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Food Allergies

November 11, 2008

Scientists are developing an unconventional but surprisingly straightforward treatment for food allergies.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Developing a dairy diet….I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Food allergies in children can be deadly. Until now, most parents have simply eliminated dangerous foods from their children’s diets. That’s an imperfect solution, according to Dr. Robert Wood, a pediatric allergist at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. He says restricting a child’s diet is not only difficult, but can also lead to nutritional deficiencies. Taking a different approach, Wood and his colleagues at Duke University exposed children with milk allergies to minute amounts of milk, gradually increasing the dose over the course of six months.

ROBERT WOOD (John Hopkins Children’s Center):
They literally became thousands of times more tolerant of milk over the period of the study.

HIRSHON:
With careful dosing, he says it may be possible to turn off food allergies, but he cautions that the treatment won’t be available to the general public for several years. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.