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New trials over peanut allergies

Successful research into peanut allergies among children has paved the way for a series of full-scale trials, it has emerged.

Hundreds of children will take part in the trials after research showed the allergy can be overcome by exposing sufferers to small doses of peanuts.

It was found that the allergic reaction became muted when tolerance was built up with small amounts of peanut protein.

Under the £1m immunotherapy trials, 104 British children aged seven to 17 suffering from the allergy will be given increasing doses of peanut flour added to yoghurt.

The doses will be gradually increased from one milligram to the equivalent of five nuts a day.

Some of the children are severely allergic and would normally be at risk of life-threatening symptoms from such exposure.

Dr Andrew Clark, from Cambridge University, who is leading the study, said: "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. It's based on our successful pilot study where we showed 21 out of 23 kids were effectively de-sensitised to peanuts."

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