If treated early enough, young children may be able to overcome their peanut allergies, according to researchers.
In a new study published Thursday in the journal The Lancet, a clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that giving peanut oral immunotherapy to children ages 1 to 3 years old who are highly peanut-allergic induced remission of that allergy in one-fifth.
The authors gave toddlers daily increasing amounts of peanut protein powder to a group of toddlers for 2.5 years.
Nearly 150 children participated in the “IMPACT” trial at five academic medical centers. Only children who had an allergic reaction after eating half a gram of peanut protein or less were eligible to join the study.
They were given doses of peanut powder mixed in food or a dummy powder — oat flour.
The children gradually ate escalating doses of up to 2 grams of peanut protein over a 30-week period. For an additional two years, the children then continued to consume their daily dose of peanut or placebo flour.