Peanut butter tastes great! Do you love peanut butter? Many people do, but unfortunately can’t eat it because they’re allergic to it. But, help and a cure may be on the way in the form of a new vaccine.
Food allergies do not yet have a cure, and allergic reactions can prove fatal. In fact, the only way to “prevent” allergies is to stay away from the allergen.
A new study, however, offers hope for people with peanut allergies, as a vaccine that has been 2 decades in the making has just been proven successful in mice.
The research was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Peanut Butter: What Is An Allergy?
Food allergies are caused by a faulty immune reaction, wherein the body overproduces antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE).
This occurs because of a skewed immune response from immune cells called T helper 2 (Th2). In this research study, scientists rerouted these Th2 cells in order to help regulate the allergic immune response.
Animals were given one dose of the nasal vaccine per month for 3 months, and allergic response was measured 2 weeks after the final dose.
The vaccine successfully protected the rodents from exposure to peanuts, with tests showing decreased activity of the Th2 cells, as well as decreased Immunoglobulin antibodies.
Peanut Butter: Vaccine In Humans
These results are a valuable stepping stone to develop a allergy vaccine for humans. Once the researchers figure out if they can prolong the benefits of the vaccine, a clinical trial for humans can be started.
Right now, the only FDA [Food and Drug Administration]-approved way to address food allergy is to either avoid the food or suppress allergic reactions after they have already started.
Developing a vaccine to cure peanut butter allergic reactions will be a stepping stone to develop other food vaccines. A whole new world of gastronomical delight will open up to people who now suffer on bland diets.