Researchers in Britain believe they may soon be able to cure children of peanut allergies by feeding them tiny doses of peanut flour so that they eventually build a tolerance. They tested a small group of children and had some success. The next goal is to test a larger group of children over the next 3 years. Now, don’t get any ideas about trying this at home. These studies were performed under strict settings, where resuscitation drugs and specialists were available should any of the children develop a serious anaphylactic reaction.
Peanut allergies can be quite severe and have resulted in most schools banning peanut products entirely. That means no more PB and J’s or nutter butter cookies in the lunch boxes. Staples when I was growing up. Hopefully, this study leads to a treatment for those kids who suffer from this allergy and even if it only helps children to tolerate more peanut proteins than before treatment, it should reduce some of the worries that allergic kids and their families carry every day.
According to the study’s lead researcher, “The kids who’ve gone through the pilot study say it’s changed their lives.” People with peanut allergies can have severe reactions to even tiny amounts of the ground nuts, when their immune systems mistakenly interpret proteins from the nuts as invaders and mount a massive response. The worst case scenario is anaphylactic shock, which can cause a drop in blood pressure, swelling of the tongue or throat and sometimes death.