Fighting peanut allergies with peanuts

8 January 2013

The answer to tackling the allergic response people have to peanuts could involve actually giving people the very compound that disagrees with them.

A new study, backed by the National Institutes of Health, has put forward the argument that sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) can reduce the severity of the allergic reaction that occurs when people consume peanuts.

The groundbreaking treatment works by placing a tiny amount of peanuts under the tongue of a sufferer so to boost their defences and decrease the sensitivity they experience.

In experiments with 40 participants aged between 12 and 37, researchers first gauged how sensitive people were by delivering an initial test that found how much peanut powder could be consumed before a reaction was triggered.

Over the course of the experiments, 70 per cent of people managed to get to such a position where they could ingest ten times their usual level of peanut powder.

A food allergy occurs when the body's immune system is unable to respond normally to certain foods and duly reacts in an irregular way.

The severity can vary from a mild outbreak in the form of a rash to something much more serious, like the swelling of the face.

Posted by Edward Bartel

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

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