A Potential Cure for the Peanut Allergy

So here’s a thing I have a lot of mixed feelings about. Peanut allergies.

Now for starters I had a few childhood friends with peanut allergies, and my Aunt is allergic to peanuts. I also have a bunch of friends and relatives who are allergic to various food-stuffs in an Anaphylactic sort of way.

So the fact that my daughter’s school is a nut-free zone (food, not the people, they still let me and LaWeer’da in the door) I have mixed feelings about. Of course since she’s just a toddler, I really makes sense. Little kids get into EVERYTHING, and don’t know any better, so the possibility that a tasty snack might kill them graveyard dead seems a good reason to have a ban.

Still she’s likely going to live a huge portion of her life in “nut free zones”, which does piss me off. A buddy of mine who was a year younger than me, and lived down the street from me had a peanut allergy. Every time he was offered a snack or some food he would instinctual ask “Does this have peanuts in it?”. That was some good parenting. Much like how you keep your finger off the trigger of a gun, even after you’ve removed all ammo from it, and visually and physically inspected it to verify that it is indeed unloaded. You take some extra caution when something could cause you deadly consequences.

Still I see things as if you put too much caution in a controlled environment, you get bad things in the real world. So the kid with a peanut allergy who has been sheltered from nuts through school suddenly goes to the break room at his crappy menial job, and his throat closes up and he dies making minimum wage….

But maybe if the reports are true my daughter might not have to live in this new bubble wrap world:

Seats might be opening up at the peanut-free table; Australian researchers found a possible cure for people with potentially-fatal peanut allergies.

The secret’s in a daily dose of peanut protein powder and the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus. After eating this mixture in increasing amounts for 18 months, 80 percent of the participants in the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute study were able to eat peanuts, reaction-free.

Now this report isn’t 100% percent clear. It uses “reaction free” as the metric. I’d personally be a LOT more liberal about success. See I’m allergic to most fur-bearing mammals (stupid for a guy who works with Mice!), and my wife is allergic to raw tree fruits, but an attack of these allergies is little more than a serious inconvenience, vs a trip to the ER that most people who accidentally eat some trace amounts of peanuts. If some of the subjects get some shortness of breath or some topical itching, I’d still call that a success.

God I hope this treatment works, because a peanut butter sandwich (especially with sriracha!) is a thing of beauty!

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3 Responses to A Potential Cure for the Peanut Allergy

  1. Deb says:

    Great to hear about another promising avenue of research on lessening the severity of food allergies! I suffer from milk protein and tree nut allergies and am hoping for the day I can eat at a restaurant without subjecting the waitstaff to an inquisition.

    I have already been following the research by Stanford U. and Children’s Hospital Boston on the asthma drug Xolair and food allergies. Xolair binds to IgE, so as you might imagine this application looks promising. You may be interested in Googling/Medscaping this yourself, but I’ll start you off by pointing you at the experience of one family documented over the course of about a year and a half of study participation.


  2. TS says:

    What?! Peanut butter and Sriracha? Well, I have to go try it now- and I’m probably going to curse your name or call you a genius. I doubt there is an in-between.

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