New treat­ment for peanut al­ler­gies

One of the most com­mon and se­vere al­ler­gies in chil­dren is to peanuts. Can new re­search help par­ents and chil­dren treat the con­di­tion?

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Body and Soul - - Weightloss -

What did the study find? Ev­i­dence shows that in 80% of chil­dren who have a peanut al­lergy it’s likely to be a life­long prob­lem. But new re­search from the UK has found that over a pe­riod of six months a child may be de­sen­si­tised to peanut pro­tein. The re­searchers stud­ied a small num­ber of chil­dren un­der close med­i­cal su­per­vi­sion and in­tro­duced a tiny amount of peanut flour to their diet, in­creas­ing the amount slowly to build tol­er­ance. In the beginning they were only able to eat the equiv­a­lent of one for­ti­eth to a quar­ter of a peanut, and af­ter the in­ter­ven­tion was com­plete, some chil­dren were able to eat 10 whole peanuts without any ad­verse ef­fects. Is this a cure? In se­vere cases of peanut al­lergy it can be life threat­en­ing to be ex­posed to even a small amount of peanut, so it’s im­por­tant not to try this at home. Aus­tralian al­lergy spe­cial­ists have some reser­va­tion about the re­sults, point­ing out the study was con­ducted on 33 chil­dren of which only five suc­ceeded and four dropped out of the study be­cause of ad­verse re­ac­tions. It is also not known whether the tol­er­ance that is built up will last long term and spe­cial­ists would still ad­vise car­ry­ing an EpiPen in case of an un­ex­pected re­ac­tion. Un­til more con­clu­sive re­search is con­ducted they don’t see this as a cure for peanut al­ler­gies. Our ad­vice: If you sus­pect your child may be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a food al­lergy or in­tol­er­ance, it is im­por­tant to seek treat­ment from an al­lergy spe­cial­ist who can pro­vide the in­di­vid­ual care each child needs. If you would like to speak to a qual­i­fied di­eti­tian about nutri­tion or would like a FREE copy of our healthy eat­ing for kids brochure, you can call us on 1800 673 392. *brochure avail­able un­til May 30.

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