Researchers work toward cure for peanut allergies (VIDEO)


The “peanut table” may be a thing of the past. According to a report out of Australia, a new study claims amazing success in treating peanut allergies.

Professor Mimi Tang, from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute near Melbourne, says a new treatment she developed showed that 82 percent of the children who were study participants had their peanut allergies cured within the first 18 months of treatment, reports Australia’s ABC.

Further success stems from the statistic that 80 percent of the children were able to tolerate peanuts, without having allergic symptoms, one month after ceasing treatment. Then, among the same participants, when tested four years later, 70 percent were still able to tolerate peanuts with no allergic reactions, Professor Tang said.

“These findings suggest our treatment is effective in inducing long-term tolerance, up to four years after completing treatment and is safe,” she said. “Two-thirds of the treated participants were able to continue regular peanut ingestion and more than half were ingesting moderate-to-large amounts of peanuts on a regular basis.”

The research involved 60 children. Tang gave 28 a high dose of the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus, combined with peanut protein in increasing amounts, a method called peanut oral immunotherapy.

Aside from slowly increasing the amount of peanut to which the participant is exposed, the treatment involves the probiotic because it is known to reduce allergic reactions and calm the immune system. The idea is to “reprogram” the way the immune system reacts to peanut intake, Tang explains.

Researchers at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute want to conduct larger studies of the probiotic/peanut protein treatment to determine the long-term safety of the treatment.

It is also running a trial to determine if just the probiotic alone can be the cure, or if children need the peanut protein to overcome peanut allergies.

The institute is currently working to fund the commercialization of a treatment.

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