Some people just need to be eased into it.
PROBLEM: There's no known treatment for peanut allergies. Which sucks, because they're the most common trigger of severe and fatal anaphylactic (or, as spell check prefers I call them, "anticlimactic") reactions, and sufferers need to be forever on their guard to avoid accidental contact with a peanut. But hey, since everything else has failed, why not go ahead and try putting them in contact with a peanut?
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METHODOLOGY: With the support of the National Institutes of Health, 40 subjects with peanut allergies were gathered at five different hospitals for a trial of "sublingual immunotherapy," or the placing of peanuts under their tongues. Specifically, half received a placebo, while half received a really, really tiny amount of peanut protein (they started out with a 1:20,000,000 weight/volume dilution).
Before and after the treatment, during which the peanut dose was increased incrementally, the participants were subjected to a "food challenge" during which researchers measured how much peanut powder they were able to eat without having an allergic reaction. Winning the food challenge, first time around, involved having an allergic reaction after ingesting less than 2 grams of peanut powder, making them allergic enough to qualify for the study. Winning, after treatment, meant being able to tolerate 5 grams or more.