Saw this interesting article about peanut allergies. http://www.postchronicle.com/news/health/article_212386411.shtml?rssfeed. I was most disturbed by this quote from the article,"We are supposed to be able to eat peanuts. We've restored this tolerance to the immune system." My question is; where will this end? the article is already alluding to the potential for "fixing" all types of allergies. Do you think this is a good or bad development?
I think if it helps keep people safe from life-threatening reactions, it could be a good thing; it can be really tough avoiding allergens.
I do not find this quote disturbing at all.
"We are supposed to be able to eat peanuts. We've restored this tolerance to the immune system."
Perhaps if we turn this statement around:
"We are not supposed to risk hospitalization or death when eating a commonly consumed food due to a minor fault in our immune system."
Allergies are not a "natural" reaction. You should be able to eat a peanut if you should choose to without risking death, regardless of any chronic health effects. You should also be able to eat something unknowingly contaminated with peanuts without risking death.
There are people with allergic reactions to all kinds of foods, not just ones you might judge to be "bad". Allergies to eggs, dairy, fish, shellfish and nuts are really quite common. There are even people allergic to beef. I'm sure that if I was allergic to eggs, dairy or seafood I would love to have a cure.
I don't really see how "fixing" life threatening allergies could be anything other than a good thing.
I think what people eat should be a choice and not determined for them by allergies.
Fixing an allergy is not along the lines of eliminating an inherent negative consequence. It's simply correcting a defect. There's nothing inherently toxic about peanuts, but to correct an over-active immune response to peanuts would be a desirable thing.
Either way, it's an early study in mice. A decade or more from human trials of something similar.