A breakthrough therapy that could help children suffering from potentially life threatening nut allergies has been developed by British doctors.
The experimental new treatment basically ‘retrains’ the immune system of food allergy sufferers so they become desensitised to the food. So far, 20 children with severe peanut allergies, aged between 5 and 17, have been helped by the technique.
Before the treatment, some of the children couldn’t even come in contact with traces amounts of peanuts without having a severe reaction – just one 400th of a peanut was causing a problem. After the treatment trials, which lasted four months, researchers claim the kids can eat up to 12 peanuts a day.
The treatment involved tiny doses of peanut flour being given to the children each day to slowly desensitise their immune systems.
The doctors, from Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, plan to carry out larger clinical trials, and also hope to develop the treatment so other dangerous food allergies could be treated.
In the UK, around one in 50 children suffer from nut allergies.