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Allergic to peanuts? Use peanuts to cure it

Published on Jan 30, 2014 9:43 AM
 
A plate of peanuts. Doctors said on Thursday they could treat peanut allergy by feeding children the very thing their bodies reject, so building tolerance that could save a life in case of accidential ingestion. -- ST FILE PHOTO: TERENCE TAN

PARIS (AFP) - Doctors said on Thursday they could treat peanut allergy by feeding children the very thing their bodies reject, so building tolerance that could save a life in case of accidential ingestion.

Small doses of peanut powder taken over several months seemed to induce tolerance in children with the potentially deadly allergy, a research team wrote on Wednesday in The Lancet medical journal.

After six months of treatment, dubbed oral immunotherapy or OIT, 84-91 percent of the children in a trial could safely tolerate daily doses of 800 mg (0.03 ounces) of peanut powder - the equivalent of about five peanuts, wrote the team.

This was 25 times the amount they could tolerate before the therapy, and much larger than any accidental dose is likely to ever be.

 
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