Peanuts used to alleviate peanut allergy

After six months of oral immunotherapy or OIT, 84–91% of children in a trial could safely tolerate daily doses of 800mg of peanut powder — the equivalent of about five peanuts, wrote the team.

This was 25 times the amount they could tolerate before the therapy, and much larger than any accidental dose is likely to be.

"The treatment allowed children with all severities of peanut allergy to eat large quantities of peanuts, well above the levels found in contaminated snacks and meals, freeing them and their parents from the fear of a potentially life threatening allergic reaction," said study leader Dr Andrew Clark from Cambridge University Hospitals.

"The families involved in this study say that it has changed their lives dramatically."

The trial involved 99 allergic children aged seven to 16.

One in five of the children receiving OIT reported "adverse events" – mostly mild itching of the mouth, the authors said