New treatment for children with food allergies

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An estimated 6% of school children in Canada have severe allergies to multiple foods including milk, wheat, eggs, shellfish, nuts which is why the work of Dr. Kari Nadeau at Stanford University is getting so much attention as she tries to desensitize children to the very substances that can make them deathly ill.



Dr. Kari Nadeau

We started this segment with Maya Bodnick. she was diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy to nuts but thanks to a ground-breaking research trial ... she now eats food that would once have poisoned her. As she and her mother Michelle Sandberg explain, the experimental treatment took courage but also gave them hope.

Maya is just one of the participants in the research trial she describes there and Dr. Kari Nadeau is the woman she refers to as a "miracle worker". Dr. Nadeau is an associate professor of allergies and immunology at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. She wants to desensitize children with multiple food allergies to the substances that once made them deathly ill.

The idea is that by giving them tiny amounts of their allergens each day and gradually increasing the dose ... patients will eventually stop having a reaction. Health Canada estimates six percent of children in this country are affected, so her research is watched closely.

Dr. Kari Nadeau is leading a trial conducted through the Stanford Alliance of Food Allergy Research, or SAFAR. She joined us from Stanford, California.

This segment was produced by The Current's Idella Sturino.

Are you a parent that has a child with severe food allergies? Want to add your thoughts? Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Find us on Facebook. Or email us from our website. And if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.


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