Research spotlight: Could an experimental toothpaste help eliminate peanut allergies?
Discovery Place Science
A common American staple for a quick snack or lunch is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. However, the peanut contributes to about 6.1 million of the food allergies that Americans have. Let us dive into allergies and where they come from as well as highlight a new study that could potentially eliminate this common condition.
Allergies are described as a response from our immune system to a foreign substance that is usually not harmful. The foreign substances that cause this reaction are called allergens. Common allergens include pollen, pet dander and even specific foods. Peanuts and tree nuts can affect people in their youth and carry their properties into adult stages of life.
Every day, humans brush their teeth as a step in their daily routine. A company based in New York City, has begun testing an experimental toothpaste that could help those affected by peanut allergies build a tolerance over time, thus eliminating the allergy. This process is called oral immunotherapy, which functions to expose a person to small portions of an allergen each day, is being used in a small population of individuals to monitor its impact on their immune systems.
As we continue to monitor this study, we hope that the future outcomes will allow everyone to finally experience the PB&J phenomenon!
Read more about the experimental toothpaste here.