A recent BBC News article contained good news for those with peanut allergies: a new treatment could help overcome the deadly allergy for an extended period of time. Children with peanut allergies were given a probiotic containing a peanut protein every day for 18 months. A month later, 80% of the kids could tolerate peanuts without an allergic reaction, and after four years 70% were still able to eat peanuts without side effects.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus is the probiotic used in the study by lead researcher Prof Mimi Tang at Melbourne’s Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. The team of researchers now plans to determine whether the treatment actually improves the quality of life for sufferers of food allergies, of which there are 250 million worldwide. The cost of the treatment was not addressed in the article, but I’m willing to bet it’s cheaper than an EpiPen.