Roasted, dry-roasted, honey-coated, in pastry sandwiches, and even in chocolate bars, peanuts are offered in various recipes, packs and types these days, and have come to be seen as a necessary part of our daily snacks.
But, many of us won't still touch them, even if they are served at a 100 yard distance, due to a negative reaction, better known as peanut allergy.
Health implications arrising from the consumption of peanuts include leaving consumers with several symptoms like red patches and pimples. Often though, those who suffer more are underage consumers, but even adults sometimes suffer reactions.
But as a Cambridge University study show, allergy therapy studies appear to hold some hope for the many who are forced to avoid peanuts.
"A new therapy for peanut allergy has been successful in the majority of the 99 children who took part in a clinical trial." writes Adrian Ient on the University of Cambridge website."
The Cambridge allergy research team, led by Dr Andrew Clark and Dr Pamela Ewan from the University’s Department of Medicine, have been leading allergy research for more than 20 years, he says.
The research involved young people, aged between seven and sixteen that were made to eat daily doses of peanut protein, from a starting tiny dose, it was slowly built up over four to six months.
After 6 months of OIT, the researcher found that between 84% to 91% of the children could safely tolerate daily ingestion of 800 mg of peanut protein (roughly the equivalent of five peanuts), representing "at least 25 times as much peanut protein as they could before the therapy."
“This large study is the first of its kind in the world to have had such a positive outcome, and is an important advance in peanut allergy research,” says Dr Pamela Ewan, one of the cambridge researchers.
The study sampled those who, before, would do everything to avoid eating peanuts.
“Before treatment children and their parents would check every food label and avoiding eating out in restaurants ... Now most of the patients in the trial can safely eat at least five whole peanuts. The families involved in this study say that it has changed their lives dramatically.” said the lead researcher, Dr Andrew Clark.
So have all those who featured in the sample fully converted to peanuts lovers? Not exactly.
Lena Barden, 11, from Histon in Cambridgeshire, who felt elated at her selection for the active group and had to commit to making a trip to the hospital every two weeks said, though she could eat 5 wholes peanuts with no reaction at all, she still have not converted.
"The trial has been an experience and adventure that has changed my life and I’ve had so much fun. But I still hate peanuts!” said the 11 year old.
A case of you can take a horse to the river but can't force it to drink? At least more people can now enjoy peanuts, if they follow the programme.
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