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A New Way to Address Childhood Food Allergies

A new study shows providing tiny amounts of an allergen can help reduce the effects of allergies in childrenHere’s a promising new treatment for kids with food allergies (do NOT try this at home). Research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health found that children with egg allergies may be able to overcome them via oral immunotherapy, an approach to desensitizing in which kids are given tiny amounts of egg daily. One group of kids in the study received egg powder while others were given a placebo consisting of cornstarch powder. The dose was gradually increased every two weeks until the kids who were getting the egg were consuming the equivalent of one-third of an egg daily. After 10 months, 55 percent of the kids who were getting the real egg passed a challenge test administered by researchers at the participating clinics. None of the kids who were ingesting the placebo passed this test. After 22 months, 75 percent of the youngsters who were getting the egg passed the food challenge. The children were then instructed not to eat any eggs for four to six weeks, after which they were challenged again. This time, 28 percent passed. These kids are now allowed to eat eggs or foods containing eggs as often as they want. After a year, none had experienced any allergic reactions.

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Reader Comments (1)

They might really be on to something, since allergy is basically oversensitivity to a given substance. Gradually getting the body used to that substance is a good way to overcome any oversensitivity.

September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIlan Cohen

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