Leading studies as new hope for peanut allergy sufferers suggest that immunotherapy may reduce the severity of treatment responses

A small child sitting at the dining table: Peanut allergy is increasing in children.  Getty / Michelle Gibson

© Getty / Michelle Gibson
Peanut allergy is increasing in children. Getty / Michelle Gibson

  • New research is offering hope for people suffering from peanut allergy.
  • A large-scale trial suggests that oral immunotherapy treatment may allow victims to increase tolerance to peanuts.
  • The idea is not that people with peanut allergy will be able to eat nuts independently, but their reactions can be reduced.
  • For more stories visit the Business Insider homepage.

A leading new study is offering new hope for people suffering from peanut allergy.

It may be possible to reduce the severity of peanut allergic reactions, research published in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health suggests.

The report states that peanut allergy is the leading cause of food-related anaphylaxis, with 6.1 million people suffering from allergies in the US.

The number of victims has increased a lot in recent decades, as well, a 2017 study has also reported that children have increased by 21% since 2010.

The new study included a test, called the Artemis Trial, which is performed in hospitals across Europe.

175 children with peanut allergy, aged 4 to 17, participated in the research, in which they gave increasing amounts of peanut allergen protein or a placebo every day.

Peanut protein takers were given a slightly higher dose every two weeks for six months, after which the same dose was maintained for three months.

Researchers found that 58% of the children who had peanut protein could eat at least three to four peanuts by the end of the test.

This compared to just 2% of those given a placebo.

The researchers concluded that the treatment “rapid desensitization to peanut protein.”

Research does not suggest that people suffering from peanut allergies may soon eat peanut butter with spoons, although researchers hope it may mean less severe reactions to accidental exposure to nuts.

A 12-year participant, James Redman told The Times that he can now bear up to seven peanuts after suffering severe reactions to any trace of peanuts.

“Taking part in the study was the biggest opportunity of my life,” he said.

“The nurses and doctors were really caring and having a lot of fun. I didn’t like the taste of peanut protein because I got chocolate pudding which was very good.

“I really hope that the study leads to a treatment so that other children with peanut allergies can benefit.”

Read more:

FDA approved its first drug to treat children’s peanut allergy

Why many Americans are allergic to peanuts

Major causes of fall allergies and how to relieve your symptoms

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