Wednesday , April 21 2021

Medicine helps young people manage peanuts

"I think it is very good that the treatment can be approved in the future," says Göran Wennergren, a child allergist at Drottning Silvia Children's Hospital in Göteborg, told the newspaper. "It's exciting results that increase the image of inducing tolerance in some patients.

It is known beforehand that patients with peanut allergy may develop tolerance if they ingest very small amounts of peanuts, which then increase gradually.

Researchers have already taken advantage of this and developed an oral biological immunotherapy in which low doses of peanut protein are given in capsules or dosing bags.

One year of treatment

More than 550 patients of different ages who participated in the current study were allowed to get peanut protein or placebo in increasing doses. The goal was for the patient to reach 600 milligrams of peanut protein, corresponding to two or more peanuts.

After approximately one year of treatment, the amount of 67 percent was tolerated in the group of drugs for patients between 4 and 17 years, while the corresponding value was 4 percent in the placebo group.

"This does not mean that the person does not suffer from potentially fatal reactions if something happens with traces of peanuts," says Göran Wennergren.

Oddly enough, no tolerance seemed to be found in participants over the age of 17, something Göran Wennergren believes he could have with the immune system being more influential in young people.

A British researcher points out that the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is well-founded, but also suggests that it leaves some questions unanswered. For example, what happens when the treatment ends.

"Then tolerance will probably fall." Patients need to get some peanut protein every day to keep their tolerance tolerated. This is a lifelong treatment, "says Göran Wennergren.

Fact: leaving with dangerous nuts

In Sweden, the Swedish Food Safety Agency writes that young children at risk of allergy may receive ground peanuts mixed in, for example, yogurt or peanut butter in small portions. Abroad, the advice is for these kids to "get" peanuts.

According to US guidelines from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, children at high risk of peanut and / or egg allergy should try peanuts between 4 and 6 months of age. However, these children should find a specialist before trying.

For low- to medium-risk children, peanuts should be introduced from six months of age and children need not find a specialist.

Because children can put peanuts in their throats, parents are advised not to give whole peanuts. Small peanut butter spoon, peanut soup or finely ground peanut in yogurt are preferred.

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