22 February 2011

Low-Allergy Peanut Being Developed in United States

Here is a novel approach.  A low-allergy peanut is being developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Researchers are working to develop a new breed of peanut. The properties 900 different peanut strains of peanuts have been examined as part of the process. Whew
Good news. The new peanut is not genetically modified. It is produced through traditional cross-breeding.

Why develop this new low-allergy peanut?
Here is an excerpt from a Time Magazine article-

"Researchers are hopeful that a low allergy peanut could be incorporated into allergy treatment programs aimed at building patients' resistance, and could potentially help eliminate the cross-contamination issues on manufacturing production lines and during food preparation in restaurant kitchens."

Perhaps in a future generation growing up eating "low-allergy peanuts" we would see a reduced incidence of peanut allergy. Who knows?

For people already allergic to peanuts it seems logical that a low-allergy peanut might enable them to consume some low allergy peanut products without a reaction. 
I am not a scientist but these possibilities make common sense to me.

According to the Time article the target for public availability of a low-allergy peanut is 2-5 years. 
I think this is a great idea. I hope it is successful.

The peanut oral desensitization treatment our son Alexander is currently receiving for his peanut allergy is a real breakthrough for those allergic to peanuts.
Currently treatment is offered in only a handful places in the United States.
It is proceeding very well thus far. 

Alexander started treatment on December 12, 2010. He is now consuming 8 peanuts per day as his "dose". His dose increases each week. 
More details are available in other posts on my blog.

Click here to read my post "Peanut Allergy Treatment Day 1"

Click here to read Time Magazine article published in June 2010  "Designing a low-allergy peanut?"
Click here to read an article from BBC Health News on the low-allergy peanut

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