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Milk and egg allergy treatment hope

Monday March 1st, 2010

Giving children tiny amounts of substances such as egg and milk can successfully help treat allergies, a conference was told yesterday.

Milk "drops" placed on the tongue have successfully been used to help children beat milk allergy, the conference was told.

milk allergyAnd increasing small amounts of egg have also worked as a treatment for egg allergy, the conference of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology heard.

The treatments are known as immunotherapy. In Cambridge, UK, doctors are pushing ahead with using it for nut allergy.

The egg allergy study involved some 55 children aged between five and 18. 15 of these were given dummy treatment while the others received doses of egg whites. After 11 months of treatment, researchers found that 21 of the 40 children who received egg whites could tolerate small amounts of egg.

Those who suffered symptoms found they were mild. None of the children who received fake treatment showed any improvement, according to Dr Robert Wood, of Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Baltimore, Maryland.

A second study, reported by the same researchers, examines the best way of giving milk drop therapy.

They tested a technique known as sub-lingual immune therapy, which involves placing small amounts of milk protein under the tongue.

It uses lower doses than oral therapy - which requires the child to swallow the milk - and reduces the risk of severe reaction.

Dr Wood said: "We are very excited to see that both approaches can achieve significant improvement in children with milk allergies, but we continue to see slightly better tolerance in children on oral immunotherapy."

Tags: Allergies & Asthma | Child Health | Diet & Food | North America

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