Encouraging news today for the 4,000,000 Americans suffering from food allergies — especially those allergic to peanuts.
It appears researchers at Duke University successfully helped a small group of children get over their peanut allergies — by giving them a closely monitored amount of peanuts every day.
They started by giving the children as little as 1/1000th of a peanut and gradually increased the dose.
Eight to ten months later, the kids were able to eat the equivalent of 15 peanuts a day with no adverse effects — and two years later, the allergy has not come back.
While researchers are hopeful this may be the beginning of a cure, pediatric allergist Dr. Wesley Burns has an important warning for parents, "It really is investigational. It's something we do in the research unit and we really closely watch the subjects that are in. It's not something for a family to try at home, to cut up a peanut and then begin to give it to them ... Because it's not really safe to do that way."
Because the number of children who've been able to go off the treatment is so small, researchers say it's unclear whether the therapy was effective, or whether the kids simply outgrew their allergies.