The AP reports, “Doctors have reversed allergies in some children and teens by giving them tiny daily doses of problem foods, gradually training their immune systems to accept them.” In one case, “about a dozen kids were able to overcome allergies to eggs,” while “some of the same doctors used a similar approach on several kids with peanut allergies a few years ago.” For the effort to work, “it takes special products, a year or more and close supervision because severe reactions remain a risk” according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
USA Today reports, “Children allergic to eggs are told to avoid the food completely. But in a promising new clinical trial, doing the exact opposite appears to have reduced – and in some case eliminated – kids’ egg allergies.”
The study found that “30 of the 40 egg-allergic children who ate small amounts of powdered egg white every day for 22 months became ‘desensitized’ and experienced little or no allergic reaction. After two years on the treatment, 11 of the 40 (28%) were able to freely incorporate egg products into their everyday diet with no problem.”
The Baltimore Sun reports, “For now, the research is still considered experimental and isn’t recommended outside of a study. But the researchers say it’s promising for the four percent of American kids with food allergies.”
Bloomberg News reports the news as specific to eggs though it “suggests a way to overcome food allergies.”
CNN (7/19) reports in its “the Chart” blog, “It’s important to note…that about 15% of kids receiving the immunotherapy treatment dropped out of the trial – mostly because of allergic reactions.”
Reuters reports the study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
HealthDay reports, “Allergy shots have long been a mainstay in treating certain allergies, but until recently immunotherapy hasn’t been an option for people with food allergies – where the focus for patients and parents has been on avoiding the food entirely.”
Medscape reports, “Although the researchers found the results highly encouraging, they expressed caution that the therapy is still in the experimental stage and, given the potentially serious health effects of allergies, should only be performed in the hands of professionals.”