Finally a bit of good news for fearful parents everywhere — a treatment to help prevent serious allergic reactions to peanuts could be on its way.
According to the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), peanuts are one of the most common food allergies in the U.S., and its rate is still growing. The number of tree and nut allergies have tripled since 1997.
But a new clinical trial is showing promising results, giving hope to affected individuals everywhere.
California-based biotech company Aimmune Therapeutics, conducted a year-long study with nearly 500 children ages 4 to 17. Participants were given capsules of peanut flour, or a placebo powder for the control group, in gradually increasing amounts for six months. Then, they continues receiving that level of powder for an additional six months. Neither the doctors nor the participants knew which children were receiving the powder.
By then end of the 12 months, 67% of the children could tolerate about 2 nuts worth of peanut protein. Only 4%of the placebo group had increased tolerance.
This doesn’t mean kids and parents should try this stunt at home. The results have not yet been received by independent experts, and the powder used was specially formulated. About 20 percent of the kids had to drop out from the study due to reactions or other problems.
The results certainly wouldn’t allow peanut-allergic people to dive into a jar of JIF, but it would help reduce life-threatening reactions should that person be accidentally exposed to trace amounts of nuts — which, when it’s a life or death situation, as it is for some, is a huge relief.
Aimmune is seeking FDA approval for its pill.
(h/t Marie Claire)