Probiocs have been found to increase tolerance to peanuts in children with severe peanut allergy. The study, published in the journal Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, follows up on children enrolled in an earlier study of an immunotherapy treatment, which combined probiotics with small doses of peanuts that were designed to gradually train the children’s immune systems to accept the peanut allergen rather than treat it as something foreign.
Previous studies have suggested that methods like these could be effective in reducing youngsters’ allergic, sometimes dangerous anaphylactic shock reactions to peanuts. The Australian team added probiotics to further enhance the gut’s ability to accept the peanuts and not trigger an immune reaction.
Compared to 4% of children who didn’t get any treatment, 82% of those receiving the combination therapy significantly reduced their allergic reactions to peanuts.