If you or a loved one suffers from a life-threatening allergy, you know full well how it changes how you live your life. And, with the immense popularity of peanuts in our culture, it's almost impossible to avoid contact with the beloved legume.
So, for those who are dangerously allergic to peanuts, a recent research study coming out of Ireland will be VERY good news. And it will give new hope for the future for those whose lives are at risk from even a small exposure.
Jonathan Hourihane, Principal Investigator at the INFANT Centre, Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health at University College Cork, Ireland led the study of over 500 children in which more than 2/3 of the participants came away with a brand new tolerance for small amounts of peanuts.
His stunning results were published in a recent issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, and he is receiving accolades from all over the world.
“The world’s largest peanut allergy treatment trial involving 30 Irish children and more than 500 others worldwide, has found that a new oral treatment can successfully reduce sensitivity to peanuts.
“It offers a real lifeline to those affected by the most common food allergy and the single cause of most food allergy deaths.”
The new treatment is known as ‘AR101' and works by gradually sensitizing the children over a period of time.
“It works by introducing, initially, minute, controlled amounts of peanut protein, with escalation over a sustained period of six to 12 months, building up a patient’s tolerance to peanut,” Hourihane said.
And the real-world ramifications are nothing short of astounding.
The Silicon Republic reports, “We have seen patients go from being highly allergic to very small doses, like one-tenth of a peanut, to being able to manage to eat the equivalent of two or three peanuts without a significant reaction. This is a game-changer for anyone living with this allergy.”
Although the initial results have researchers very optimistic, they also caution that this product may not be for everyone.
-It is NOT a cure
-It can decrease risk from small exposure & ⬆️quality of life
-Regimen is challenging
-Side effects common (most mild)
-Shared decision making vital to find good candidates”
For now, though, parents who have worried about their allergic children for so long, it is a HUGE step in the right direction.
The New York Times puts it this way: “The goal of the treatment is not to cure the allergy or enable children to eat peanut butter sandwiches, but to reduce the risk that an accidental exposure to trace amounts will trigger a life-threatening reaction in someone with a severe allergy, and relieve the fear and anxiety that go along with severe peanut allergies.”
And relieving the anxiety and fear of parents is a big deal…