Peanut-fearers, rejoice -- new research suggests that treatment may be possible for peanut allergies. A study sponsored by National Institutes of Health in the January issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that by exposing people to small amounts of peanut powder every day, they could increase their tolerance.
First, people with a peanut allergy went through a terrifying food challenge, seeing how much peanut powder they could eat before they had an allergic reaction. After 44 weeks of sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), a treatment in which you place a small amount of the allergen under your tongue to decrease sensitivity, they were again asked to eat peanut powder until they had a reaction.
During the second challenge, 70 percent of the participants on SLIT could eat 10 times more peanut powder than before. After 68 weeks, many participants could consume significantly more peanut powder without having an allergic reaction.
SLIT caused only some minor side effects, like mouth itching, and overall it seems that daily therapy may be safe under the watchful eye of a professional. In the future, it could help people with peanut allergies avoid severe reactions to accidental exposure.
So to alleviate peanut allergies, it pays to be little nutty each day.
O'Righty then, yea for medical science! ;)
Oh my, I think I am getting sick, ca ca cashew, lol!
Does that work with any other allergy besides peanuts? Hmm curious...
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The most likely event that will occur by blindly following the advice in this article is anaphylactic shock. The best way to deal with allergies is under the guidance of a competent allergist.
The study is small but makes important progress in treating food allergies. Sublingual immunotherapy is safer than treating allergy by allergy shots; the amounts needed to develop immunologic tolerance to peanuts (microgram-milligram) is far less than the amount which would trigger a systemic reaction (milligram-gram). It is not reasonable to expect that you can go from peanut anaphylaxis to eating a PB&J, it is certain that it is possible to prevent life-threatening reactions from accidental exposure peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, dairy, shellfish, bee stings......
Unfortunately less than 6% of board certified allergists have any experience with this treatment. Allergists who declared their use sublingual immunotherapy have been censured by their peers.
The science has not changed but this study has important "thought leaders" as co-authors which is more impressive than reducing morbidity and mortality from food allergies.
As an aside sublingual immunotherapy can be used on environmental allergies pollens, dust mite, danders, molds... just don't expect insurance coverage or a board certified allergist; training and protocols for sublingual belong to the ENT's and complementary medicine practitioners.