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Are Peanut Allergies Preventable?

Written by S.O.

Posted on August 24, 2015 at 4:18 pm

Peanut allergies are really no joke. They can be deadly to those who suffer from this allergy. Even a very small amount of peanuts or peanut oil can cause some disturbing symptoms such as hives, an accelerated heart rate, and the feeling of your throat closing off and choking you to death.

There are no real good treatments available once someone is stricken. If the person suffering from the allergic reaction is given a quick injection of epinephrine, it can mean the difference between life and death. Thanks to some recent medical breakthroughs, it may now be possible for the first time to prevent these allergies.

New Hope for Children

A team of researchers from Great Britain recently carried out a trial involving 99 children. This trial group of children suffering from peanut allergies was given a very small amount of peanut proteins on a daily basis. This amount was increased very slowly over time. They found that after six months time, 84% of the children were able to ingest as many as five peanuts daily with no ill effects.

It should be noted this was an experiment done by medical professionals in a controlled environment, and is not something you should try on your own.

New Drug May Offer Hope for All

A new drug named TNX-901 may offer hope for people with peanut allergies. It has not been proven to cure these allergies, but in a medium-sized medical trial, people who suffer from peanut allergies, who took TNX-901 did not suffer from allergy symptoms after ingesting small amounts of peanut flour, basically, the equivalent of about six to eight peanuts. Since the majority of allergic reactions come from people ingesting only one or two peanuts, this could be a very significant finding.

This was a controlled study, and the people taking part in it did not know who received the drug and who received placebos. There is a need for more studies to be done to confirm these results, but there are a few roadblocks in the way. Three companies took part in developing TNX-901, and as of the time of this publication these companies are embroiled in a fight over who owns the rights to TNX-901, and other similar drugs.

Even today, scientists are not quite sure what causes the start of allergies to peanuts. There are several theories out there, but no one is in agreement with all of them, or even one of them. So are peanut allergies preventable? The answer right now is no, but medical science is getting to the point where these allergies can be managed to help give those who suffer from them a better life.

Part of the problem is getting people who have peanut allergies who are brave enough to volunteer for studies. If enough people come forward in the next few years, and if drug companies can come to an agreement, there could be hope on the horizon.

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