Researchers in Melbourne, Australia, have conducted ground-breaking research which may result in a cure for peanut allergies. The research from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute will be welcomed by the approximately 500,000 UK peanut allergy sufferers for its potentially life-changing effects. Sufferers of the allergy have to be constantly aware of what they are eating and the persistent worry can be arduous for some.

A group of children were given an increasing amount of peanut flour over an 18 month period. As well as peanut flour the subjects were also given a probiotic called Lactobacillus rhamnosus. Probiotics are living bacteria found in yoghurt-based products which usually stimulate health benefits, especially in the digestive system. Each day, the group collectively took as many probiotics as is found in 20 kg of yoghurt.

The group selected were those who suffered less severe reactions such as vomiting and hives. Around 80% of the test subjects found they were able to tolerate peanuts by the end of the study. Most of the participants are now able to introduce a selection of peanut based products into their diet.

Lead researcher Mimi Tang stated: “We focused on peanut allergy because it is usually life-long and it is the most common cause of death from food anaphylaxis”.

Further research is still needed to confirm the longevity of the findings. Researchers are hoping to test the children in the future to ascertain whether there are any long term effects. Hopefully this is a significant step forward in the search for allergy cures.