AT least one in 100 children in Europe suffer from peanut allergy, so research released last week regarding a successful therapy has brought hope to many families.
Medical journal The Lancet published details of a trial at the Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge (UK), which eventually allowed children who had suffered from peanut allergy to be able to eat at least five peanuts a day.
The trial, conducted on two test groups, had an 84 and 91 per cent success rate.
The research entailed the groups of children and young people aged between seven and 16 eating daily doses of peanut protein.
Initially with tiny doses, then over the course of the four to six month trial gradually building up a tolerance until they can manage to eat five peanuts without an allergic reaction.
Peanut allergy can be fatal; sufferers risk anaphylactic shock if they become exposed to a peanut.
This puts stress on the family who have to check every food label to ensure there are no traces of nut and take extra care in restaurants.
Peanut allergy sufferers should NOT TRY THIS AT HOME UNSUPERVISED as a severe reaction could be fatal.
The trial was under strict medical and scientific conditions and is still considered to be in the research stage.
Further investigation and a product licence would be required before peanut immunotherapy is widely available.
Pregnant women have often been told not to eat peanuts, but recent research in America suggests that, in fact, this could be detrimental and actually cause the allergy.
There is some evidence to suggest that very young children who have early contact with peanuts are less likely to develop an allergy; contradicting beliefs that children under three should not eat the nut.