According to a new study, egg-allergy in children can be reduced and sometimes eliminated by gradual exposure over a period of two years.
According to a new study, egg-allergy in children can be reduced and sometimes eliminated by gradual exposure over a period of two years. Almost three percent of children in the age group of two and a half years are allergic to eggs. Many outgrow their sensitivity with passage of time.
The study author and Director of Allergy and Immunology at Johns Hopkins children's' Center said that the findings suggest that there is scope to cure food allergy. But, more work is required to improve the success rates and to develop safest procedures. He discouraged parents from trying the technique since the study introduced extremely small amount of egg protein which was nearly one-eight-hundredth of an egg.
Dr. Matthew Greenhawt , an observer and Research director at University of Michigan food Allergy center said since the study did not include children having life-threatening reactions to eggs, the study did not represent full population of children allergic to egg. He felt the findings will give some hope to almost 15 million Americans who suffer from different food allergies which are presently incurable.
40 Children aged 5 to 11 years participated in the study. Researchers gradually administered higher doses of egg protein using a technique called 'oral immunotherapy'. 15 children in the control group were administered cornstarch placebo.
After 10 months, children from control group could not eat 5 grams of egg protein without severe reaction. 14 out of 35 children in treatment group did not have allergic reaction while eight of them had minor reaction. After one year of treatment, 30 children from treatment group ate 10 grams of egg protein with few or no reaction.
After passing the test, these children abstained from consuming egg fro a month to ascertain the duration of time for which the effect lasted. In all, 11 were cured of their egg allergy after they could consume egg powder and cooked egg without reaction.
A year later, 10 of these children started consuming eggs and other products containing eggs. Wood said that children who were not cured permanently could still withstand small amounts of egg making their lives easier.