Remember in middle school when there was a separate table for the kids with serious nut allergies? They weren’t allowed near any form of nuts, whether it be in a peanut butter sandwich or whole nut, and their allergy forced them to lunchtime isolation. In the United States alone, up to 15 million Americans suffer from severe food allergies, and the number continues to grow. Peanut allergies, in particular, appear to be growing in prevalence among children.
Now if your humour aligns itself with that of Louis CK’s, you might have had similar dark thoughts like this one:
Some researchers seem to be taking a leaf out of Louis’s page with their newest experiment. At Addenbrooke Hospital of Cambridge University, researchers are trying a new form of oral immunotherapy in which they fed children with peanut allergies extremely small amounts of peanut protein every day for six months. By the end of the trial, they found that 91% of the children in the study grew desensitized enough that they could eat up to five full peanuts without any severe anaphylatic reaction. Currently there is no cure for peanut allergies, but this study sheds some much needed light on how to combat this affliction. Ideally, researchers hope to prevent the development of such allergies entirely. It feels counterintuitive, but many researchers agree that in order to prevent a nut allergy, it is better for pregnant women to not avoid nuts. This study lays further groundwork for scientists to figure out the root of food allergies and find ways to combat their development in infants.