Can yogurt cure peanut allergies?

Study Notes takes a closer look at recent medical studies, its caveats and what it means for you.

The research

Photo, iStock.

Photo, iStock.

In a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in January, Australian researchers gave
60 children with peanut allergies the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus (found in yogurt), along with increasing amounts of peanut protein. After 18 months, 80 percent of the children were able to eat up to 2 g of peanuts — with no reaction.

What it means

Researchers believe the probiotic modified the children’s immune response and made it protective rather than harmful.

The caveat

Don’t try this at home: The treatment was given under medical supervision, and some children did have allergic reactions. “It’s exciting, as it seems that a cure for peanut allergy is achievable,” says Dr. Eyal Grunebaum, head of the division of immunology and allergy at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, “although further research is still required.”

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