Sunday, January 15, 2012

Scientists Create Allergy-free Peanuts

The details are murky, and you can call us skeptical, but according to a report from the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, its researcher Dr. Mohamed Ahmedna developed a strain of peanuts that is free of allergens. Since IgE mediated allergy of peanuts is due to two proteins–vicilin (Ara h1) and conglutin (Ara h2)–we would imagine the development of a new strain is quite a complicated process. The press release, however, claims 100% success in elimination of these antigens:
An agricultural researcher at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has developed a simple process to make allergen-free peanuts. The new process–a first for food science–could provide relief to millions of peanut allergy sufferers, and be an enormous boon to the entire peanut industry.
Doug Speight of the N.C. A&T Office of Outreach and Technology Transfer said food companies are showing a strong interest in licensing the process, which does not degrade the taste or quality of treated peanuts, and might even render them easier to process for use as a food ingredient.
Immunoassays showed 100 percent inactivation of peanut allergens in whole roasted kernels, and the processed peanuts showed no reaction in tests on human serums from severely allergic individuals. The inventor, Dr. Mohamed Ahmedna, is optimizing the process further to remove allergens from other foods.
“We are extremely pleased that we were able to find such a simple solution to a vexing problem that has enormous economic and public health ramifications, both for peanut sensitive individuals, and the food industry as a whole,” said Ahmedna, associate professor of food science in N.C. A&T’s School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.
Peanut and tree nut allergies are the most severe of all food allergies, affecting approximately 3 million Americans, and causing 100 – 150 deaths from anaphylactic shock annually and many more hospitalizations. In industrialized nations, the allergy has been rapidly increasing in children, for causes that are not entirely understood. One study showed that between 1997 and 2002, peanut allergies in children doubled in the United States. Today, an estimated one percent of all children suffer from the allergy.
Peanut Allergy

Nose Mask for Allergy Sufferers

noseplugs Nose Mask for Allergy Sufferers

Japanese firm Bio International Japan is selling nose filter plugs for people suffering from hay fever, and other environmental allergies. The little pliable filters, being sold in Japan for about $15, are almost invisible save for the little connecting string used to remove the devices. Our take on it? This stuff probably does not work.

FDA Approves NIOX MINO for Asthma Monitoring

NIOX MINO®, a hand-held device for the measurement of airway inflammation and monitoring of patients with asthma, has just been 510(k) cleared by the FDA. NIOX MINO, a product of Swedish company Aerocrine AB, is designed to measure fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO), an inflammatory marker. The company promotes its product as a device that will “cost efficiently improve management and care of patients with inflammatory disorders, such as asthma.” The monitor is sensitive enough to detect as low as 5 particles per billion of exhaled nitric oxide.
More about the device, taken from the product page:
4484nix2 FDA Approves NIOX MINO for Asthma MonitoringNIOX MINO Airway Inflammation Monitor is an easy-to-use handheld device that provides accurate, reproducible and immediate measurement of fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO). This is a proven and sensitive indicator of the inflammation that causes the symptoms of airway inflammatory diseases including asthma.
Current management of airway inflammatory diseases, including asthma, is achieved primarily by monitoring symptoms and lung function, with the treatment objective of bringing the disease under control. But the underlying cause of these respiratory symptoms and asthma attacks is airway inflammation, which until now could not be routinely measured.
NIOX MINO is 510(k) cleared (K072816) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clinical use and is the first hand-held tool to aid in asthma management by measuring airway inflammation. NIOX MINO is now approved for use in both adults and children. Measuring FENO using NIOX MINO is a reimbursable procedure.
NIOX MINO provides physicians in the U.S., for the first time ever, a powerful, easy-to-use tool that enables them to provide people living with inflammatory airway diseases, such as asthma, personalized inflammation control. By using NIOX MINO, doctors can provide the ideal level of therapy to each patient in order to achieve and maintain control of their symptoms.
NIOX MINO answers the need for a simple, accurate tool for assessing asthma control and responsiveness to treatment. NIOX MINO helps physicians achieve asthma treatment and management goals, allowing people with asthma to enjoy greater quality of life.

Product page: NIOX MINO…