A new study published in the journal The Lancet details a treatment breakthrough that successfully eliminated peanut allergies in some afflicted individuals for up to four years. The treatment involved a combination of peanut oral immunotherapy (PPOIT) and probiotics, and though it isn’t a proper cure for the allergy, it did produce a tolerance in afflicted individuals that allowed them to, in some cases, eat peanuts for a long period of time without experiencing an allergic response.
The study details a small clinical trial that took place at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Following treatment, the children who were volunteers in the study were able to eat peanuts like normal without experiencing anaphylaxis or other issues. Of the 48 kids who were part of the study, a total of 82-percent were found to be tolerate to peanuts at the end of treatment.
How does the treatment work? By essentially boosting the afflicted individual’s own immune system using a probiotic called Lactobacillus rhamnosus in conjunction with protein from peanuts. Volunteers were given increasingly higher doses of these substances for a year and a half before treatment was finished.
The results were astounding compared to the placebo group, which only had a 4-percent effectiveness in developing peanut tolerance. At least 70-percent of the treated volunteers were confirmed to have long-term tolerance toward peanuts in their diet, and most of the kids were still able to eat peanuts normally four years later. Now that the results are in, the treatment can enter larger clinical trials and, hopefully, become a normal treatment method for individuals with peanut allergies.
Such a breakthrough, if it proceeds to the point of being a routine treatment, will be life-altering for patients. Peanut allergies are often severe and can be deadly, forcing parents, kids, schools, and other institutions to remain hyper-vigilant about avoiding exposure. Plans for further studies on the treatment are unclear at this time.
SOURCE: The Lancet