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Peanut Allergy Updates 2011 - New Research Offers Hope For Relief?

Monday, October 31, 2011
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Promising and Hopeful Management for a (Pea) Nutty Affair......Dr. Wesley Burks, the chief of the division of pediatric allergy and immunology at Duke University Medical Center, presented the findings of the research jointly conducted by Duke University and Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, and at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in Washington. He suggested that a treatment for peanut allergy might be developed in 2 -3 years.

In the pilot study the researchers used small doses of peanuts (as little as 1/1000th of a peanut) that were increased to about 15 peanuts a day gradually on 33 children with documented peanut allergy. The children were given powdered peanut that was sprinkled on food and they received the therapy on a daily basis. Most of the children are tolerating the therapy very well without any allergic reactions. About five children have stopped the therapy after two years as they can now accept peanuts in their regular diet without any adverse reactions. Also about 4 children dropped out of the study due to the regular allergic reactions.

Another related study was also conducted by the researchers on 18 children. The same treatment was given to 12 children and a placebo powder to the remaining 6. After 10 months all the children were exposed to peanut under medical supervision. The children in the placebo group developed symptoms after consuming one and a half peanuts where as in the treatment group children tolerated 15 peanuts a day without any allergic reactions/symptoms.

These studies were conducted under a high level of medical supervision; therefore parents/guardians should not attempt the same on their children or wards. This is not a treatment that is to be practiced at home yet.

These studies are raising hopes about the potential treatment/cure for this life threatening condition.

By Sangeetha Narayana Swamy
Senior Dietitian, Nutritionvista.com

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User Comments

02 November, 2011 | Sharmila | Reply

Sharmila Folks when in doubt, say no thanks. At restaurants and social gatherings, there is always a risk that you might accidently eat peanuts. Since even a tiny amount of a food can cause a severe reaction in some people, we should not underestimate the seriousness of an allergic food reaction.If you have even the slightest of doubt that a food may contain something you're allergic to, steer clear of it.

02 November, 2011 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar A number of milkshake alternatives for people who do not like the taste of milk or have lactose intolerance is soy milk and groundnut milk in Karnataka and very popular too. Groundnut milk goes by the name MILTONE.....If there is a family history of peanut allergy, mothers should be cautious while allowing the kids drink this beverage.

02 November, 2011 | Sharmila | Reply

Sharmila Can peanut or groundnut oil as its referred to in India, cause allergies like peanuts?

03 November, 2011 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar Dear Sharmila, that is a question on most peoples mind. Research indicates that refined peanut oil will not cause allergic reactions in most people with peanut allergies. Crude or unrefined peanut oils are strongly flavored, and have been shown to contain protein and that may cause allergic reactions.

A randomized double blind study on 60 people who had proven peanut allergy showed that refined oil posed no risk at all but around 10% of subjects had allergy to crude peanut oil. However refined oil can pose a risk if it has previously been used to fry peanuts and then reused.

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