Health & Wellbeing

Probiotic treatment cures peanut allergy in children

Probiotic treatment cures pean...
Researchers have cured children of peanut allergies using a probiotic treatment 
Researchers have cured children of peanut allergies using a probiotic treatment 
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Researchers have cured children of peanut allergies using a probiotic treatment 
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Researchers have cured children of peanut allergies using a probiotic treatment 

Last year, scientists from the University of Chicago found that a probiotic therapy using a common gut bacteria prevented sensitization to peanut allergens – in mice. Now researchers at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, have shown that a similar probiotic treatment, this time involving Lactobacillus rhamnosus, has a similar effect, but this time in children.

Children with allergies present a huge challenge for parents and carers, with youngsters having a propensity to stick just about anything in their mouths and swapping lunches in the schoolyard having potentially fatal consequences. With Australia and New Zealand boasting the dubious honor of having among the highest prevalence of allergic disorders in the developed world, Professor Mimi Tang and her team had plenty of potential subjects to choose from for their research into a potential treatment.

Their 18-month study saw over 60 children with peanut allergies orally given either a placebo, or a dose of Lactobacillus rhamnosus, a bacteria that is sometimes used in yogurt and dairy products, along with a peanut protein. While the probiotic was given in a fixed daily dose, the amount of peanut protein started out very low and was gradually stepped up every two weeks until the maintenance dose of 2 g was reached.

Two to five weeks after the end of the treatment, the ability of the child to tolerate peanut was tested, with the researchers finding that of the 56 children that completed the trial, 23 of the 28 children (82.1 percent) given the probiotic treatment, (as well as one of the 28 (3.6 percent) who received a placebo), were able to safely eat peanuts.

"The likelihood of success was high," says Professor Tang. "If nine children were given probiotic and peanut therapy, seven would benefit. It appears that we have been able to modify the allergic response to peanut such that the immune system produces protective responses rather than a harmful response to the peanut protein."

Although predictably excited by the results, Professor Tang is keen to point out that the study was conducted under close medical supervision and obviously should not be tried at home. They also stress that additional research needs to be done to establish whether the patients will continue exhibit peanut tolerance years after the completion of the study.

Source: Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

4 comments
B-Rad in Burnaby
A very similar study (or two) has been done before. That is: Introducing small amounts of the peanut protein at the start and increasing the amount over time. Possibly the addition of probiotic bacteria makes things different. The end result from the previous study was that once the child could eat peanuts, they needed to include peanuts in their daily diet to keep up the immunity.
Robert Fallin
While I had a relatively mild peanut allergy (the inflammation caused severe arthritis pain), I discovered taking a broad spectrum probiotic treated ALL of my allergies, including grass, dust, cat dander, etc. In fact, after taking probiotics for two month, ALL of my allergies minimized to the point that I take NO allergy medications. I was taking FIVE. Now, if I feel even a minimal allergy attack, I flush my sinuses with a saline solution delivered by Neti pot. I also found a 50/50 solution of 12% hydrogen peroxide and water effectively treats Candida attacks.
Haresh Metharam
I have been using Probiotics for all my patients. They not only improve & cure allergies,but also 100s of other medical problems. Dr Haresh MD
Walter Kowalski
This is fascinating. It is wonderful that this probiotic was such a successful treatment for these children's peanut allergies. I would be very interested to learn more about this.
Walter Kowalski