Possible cure for peanut allergies?

February 20, 2009 2:22:02 PM PST
Scientists continue to close in on a possible treatment to prevent deadly peanut allergies. A Cambridge medical team says four children were exposed to small daily doses of peanut flour over a six-month period. The idea was to slowly build immunity. And it may have worked.

According to results in the journal Allergy, by the end, the children were eating the equivalent of five peanuts a day with no life threatening reactions.

Researchers say it's not a permanent cure. Patients will need to keep taking a daily dose to maintain their tolerance.

The trial appears to be the first successful program of its kind.

Previous attempts to build immunity to nuts failed after producing serious side effects. Scientists say that may have happened because the trials involved injections rather than more gently doses of peanut flour.