Allergic to Peanuts? This Probiotic Therapy Shows Promise
A probiotic treatment for peanut allergy was effective as long as four years later for 70 percent of children who got it, according to a small study by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia. The oral treatment for peanut allergies – one of the deadliest and most common food allergies – combines the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which has been associated with prevention of certain allergy symptoms, with a peanut protein. Children who took it daily for 18 months were still able to eat peanuts after four years, with no allergy symptoms.
Results of the Australian study were published in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health. The next step is to determine if the probiotic therapy improves quality of life for people with peanut allergies.
Peanut allergy guidelines have evolved in recent years and for most people, doctors no longer advise avoidance. According to current recommendations, peanut products are considered safe during pregnancy and in children over the age of 6 months with no family history of allergies or eczema. For children at increased risk for peanut allergy, consult a doctor, and never give whole nuts should to children under 5 due to the choking risk.