A new experimental method proposes eradicating food allergies by means of a toothpaste with small doses of allergens. These agents would enter the patient’s blood system through the cells in the cheeks and gums, and thus develop immunity to the allergy to be treated. Currently, the treatment is in the experimentation phase; The scientists in charge of the study plan to cure the peanut allergy, however, in the future it is expected to eradicate allergies to other foods.
About 32 million Americans suffer from food allergies, and they are usually treated with oral immunotherapies, which consists of exposing the patient to daily food-induced doses of allergens. But this type of treatment can trigger allergic reactions, and the tolerance developed to the food in question decreases when the treatment is not continued.
In response, New York-based Intrommune Therapeutics began a trial to test toothpaste against allergies in a group of patients with no tolerance to peanuts. This treatment aims to develop tolerance to said allergic agent in people through daily brushing with the paste made from allergens.
In the same way, scientists from Intrommune Therapeutics believe, patients suffering from food allergies can establish this new treatment as a daily routine and thus develop tolerance. Likewise, they affirm, said toothpaste is capable of introducing the active ingredients of allergens through the mouth with greater efficiency compared to other existing therapies.
For other allergy experts, one of the concerns of this method is dose control and the safety of your personal supply. According to allergist Sakina Bajowala, when a patient’s gums are swollen or sore, allergens can have direct access to the bloodstream. This phenomenon worries Bajowala because, by entering allergens in such a way, the risk of systemic allergic reactions increases.
However, this new type of therapy is still in its experimental phase in which 32 adults with a peanut allergy will participate. The supplied toothpaste will be controlled by the scientists, who plan to increase the population of the experiment in the future and thus consolidate its effectiveness. In addition, this therapy could be used in the future to combat allergic reactions to other foods based on a simple routine such as brushing your teeth.