New treatment could reduce kids' peanut allergies

Print
Email
|

Associated Press

Posted on January 30, 2014 at 3:32 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 30 at 9:34 AM

LONDON (AP) — It won't make peanut allergies a thing of the past but researchers are encouraged by the results of an experimental new therapy in Britain.

Doctors fed children with peanut allergies small amounts of peanut flour to retrain their immune systems. After 6 months, more than 80 percent of the subjects could safely eat a handful of the previously worrisome nuts.

Experts warn parents not to try it at home.

Peanut allergies are on the rise and affect about 1 in 50 children, mostly in high-income countries. The consequences can be life-threatening — peanuts are the most common cause of fatal food allergy reactions. The only safe bet is avoiding peanuts.

The intention of the treatment isn't to help kids eat large amounts of peanuts, but to prevent a life-threatening allergic reaction in case they accidentally eat trace amounts.

Print
Email
|