'Outgrown' a peanut allergy? Eat more peanuts!


In the study, Wood and colleagues at Arkansas Children's Hospital evaluated 68 children between the ages of 5 and 21 who outgrew a peanut allergy. Each family completed a questionnaire to establish a detailed history of the child's peanut consumption since passing an oral peanut challenge. Twenty-one children also underwent a double-blind, placebo-controlled oral peanut challenge.

Overall, the researchers found that 34 children who consumed concentrated peanut products frequently, and 13 children who ate peanut products in limited amounts but passed the oral peanut challenge, continued to tolerate peanut.

Three children - all of whom reported eating peanut products infrequently and in limited amounts - experienced an allergy recurrence, yielding an 8 percent recurrence rate. The status of the remaining 18 children was unclear because they ate peanut infrequently or in limited amounts and declined to undergo the oral peanut challenge.

Although the findings serve as recommendations for families and clinicians managing a child who has outgrown a peanut allergy, Wood hopes future research will help to better identify patients who are truly at risk for a peanut allergy recurrence. "Then we can recommend that these patients continue to avoid peanut for life rather than risk the chance of having a serious allergic reaction in the future when their allergy may recur," he says.

In an accompanying study, also in the November issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Wood and colleagues report that while severe allergic reactions do occasionally occur with all foods tested during an oral food challenge, these reactions can be reversed with prompt treatment of routine medications, such as short-acting antihistamines. Therefore, researchers say the risk of a reaction is warranted as long as the challenge is performed under the supervision of an experienced clinician. They also report that no foods were more or less li

Contact: Jessica Collins
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

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