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United Kingdom Medicine

Peanut Allergy Treatment Trial In UK "A Success" 192

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-doesn't-kill-me dept.
cold fjord writes: "The BBC reports, 'Peanuts are the most common cause of fatal allergic reactions to food. There is no treatment so the only option for patients is to avoid them completely, leading to a lifetime of checking every food label before a meal. The trial ... tried to train the children's immune system to tolerate peanut. Every day they were given a peanut protein powder — starting off on a dose equivalent to a 70th of a peanut. Once a fortnight the dose was increased while the children were in hospital and then they continued taking the higher dose at home. The majority of patients learned to tolerate the peanut. ... Dr Andrew Clark, told the BBC: "It really transformed their lives dramatically, this really comes across during the trial. ... Dr Pamela Ewan added ... further studies would be needed and that people should not try this on their own as this "should only be done by medical professionals in specialist settings."' The story also notes, 'The findings, published in the Lancet, suggest 84% of allergic children could eat the equivalent of five peanuts a day after six months.'"
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Peanut Allergy Treatment Trial In UK "A Success"

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  • by Shimbo (100005) on Friday January 31, 2014 @04:39AM (#46118129)

    It's not a particularly surprising result but it's one thing saying that after the fact, and another to do a good quality trial. 90-99% of science (well, to be honest, pretty much of everything worth doing) takes skill and patience rather than a moment of brilliance.

  • by Pino Grigio (2232472) on Friday January 31, 2014 @06:20AM (#46118369)
    The thing is, if you just use peanuts you can't charge £100 a shot for the drug.
  • Re:Nutty parents (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 31, 2014 @06:49AM (#46118431)

    Most adults don't swell up and die just because they encounter something new.

    So we shouldn't assume that it's such a great idea to intentionally introduce such allergenic foods to young children without independently reproducible proper scientific studies (too much fraud nowadays) proving that it's a better idea for most.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com... [wiley.com]

    . The most effective dietary regimen is exclusively breastfeeding for at least 4â"6 months or, in absence of breast milk, formulas with documented reduced allergenicity for at least the first 4 months, combined with avoidance of solid food and cow's milk for the first 4 months.

    I know some parents introduce some foods before the baby is even 6 months. But as the recommendation says - exclusive breastfeeding for at least 4-6 months.

    So maybe these hyperallergic kids were getting traces of peanuts while they and their immune systems were way too young, or at the same time they were fighting off some infection (plenty of people carrying em etc). And so when later on they get a bigger dose, their immune system goes on all out war.

  • by uglyduckling (103926) on Friday January 31, 2014 @07:30AM (#46118533) Homepage
    Because these people tend to die when they eat peanuts. You need to know how to do it in a very careful, controlled manner otherwise people will die. Mostly children. That would be a bad thing.
  • by uglyduckling (103926) on Friday January 31, 2014 @07:32AM (#46118537) Homepage
    Then you probably didn't have an anaphylactic "immediate hypersensitivity reaction after peanut ingestion" as the article says. If you had, your mother probably would have been terrified of putting you near a peanut ever again.
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Friday January 31, 2014 @07:52AM (#46118599)

    Feed your kids real food, people, and let them play in the dirt. Get a pet. If you want your kid to have a healthy normal life, expose them to things in normal life. If you wrap them in Triclosan-scented everything and feel them gluten/soy/sugarfree Brawndo for years, they'll never learn to metabolize or tolerate anything else. Life carries risk, and as much as public education has taught you that causality is a human construct, it ain't - learn to deal with things or they'll deal with you, you pussies.

  • by Paradise Pete (33184) on Friday January 31, 2014 @08:25AM (#46118703) Journal

    there is no really good reason that a tiny, tiny bit of peanut butter in a large meal won't work.

    Yes there is. Peanut butter, no matter how well you stir it, will have random clumps of the allergen and people will die. More stirring does not solve the problem. Random does not mean equal distribution. It means random distribution, some of which will be in larger clumps.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 31, 2014 @09:35AM (#46119031)

    Or we can accept that the scientists already had a disscussion all but identical to the one we're having here so far and arrived at the conclusion they have arrived at because they've been talking about it longer than the 5 minutes we have here.

    Seriously, when did we start quesitoning every little method just because we "think" we know better despite the obvious fact we are not all doctors... /rant

  • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Friday January 31, 2014 @09:46AM (#46119109)

    Blend 70,000 peanuts. Administer to 1,000 people.

  • by _anomaly_ (127254) <anomaly@@@geekbits...com> on Friday January 31, 2014 @10:34AM (#46119485) Homepage
    1,000 peanuts and 70,000 people

    ;-)

  • by orgelspieler (865795) <w0lfie@noSpAM.mac.com> on Friday January 31, 2014 @11:40AM (#46120149) Journal

    OK. So I have two kids. Both of them were raised essentially the same way. If anything, the younger was coddled more, and spent less time in daycare. Yet the elder has severe dairy allergy, and the younger has none. My brother and I grew up in the same house exposed to the same pets, playing in the same dirt. I am allergic to cats now. He is not. My wife has peanut allergy; her sister does not. The list could go on, but you get my point.

    Are you really implying that people should feed their kids food they're allergic to? "Well son, sure you can't breathe and you're covered in hives, but at least Gothmolly doesn't think you're a pussy!"

    Do you really think it's as simple as "go play in dirt and you won't get allergies"? I've got a different unsupported hypothesis pulled out of my ass. The reason why more sanitary countries have more allergies is because in the developing world, the people with allergies don't live long enough to pass their genes down to the next generation. Had I been born in some third world country, I would have died before I turned 10 due to respiratory problems.

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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