Adults who suffer from peanut allergies may soon be able to get relief thanks to a specially formulated toothpaste.
Researchers came to their conclusion after studying 32 adults, ages 18 to 55. A third of the participants were given toothpaste that was formulated with a small amount of peanuts.
The treatment is known as oral mucosal immunotherapy, also known as OMIT. It's slightly different from oral immunotherapy, where people ingest the allergen so their body can get used to it over time.
“OMIT as a delivery mechanism for peanut protein has great potential for food allergy desensitization," said allergist William Berger, an author of the study.
Berger noted that using the toothpaste, rather than ingesting small amounts of peanuts, showed promising results.
“We noted that 100% of those being treated with the toothpaste consistently tolerated the pre-specified protocol highest dose,” Berger said.
He noted that none of the participants had a severe or even moderate allergic reaction. The reaction mostly reported was oral itching.
"OMIT appears to be a safe and convenient option for adults with food allergies," Berger stated.
He added that more studies are being planned to evaluate the long-term protection against accidental ingestion of peanuts for those with the allergy. Berger also said this study paves the way for similar studies on children.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 6% of adults and 8% of children live with a food allergy — with peanuts among the foods that cause the most severe reactions.
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