An allergy to peanuts continues to be among the most dangerous, especially for children. The Mayo Clinic writes that it “is one of the most common causes of severe allergy attacks. For some people with peanut allergy, even tiny amounts of peanuts can cause a serious reaction that can even be life-threatening (anaphylaxis).
Peanut allergy has been increasing in children. Even if you or your child has had only a mild allergic reaction to peanuts, it’s important to talk to your doctor. There is still a risk of a more serious future reaction.”
Now researchers may have found a breakthrough, and it might save more than a few lives.
New Atlas reports, “Scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) testing a world-first mRNA medicine packaged up in tiny nanoparticles that not only reversed peanut allergies in mice but equipped the body with the microbiological tools needed to stop the often-life-threatening condition developing.
“As far as we can find, mRNA has never been used for an allergic disease,” said study co-author Dr. André Nel, a professor at UCLA. “We’ve shown that our platform can work to calm peanut allergies, and we believe it may be able to do the same for other allergens, in food and drugs, as well as autoimmune conditions.”
Taking a cue from COVID-19 vaccines, the team packaged up mRNA inside a nanoparticle and delivered it to the liver, where it instructed specific cells to tolerate peanut proteins. The researchers focused on the liver in particular because of its tolerance with foreign substances and it being home to antigen-presenting cells, which help train the immune system to tolerate foreign proteins, rather than attack them.
It builds on 2021 research by the team, which saw a nanoparticle deliver a protein fragment, known as an epitope, to the liver to alleviate egg allergies in mice. In 2022 the researchers uncovered the epitope connected to peanut allergies.”
While researchers in the United States are continuing to work on a cure, scientists in the United Kingdom recently discovered the best “window” to introduce peanuts to kids that will lessen their chance of developing an allergy by over 75 percent.
The Daily Mail revealed that for most people, allergies to peanuts are developed before a child turns one year old.
The newspaper wrote that the team “looked at data from the Enquiring About Tolerance (EAT) and Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) studies.
The Leap study involved 640 babies considered at high risk of developing peanut allergy and examined the early introduction of peanut products.
The Eat project saw more than 1,300 three-month-old babies recruited in England and Wales. They were tracked over several years to investigate the early introduction of six allergenic foods – milk, peanut, sesame, fish, egg and wheat.
Analysis, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, revealed it was best to introduce peanut products to babies at four to six months of age.”
Those who introduced peanuts at that time almost doubled the probability that their children would have the allergy.