Thursday, February 19, 2009

Learning to Eat Peanuts

Some much-needed good news for the peanut industry.

A group of children with peanut allergies have had their condition effectively cured, doctors believe.

A team from Cambridge's Addenbrooke's Hospital exposed four children to peanuts over a six-month period, gradually building up their tolerance. By the end the children were eating the equivalent of five peanuts a day.

It doesn't sound like much, but.....

Kate Frost, the mother of a nine-year-old who was one of the four participants, said: "It's very hard to describe how much of a difference it's made - not just in Michael's life, but for all of us. A peanut allergy affects the whole family. You can't go out to a restaurant. If your child goes to a birthday party, he takes a packed lunch."

This has another significance.

The concept of desensitising people to allergies has been successfully done with bee and wasp stings and pollen allergies, but this is the first time it has been achieved with a food-related allergy.