This may come as a surprise, but for children suffering from peanut allergies, the solution may end up being peanuts.
A recent study published by The Lancet showed that in limited trials where children with peanut allergies were introduced to the allergen in small dosages, over time those children exhibited fewer symptoms of allergic reaction.
The trial, according to The Guardian, consisted of children between the ages of 7 and 16, who were given small dosages of powdered peanuts mixed into their meals. After six months, 84% of the children given the peanut mixture were able to tolerate ingesting the equivalent of five peanuts without an allergic reaction, while none of the children in the control group were.
“We have been very encouraged about the results of peanut oral immunotherapy studies over the last few years, including the most recent findings published in The Lancet,” said John L. Lehr, chief executive officer of Food Allergy Research & Education, which is funding oral immunotherapy studies here in the U.S. “We need to find treatments — and ultimately, a cure—that will prevent people with food allergies from experiencing life-threatening reactions, and we are optimistic about oral immunotherapy and other treatments currently under study. There is an urgent need for a cure, and we remain committed to investing in world-class research to identify it.”