The study in the Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal was conducted by scientists from Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne looking to find probiotics to use for long-term peanut allergy treatment.
They achieved this by changing how the immune system reacts to peanuts. Using a process called peanut oral immunotherapy, scientists combined increasing amounts of a peanut protein with the bacteria Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which eases the immune system’s allergic reactions.
This process was tested on a group of children for 18 months, with some receiving the probiotic and others receiving a placebo, according to Clark.com. Seventy percent of the group were tested and assessed as having a long-term allergy.
The results showed that 80 percent of the children who took the probiotic showed no signs of the allergy after four years of treatment.
Lead researcher Mimi Prang said, "It would seem that children who have benefited from the probiotic peanut therapy are able to change the way that they live and not have to really worry about peanuts anymore … That’s what’s exciting."
Prang added, "Theoretically, it should work for any other allergen that’s also presented with this probiotic … think a really important study to do next would be to see if it works in the setting of other food allergies to induce a long-lasting tolerance."