Probiotic strain cures peanut allergies in 80 percent of children
Now scientists in Australia at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute are finding out that probiotics are the biggest step toward curing fatal peanut allergies in children. The 30 children involved in this study were allergic to peanuts at the onset. During the 18-month study, the children were given both peanut flour and a probiotic called Lactobacillus rhamnosus. After a year and a half, 80 percent of the children were able to tolerate peanuts. It appears that Lactobacillus rhamnosus is the missing piece of the children's immune systems. Lead researcher Mimi Tang said the families involved in the study were so impressed with the probiotic treatment that they said it "changed their lives."
"These findings provide the vital first step towards developing a cure for peanut allergy and possibly for all food allergies," Mimi Tang told Melbourne's Herald Sun. "It will be a major advance for medical science if we can find a treatment that is curative. It will change the lives completely for children and adults who have peanut allergies," she said.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus is often found in yogurt, but the amount used in the study was highly concentrated and was equivalent to 44 pounds of yogurt. By the end of the 18-month study, the children were able to tolerate up to 14 peanuts per day or four grams of peanut protein. The normal recovery rate during this time period is only 4 percent. The probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus boosts recovery from a meager 4 percent to an astounding 80 percent.