Probiotics the key to CURING nut allergies for life

Peanut allergies are one of the most common food allergies, and one that children are often unable to grow out of. Though a recent study may be set to change that. Led by allergist and immunologist Professor Mimi Tang, a team of Australian researchers have uncovered a successful treatment for children with peanut allergies. Even more compelling is the fact that the experimental trial was carried out four years ago and yet its effects continue to protect the children from allergic reactions many years later.

The original clinical trial was carried out in 2013 at Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne, Victoria. A total of 48 children were enrolled in the trial and were randomly given either a placebo or PPOIT, which stands for “probiotic with peanut oral immunotherapy”. This radical form of treatment was the combination of peanut protein and the probiotic lactobacillus rhamnosus. In lieu of avoiding peanuts in their entirety, Tang designed this based on the idea of reprogramming the immune system response to peanuts into eventual tolerance, the effects of which were further boosted by the presence of probiotics.

This occurred once daily over a period of 18 months. At the end of that stage of the trial, the researchers found that 82 percent of the children who received PPOIT had developed a tolerance to peanuts; by contrast, only four percent of the children from the placebo group had acquired the same tolerance. Following this, the children whom the researchers deemed peanut-tolerant were asked to consume peanuts for about four years after the trial’s conclusion.

During the follow-up, it was discovered that 80 percent of the PPOIT-treated participants continued to eat peanuts and 70 percent remained tolerant to peanuts well after the trial ended.

Tang has called the results, published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, nothing short of “exciting” and “life-changing for the children.” Speaking to the, Tang commented: “We had children who came into the study allergic to peanuts, having to avoid peanuts in their diet, being very vigilant around that, carrying a lot of anxiety,” she said. “At the end of treatment, and even four years later, many of these children who had benefited from our probiotic peanut therapy could now live like a child who didn’t have peanut allergy.”

“These children had been eating peanut freely in their diet without having to follow any particular program of peanut intake in the years after treatment was completed,” Tang noted before adding: “This is a major step forward in identifying an effective treatment to address the food allergy problem in Western societies.” (Related: Probiotics taken during pregnancy decrease risk of allergies in kids.)

What is lactobacillus rhamnosus?

As a probiotic, lactobacillus rhamnosus is a beneficial type of bacteria typically obtained by eating fermented foods like yogurt. According to, probiotics work by releasing certain chemicals when broken down by the body. These chemicals inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, in turn decreasing the risk of disease and infection.

What makes lactobacillus rhamnosus unique is its ability to boost immune system function. Consumption of this probiotic has been connected with increased phagocytic activity in perotineal cells and blood. Phagocytic activity, in turn, is essential to the health of any living organism since weak phagocytic activity will often times result in chronic fungal and bacterial infections.

Numerous studies carried out over the years pointed towards lactobacillus rhamnosus as a powerful combatant against allergies, so it comes as no big surprise that its inclusion in Tang’s treatment increased its efficacy and longevity.

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