After years of discouraging research, those with a peanut allergy have renewed hope. Several recent studies show promising results in the march to cure food allergies.
In February 2009, New York's Mount Sinai Hospital reported a new botanical drug, Food Allergy Herbal Formula-2 (FAHF-2), protects peanut-allergic mice from anaphylaxis. Lead researcher, Dr. Li, said, "We can reverse the peanut allergic reaction." The FDA has approved a human trial and the findings of this study suggest that FAHF-2 may be a promising candidate for development as a drug for peanut and other IgE-mediated food allergies.
Across the pond, a small trial out of Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, is showing promise in slowly building immunity for peanuts in those with a peanut allergy. At the start of the trial, peanut allergic children were given five mg of peanut flour. Over the course of several months, they've built up to 800 mg, roughly five whole peanuts. The trial will continue and more participants will be added. Lead researcher Dr Andy Clark said: "Now we've got them to a point where they can safely eat at least 10 whole peanuts. It's not a permanent cure, but as long as they go on taking a daily dose, they should maintain their tolerance."
These projects add clues to the mystery surrounding food allergies. They are done under close supervision of doctors and should not be attempted at home. Stay updated through http://www.peanutallergy.com as we follow these studies and others in the coming months.