Living with a severe food allergy means more than simply missing out on tasty meals — these allergies can be life threatening, even if the food isn’t consumed. But, a new study indicates that a cure for food allergies may be on the horizon. Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan found that a new immunotherapy technique could be the key to eliminating allergic reactions to peanut and egg white proteins.
A team lead by scientist John Gordon used mice to investigate a potential way to treat food allergies by implanting cells from the immune systems of people allergic to peanuts into mice.
Gordon and his team found that generating a type of naturally occurring immune cell in the body then sends a signal to the body — basically reversing the allergic reactions. This signal also turns off “reactive cells” that are heightening the allergic reaction. Basically, an allergic person’s cells mimic a non-allergic person’s cells — stopping the potentially deadly episode.
Pending the approval of Health Canada, Gordon expects the first human trial to begin within a year. “We predict the treatment could be on the market within the next five to 10 years,” he said, as reported by Science Daily.
Although food allergies are considered a growing health risk, the discovery of a cure has evaded scientists and doctors for years. If Gordon’s treatment proves successful, it could save the lives of millions of people living with food allergies and other autoimmune disorders.