New Ways to Fight Nut, Milk Allergies
Studies Show Peanut-Rich Diets During Pregnancy and Injection-Free Milk Immunizations May Help
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Peanut Oral Immunotherapy continued...
One person, who developed hives and airway tightening after the full dose,
was immediately and successfully treated with epinephrine.
Immune system changes from the start to the end of the study showed growing
tolerance to the peanut protein, Nash adds.
The long-term goal is buildup of enough tolerance so the food allergy
"goes away," says researcher Wesley Burkes, MD, chairman of the AAAAI
program committee and a professor of pediatrics at Duke University, Durham,
N.C. He also worked on the study.
"But for now we've shown that even though they have to keep eating the
food, the chance of having an accidental allergic reaction is less," he
More study is under way.
Milk Allergies Studied
Other researchers report that oral immunotherapy also appears to be safe and
effective for treating cow's milk allergy in kids.
The study, done at Johns Hopkins, involved 11 young children and teens, aged
6 to 17, with proven milk allergies. They were randomly assigned to receive
either escalating doses of milk protein in the form of powder mixed with water,
or a placebo drink.
Once they reached a daily dose of 500 milligrams, about the equivalent of
two cups of milk, they stayed on that dose for three to four months.
At the end of the study, the researchers gave the kids the 8,140-milligram
challenge. Before the treatment, all 11 kids exhibited symptoms after ingesting
40 milligrams of milk protein. In contrast, one participant who finished the
course of oral immunotherapy tolerated the entire 8,140 milligrams, the study
"The results are very promising," says Burke, who also worked on
this study. "The subset that received the milk powder could tolerate much
more milk before they had a reaction by the end of the study."
Waiting Allergies Out
If all else fails, maybe parents can just wait their kids' allergies out.
Japanese researchers report that more than 80% of kids with egg, milk, or wheat
allergies became tolerant to these foods by their teenage years.
Researchers at the Shiga Medical Center for Children in Moriyama, Shiga,
surveyed the parents of schoolchildren who had been diagnosed with allergies to
egg, milk, or wheat before age 1.