If you suffer with a food allergy you know how difficult it can be to find foods that don't cause you to have a reaction. Peanut allergies are one of the most common and with most companies taking the no risk approach of advertising, "this product may contain nuts" , it can be very hard to find foods that you know are safe.
Up until now there has been no cure for peanut allergies but a team from the National Institutes of Health have worked with 40 people as part of a new study that may point towards a way of curing the problem.
The answer is, strangely, peanuts. Of the 40 people half were given small amounts of peanut proteins to place under their tongue, the other half were given placebos. The dose began very small and was slowly increased over time.
Of the 20 given peanut powder to place under their tongue, 14 were able to eat ten times more after 44 weeks and 3 of the candidates were able to eat up to 5 grams of the powder with no effects - 2 of the subjects actually made it to 10 grams.
The team concluded that this type of peanut therapy is quite safe and shows strong results that prolonged exposure to peanut could actually help to reduce the side effects of any allergies. Interestingly of the 20 candidates who were given placebo treatments, three of them increased their tolerance and two of them actually reached the 5 gram dose.
The research is still not conclusive and non of those tested had severe allergies but it's an interesting angle of treatment that may be explored more in the future.