peanut allergies Archives - Lifelab Testing

Peanut allergy treatment approved by FDA

There’s been a game changing development in the world of allergies. In the end of January, FDA approved a revolutionary new kind of peanut allergy treatment for children and adolescents called Palforzia. The approval comes following a double-blind, placebo-controlled study with roughly 500 participants.

The new allergy treatment brings a sigh of relief to many parents of children who live in fear that should their child accidentally consume the slightest bit of peanut; they’ll be in for a long visit to A&E.

The new treatment is a powder made from peanuts to be taken orally. It comes in colour-coded capsules up until the maintenance phase, when it comes in sachets. The powder can be taken with applesauce or yoghurt for convenience, so long as it doesn’t dissolve in what it’s mixed with.

How does the treatment work?

The treatment is labelled a kind of ‘oral immunotherapy’. The idea behind it is quite simple really, involving carefully administering tiny amounts of the allergen and increasing dosage over time (taken orally). Thus, slowly allow the body to become used to the allergen and hopefully cause less of a reaction should the patient accidentally consume a small amount of peanut.

The first stage is administered under doctor supervision.  This has been coined the ‘initial dose escalation phase’ and is consumed in a single day. The second stage of the treatment consists of 11 dosage increases over several months. Again, the first dose of each up-dosing level is administered under medical supervision, in case of any severe reactions. This is a precautious measure due to the potential for allergic reactions, even anaphylaxis, to occur.

The third and final stage is maintenance, with the drug then taken daily. It must be maintained in order for the treatment to be effective. Should the patient stop taking it, the benefits of immunotherapy are unlikely to persist.

How dangerous is this new allergy treatment?

The new drug is approved on the condition that all doctors administering the drug and those taking it undergo training in a special safety program to minimise the risk, should an adverse reaction occur during treatment.

There is the risk of an allergic reaction at each increased dosage, which is why they first of each increase is taken under medical supervision. There are certainly risks with this new form of treatment, a small number of participants in the study suffered anaphylaxis from an increased dosage, so parents will have to weigh the pros and cons, and determine if this treatment is suitable or not.

Tree nut allergies could lead to vitamin deficiencies!

Tree nut allergies are one of the most common kinds of allergies. They tend to be persistent and its rare for people to grow out of this allergy, especially after the age of 5. Learning to avoid tree nuts is the first hurdle in being diagnosed with a tree nut allergy, but there’s a secondary challenge after that – ensuring your diet remains balanced without tree nuts.

Because nuts are highly nutritious, having an allergy to them means missing out on a whole host of nutritious snacks. It’s important to make sure you still get enough of those vital nutrients that are abundant in nuts.

Common Vitamins and Minerals Found in Tree Nuts

Omega 3’s

Omega 3 is an essential polyunsaturated fat that your body cannot produce on its own. This means it has to be consumed through the diet. They’re found in many tree nuts, seeds and fish.

There’s also evidence suggesting that consuming more omega 3’s can help fight against anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that people who regularly eat foods containing omega 3’s are less likely to develop depression. One study even saw EPA (one of the 3 types of Omega 3’s) to be just as effective as a prescribed antidepressant drug.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is probably the one vitamin you’re least likely to become deficient in, because it is present in the vast majority of foods, although in small amounts. Vitamin E is best known for contributing to skin health and reducing oxidative stress. Birth wat many don’t realise is that it’s also vital in most of your bodies daily processes, as all of our cells use it to interact with one another.

Tree nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E, but the nutrient Is still present in many other foods. Those most abundant in vitamin E include sunflower seeds, goose meat, avocado, mango and kiwi.


Magnesium is a proven aid in fighting depression and type 2 diabetes as well as being essential for optimal bone health and keeping blood pressure low. Low magnesium intake has also been associated with chronic inflammation, so it’s all the more important to prioritise this nutrient.

Luckily tree nuts aren’t the only source of magnesium. You can get plenty of magnesium through eating mackerel, spinach, dark chocolate (>70% cocoa solids), quinoa and pumpkin seeds.

If you still struggle to get your daily recommended intake of magnesium, you can reach your daily requirement with magnesium supplements, which are available in various forms. Be sure to consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

Having a tree nut allergy doesn’t mean you’re doomed to develop deficiencies. If you plan your food appropriately and ensure you get plenty of the above nutrients, you’ll be in tip top shape. If you’re unsure whether you are allergic or intolerant to any of the suggested alternatives, we can help you identify any problem foods through an intolerance and allergy test. It’s always best to be safe rather than sorry.