Encouraging news for the 4-million Americans suffering from food allergies — especially those allergic to peanuts. It appears researchers at Duke University successfully helped a small group of children get over their peanut allergies — by giving them a closely monitored amount of peanuts every day.
They started by giving the children as little as one-one thousandth of a peanut and gradually increased the dose. Eight to ten months later, the kids were able to eat the equivalent of 15 peanuts a day with no adverse effects — and two years later, the allergy has not come back. Researchers said that their findings seem to indicate that the body builds tolerance quickly, and while they are hopeful this may be the beginning of a cure, they have an important warning for parents – don’t try this at home.
Because the number of children who’ve been able to go off the treatment is so small, researchers said that it’s unclear whether the therapy was effective, or whether the kids simply outgrew their allergies. Researchers said that similar studies for egg and milk allergies are underway.