Chemistry and Life

Medicinal chemistry. Pharmacology. Toxicology. Environmental sciences.

Cranberry juice and peanut allergies

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As the parent of a child with a peanut allergy, I found this article in Chemical & Engineering News intriguing. Researchers are exploring the idea of treating such allergies by combining peanut flour with polyphenol-rich foods. Polyphenols are a class of chemical compounds found in some foods, particularly dark-colored fruits. In this research, extracts from cranberries, grapes, black currants, chokeberries, and elderberries were used. Polyphenols are believed to limit some types of immune responses. When the peanut flour and fruit extract combinations were fed to mice which had been sensitized to peanuts, the researchers indeed found signs of a reduced immune reaction.

This doesn’t mean you should try feeding peanuts and cranberry juice to your allergic children. But this at least shows some potential to improve the immunotherapy procedure where patients are given small doses of an allergen under controlled conditions in order to help them gradually build up a tolerance.

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One thought on “Cranberry juice and peanut allergies

  1. Here is the original publication that the C&EN article is based on:
    Novel Strategy To Create Hypoallergenic Peanut Protein–Polyphenol Edible Matrices for Oral Immunotherapy, Nathalie J. Plundrich, Mike Kulis, Brittany L. White, Mary H. Grace, Rishu Guo, A. Wesley Burks, Jack P. Davis, and Mary Ann Lila, J. Agric. Food Chem. DOI: 10.1021/jf405773b, April 23, 2014 (Web)

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