Peanut Allergies Defeated With ‘Peanut Therapy’

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Heeeeey! Photo: Planters

It may be possible to reverse the potentially deadly effects of peanut allergies, a new study backed by the National Institutes of Health suggests — that is, if you're willing to take an enormous risk and put in the time. Forty subjects at five hospitals were given trace amounts of peanut protein under the tongue — an initial "1:20,000,000 weight/volume dilution," notes the Atlantic — which was then increased incrementally over a period of 68 weeks. Most participants just developed "itchy mouth" as the dose got nuttier; pretty much none of them went into anaphylactic shock. Weirdly, three of twenty patients treated with the placebo went on to "spontaneous tolerance development," which means those folks may be well on their way to reuniting with their old friend Mr. Peanut. Fascinating stuff, this is, but don't try it at home. [Atlantic]