Exposing Kids to Safe Levels of Peanuts When Young Could Prevent Allergies | Health and fitness

“During their initial food challenge to participate in the study, they responded to the equivalent of 25 milligrams of peanuts, or about one tenth of a peanut,” Jones said.

Even at this age, peanut allergy symptoms are usually quite dramatic, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI).

The most severe reaction is anaphylaxis, a whole-body immune response that may include impaired breathing, swelling of the throat, sudden drop in blood pressure, pale skin, blue lips, fainting or dizziness, according to the ACAAI.

Less intense reactions could still include hives, difficulty breathing or vomiting, sometimes seconds to minutes after eating peanuts, Jones said.

During an initial 30-week period, children in the treatment group were given increasing doses of peanut flour mixed with foods like applesauce or pudding, until they reached a dose maximum target of 2 grams (equivalent to about six peanuts). They then continued to eat a daily dose of peanut flour for the next two years.

At the end of the two years, the children underwent a food challenge to test the status of their peanut allergy.

“We found that of the children who started the study, 71 percent reached the desensitization endpoint,” Jones said. “They went from being able to eat only about a tenth of a peanut in a group, up to 5 grams, or 16 peanuts.”

Comments are closed.