An amazing breakthrough for those suffering from peanut allergies. The bacteria Lactobacillus rhamnosus is added to some yogurts and kefir, but in smaller amounts.From The Telegraph:
A strain of probiotic bacteria could offer a cure for potentially fatal peanut allergies, according to scientists in Australia. The breakthrough followed a trial in which a group of children were given increasing amounts of peanut flour, along with a probiotic called Lactobacillus rhamnosus, over an 18-month period. About 80 per cent of the children who had peanut allergies were subsequently able to tolerate peanuts.
Mimi Tang, the lead researcher, said the families involved believed the treatment had "changed their lives". "These findings provide the vital first step towards developing a cure for peanut allergy and possibly for all food allergies," she told Melbourne's Herald Sun.
The randomised trial, involving a group of about 30 children, was conducted by Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne. The children, aged one to ten, were given small amounts of peanut flour, gradually building up to two grams, or the equivalent of six or seven nuts.They were also given daily doses of Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which is found in yoghurt but was given in quantities equivalent to the amount found in 44 pounds of yoghurt.
Following the treatment, about 80 per cent of the children were able to tolerate four grams of peanut protein, equivalent to about 14 peanuts. Typically, about four per cent of children would have overcome their peanut allergy during this time.
Rates of peanut allergies have dramatically increased in the past two decades, particularly in developed countries. For most sufferers, the condition is lifelong.
A link to the press release from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (their researchers are doing the research), has more:
Over 60 peanut allergic children in the study were either given a dose of a probiotic, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, together with peanut protein in increasing amounts, or a placebo over 18 months to assess whether children would become tolerant to peanut.
The probiotic was a fixed daily dose, while the peanut oral immunotherapy was a daily dose of peanut protein starting at very low doses followed by a dose increase every two weeks until the maintenance dose (2 grams peanut protein) was reached. At the end of the treatment, the child's ability to tolerate peanut was assessed by a peanut challenge performed two to five weeks after stopping treatment.
23 of 28 (82.1%) probiotic treated children and one of 28 (3.6%) placebo-treated children were able to include peanut in their diet at the end of the trial. The likelihood of success was high - if nine children were given probiotic and peanut therapy, seven would benefit.
The need for a curative treatment is greatest for peanut allergy since this is usually lifelong, and is the most common cause of fatality due to food induced anaphylaxis. Further research is now required to confirm whether patients can still tolerate peanut years after the study has finished.