Peanut allergies could be cured by an 18-month course of probiotics taken with protein from the nut to minimise risk of a fatal reaction, Australian researchers have found.
A group of 28 peanut-allergic children aged up to 10 were given increased doses of the peanut protein every two weeks with a fixed amount of probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus that is said to equate to about 20kg of yoghurt a day.
By the end of the treatment at Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, at which a maintenance dose of 2 grams of the protein was administered, more than 82 per cent of the children were able to tolerate peanuts within two to five weeks.
A total of 23 out of the 28 were able to include products made from peanuts into their diet and researchers in Victoria, Australia, concluded that the success rate was seven in nine.
A placebo group of another 28 children only had one case of success at the end of the trial.
Peanut allergy affects around half a million people in the UK and more than 10 million globally.