Peanut allergies are on the rise and a serious reaction can be fatal, but the exciting news for parents everywhere is that a cure may be just around the corner with Aussie scientists revealing long-lasting results of a treatment this week that could be available soon.
Aussies at it again
Aussie scientists are really kicking goals this month, with only last week announcing a world first breakthrough in preventing miscarriages and birth defects by increasing a woman’s intake of vitamin B3 before and during pregnancy. Now it appears peanut butter (also high in niacin) could be back on the menu for our kids thanks to another team of Australian researchers.
The research team at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) in Melbourne have been trialling an experimental probiotic treatment for peanut allergy for a while now. Four years ago the results showed that 82 percent of the children who participated in the study were able to successfully eat peanuts without any issues – in particular anaphylaxis. Now, it’s been revealed that 80 percent of the same children are STILL not showing any signs of a peanut allergy.
Cure could be available soon
“These children have been eating peanut freely in their diet without having to follow any particular program of peanut intake in the years after treatment was completed,” said lead researcher of the study, Professor Mimi Tang.
“The importance of this finding is that these children were able to eat peanut like children who don’t have peanut allergy and still maintain their tolerant state, protected against reactions to peanut,” she added.
It’s because of these astounding new long-term results that this groundbreaking treatment is now on its way to being approved by the FDA and will hopefully be on the market in the next five years.
The treatment itself is a combination of a small amount of peanut flour with a very high dose of the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus (a bacteria found in yoghurt), that would be available to buy in a powder form.
A cure for all food allergies?
Interestingly, the scientists believe that the success of their peanut allergy treatment might be the key to helping cure a number of other life-threatening food allergies.
Their study, according to Professor Tang, “…also suggests the exciting possibility that tolerance is a realistic target for treating food allergy. This is a major step forward in identifying an effective treatment to address the food allergy problem in Western societies,” she said.
Nut-free no more
Perhaps it won’t be long before we can send kids off to daycare and school with nuts and peanut butter sandwiches in their lunch boxes once again without the fear of another child being harmed. Imagine that! Stay tuned…
Does your child have a peanut allergy? What would this cure mean for your family?