Peanut allergy cure goes on trial

Nut allergies may soon be a thing of the past as doctors in Cambridge prepare to test a treatment in the largest ever trial of its kind.

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Around one in 50 young people in the UK suffer from peanut allergies which can, in extreme cases, be potentially fatal. But by giving sufferers tiny amounts of peanut flour each day, the Addenbrookes team hope they will build up a tolerance to nuts. A previous study has enabled 20 out of 23 sufferers to eat more than 30 peanuts safely and, while they won't be enjoying a packet of KP nuts, it means the worrying search for "May contain nuts" warning may be over.

The new trial, funded by the Department of Health's Institute of Health Research, will test the treatment on more than 100 seven to 17-year-olds. Each will take a daily dose of peanut flour added to yoghurt.

Dr Andrew Clark told the BBC: "This is going to be the largest trial of its kind in the world and it should give us a definitive idea of whether the approach works and whether it's safe."

Researchers believe that a treatment could be available within two to three years and it could end the misery of nut allergies for thousands of young sufferers and their worried parents. The scientists did, however, warn people 'not to try this at home'.