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Have Scientists Found The Peanut Allergy Cure?

The Short of It

Australian researchers think they've found a peanut allergy cure with the combination of peanut protein and probiotics.

The Lowdown

According to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), 15 million people in the United States are living with food allergies, including 1 in 13 kids. And the number of children who are allergic to peanuts tripled between 1997 and 2008.

An allergic reaction to peanuts can be so severe that it can cause anaphylaxis and even death. So, no wonder parents are so desperate to find a cure.

Well, scientists in Australia may be one step closer to saying good riddance to peanut allergies. Researchers at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute gave 30 kids a daily dose of peanut protein and probiotics, like those found in yogurt, in increasing amounts over the course of 18 months. At the end of the period, 80 percent of the children no longer had an allergic reaction to peanuts.

"Many of the children and families believe it has changed their lives; they're very happy; they feel relieved. These findings provide the first vital step towards developing a cure for peanut allergy and possibly other food allergies," lead researcher Mimi Tang told the Guardian.

The Upshot

Tang says further research is needed and cautions parents against replicating this experiment at home. Not all children ceased to have an allergic reaction, and it was a specific type of probiotic, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, that was used.

Still, this study offers a ray of hope for families who live in fear of a food allergy.

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