We focused on peanut allergy because it is usually lifelong.”
Further research will now be required to see whether this could be a permanent cure. Tang added: “We will be conducting a follow-up study where we ask children to take peanut back out of their diet for eight weeks and test them if they’re tolerant after that.”
However, she warned that this treatment should not be tried at home as some children did experience allergic reactions during the trial.