While peanuts contain 17 known allergenic proteins, previous research has shown that boiling peanuts appears to reduce their allergenicity by changing the protein structure. Now, in an Australian clinical trial, 80 per cent of children enrolled in the study were able to eat peanuts without allergic reaction after being given increasing doses of boiled and roasted peanuts.
The year-long clinical trial recruited 70 children aged six to 18 with documented peanut allergies but excluded those with a history of extremely severe reactions.
For 12 weeks, the children ingested small amounts of powder made from peanuts that had been boiled for 12 hours. For the next 20 weeks, they ate peanuts that had been boiled for two hours, then for a further 20 weeks, they were given roasted peanuts. No placebo was included, and all stages of the trial were supervised by medical practitioners for adverse reactions. Parents are warned not to try administering boiled peanuts to their peanut-allergic children.
By the end of the trial, 56 of the participants were eventually able to eat the target dose of 12 roasted peanuts daily without experiencing an allergic response, giving them a high level of protection against accidental exposure. All will need to continue using or being exposed to peanuts to continue to have that tolerance.
Reference: Grzeskowiak, LE, Tao, B, Aliakbari, K, Chegeni, N, Morris, S, Chataway, T. Oral immunotherapy using boiled peanuts for treating peanut allergy: An open-label, single-arm trial. Clin Exp Allergy. 2023; 00: 1- 10. DOI:10.1111/cea.14254