Didn't You Hear? There Is a 'Cure' for Peanut Allergies

February 7, 2015 6:18 PM

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I woke up this morning to at least 10 emails from well-intentioned friends and family telling me, in not so many words, "Probiotics cure peanut allergies. Quick, run out now and buy them." Being a food allergy advocate, I had already read the study to which they were referring. While I found it interesting and believe it may add a valuable piece to the puzzle that is food allergies, it was so very far from what the headline screamed. What the conclusion of this small study, with no long-term data, was in my humble opinion is that adding a probiotic to traditional OIT (oral immunotherapy -- which is when the patient is fed increments of their allergen) may result in a lasting decrease in the allergic response. But a cure? Not exactly...

Sensation headlines in journalism can be very misleading. A friend told me that her allergic son saw the tag line for this study on CNN and ran excitedly to the next room yelling, "Mommy, there is a cure now for my allergy." This kind of reporting can lead others to downplay the severity of the food...

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