We all know about health benefits of peanuts. Peanut is a good anti-oxidant that protect us from heart disease. Earlier, I already have written about some important health benefits of peanuts. It is also known as world’s healthiest food as it contains various health nutrients. But, it also causes allergies. In recent years, awareness of peanut allergies in children has risen.
Nowadays, peanut butter and jelly sandwich are nowhere to be found on school grounds. Because peanuts cause a life-threatening reaction in some people. Peanut allergies are most commonly associated with anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a sudden and potentially deadly condition that requires immediate attention and treatment. For children, it is considered as most serious childhood allergies.
According to an analysis by a Food Allergy Research and Education study, the number of children in the U.S. with the peanut allergy is more than tripled between 1997 and 2008.
To overcome this situation, scientists from the biopharmaceutical company DBV Technologies have developed a tiny skin patch. This tiny skin patch may help treat peanut allergies by delivering small doses of its protein.
For clinical trials, scientists have tested 74 peanut-allergic volunteers under the age of 4 to 25. They tested volunteers with high-dose patch, a low-dose patch, or a placebo patch to see whether a daily patch could help raise their peanut threshold. High dose patch contained 250 micrograms of peanut protein whereas low dosage patch contained 100 micrograms of peanut protein. Additionally, the patch was coated with the very small potential of raw peanut material. By using the Epicutaneous Immunotherapy (EPIT) process, it delivers peanut proteins into the participant’s skin by producing cellular tolerance to the nuts.
Contestants who received higher doses of peanut protein were able to consume more peanuts. It proves more effective for the children under the age of 4 to 11 than older participants.
NIAID Director Dr. Anthony S. Fauci said, “One goal of Epicutaneous Immunotherapy (EPIT) is to reduce this burden by training the immune system to tolerate enough peanut.”
During trials, one participant had patch reaction. The reaction was mainly mild, like bumps and redness on the skin surrounding the patch.
Daniel Rotrosen, M.D., director of NIAID’s Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation (DAIT) said, “The clinical benefit seen in younger children highlights the promise of this innovative approach to treating peanut allergy.”
Scientists will continue the ongoing clinical trial for another year and a half.