Peanut Allergies: Is There a Cure?
Doctors at Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge seem to think they’ve hit upon a probably solution. 4% of British kids suffer from peanut allergies. The treatment the doctors think works involves gradually desensitizing peanut allergic schoolchildren via a yogurt and peanut flour mixture taken daily. To start 1 milligram of flour is mixed with a small amount of yogurt; then, based on reactions and over time, the ratio of flour to yogurt is increased. It’s a simple idea that could hold massive public health rewards and put the minds of thousands of mothers at ease. No more checking labels and being hyper alert at social gatherings.
So far the Doctors have had encouraging success. In the small group of kids who participated in the pilot trial, 21 out of 23 of them, aged seven to 17, were effectively desensitized. The doctors are embarking on the most recent and biggest trial to date of such a method and are confident that the results will give them a clear idea of the efficacy and safety of the treatment for the general population. That’s pretty big news. NOTE: The doctors are careful to remind parents that all trials are done in hospital and are not to be attempted at home. This story came from Guardian.co.uk and was originally submitted by Ian Sample, science correspondent, in San Diego.
Peanuts are the number one leading cause of food based allergic reaction.
1/3 of peanut sensitive patients get severe reactions that can lead to death. Some cases can cause death in a matter of several minutes.
Airlines recommend that severe patients take morning flights because aircrafts get a thorough cleaning at the end of each day thereby minimizing risk. However, no airline guarantees a peanut free environment.
50% of patients react to as little as the equivalent of 1/50th of a peanut. In some cases a reaction can happen with 1/1000th of a peanut.
6-7 million Americans suffer from some sort of food allergy and 3 million have peanut allergies (1.1 percent of the population).
One study by Johns Hopkins University found that a full 50% of school aged kids outgrew their peanut allergy, but that some of the study participants’ allergies returned over time.