12 January - 20 June 2016

A new approach to treating peanut and other food allergies

21 May 14

Researchers in the United States have developed a peanut-protein containing flour that has potential in the treatment of peanut, and perhaps other, food allergies. 170 foods are currently known to provoke allergic responses in patients, with peanut allergies being the most serious. Reactions can range from a mild rash and itching through to life-threatening anaphylactic shock. The discovery of better means of treating allergies could therefore impact very positively on human health, and this study's promising preliminary results with peanut-allergic mice are encouraging.

A method that has been used for some time to treat food allergies involves the regular exposure of the patient to very small amount of the allergenic material in order to achieve 'desensitization'. However, this method has been known to provoke harmful allergic responses in some sufferers. In an attempt to overcome this difficulty, this recent study - published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry - trialled combining the peanut proteins with a class of compound called polyphenols, obtained from cranberries. Plant polyphenols have previously been shown to dampen allergic reactions, and in this study their presence in a peanut-containing powder triggered the beneficial desensitization reaction without the harmful allergic responses in peanut-allergic mice. It is thought that the polyphenol-fortified peanut matrices reduce binding to one or more of the peanut allergens due to a change in the secondary protein structure. The authors hope that their findings will eventually be applied in the treatment of peanut allergy in humans, and potentially to tackle allergy to other substances.[ScienceDaily, LabManager]

share this article
RSSL endeavours to check the veracity of news stories cited in this free e-mail bulletin by referring to the primary source, but cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies in the articles so published. RSSL provides links to other World Wide Web sites as a convenience to users, but cannot be held responsible for the content or availability of these sites. This document may be copied and distributed provided the source is cited as RSSL's Food e-News and the information so distributed is not used for profit.

Previous editions

Load more editions

Make an Enquiry