Ovation: The Peanut Patch.
There’s a hamburger restaurant near my office called Five Guys Burgers and Fries. They make a pretty good burger using fresh ingredients and offer many different add-ons and toppings. They serve generous portions of fresh-cut fries and there is always a huge barrel of complimentary, salted in the shell, peanuts that customers are encouraged to enjoy while they wait for their burger to be prepared. At each entrance to the restaurant, a sign is posted to warn visitors with allergies that peanuts are present.
For years, another restaurant that my family frequents, Logan’s Roadhouse, featured a similar barrel of complimentary peanuts for diners to snack on while they wait to be seated. Customers were encouraged to throw the shells on the floor which was supposed to add to the restaurant’s overall atmosphere. Recently, the barrel was removed. We suspect its removal had something to do with peanut allergies.
Nearly three million Americans suffer from some form of nut allergy and one of the most common is a sensitivity to peanuts. For those with a severe allergy simple exposure to peanuts, not actual ingestion, could be deadly.
Recently, doctors at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital and twenty-three other hospitals worldwide have begun testing what could be a breakthrough treatment for those who live in fear of peanuts – a patch … like those used for years in smoking cessation programs … that exposes the wearing to small amounts of peanut protein through the skin. They hope that, over time, exposure to the peanut protein will make the patient’s reaction to peanuts less severe.
“The protein gets into the outer layer of the skin, is taken up by specialized cells that then take it to the inner parts of the immune system.” – Dr. Hugh Sampson, Mount Sanai Hospital
Each patch contains five grams of peanut protein which is the equivalent of eating twenty peanuts.
In the past, doctors have tried other methods to provide relieve to peanut allergy sufferers, like oral therapies, but have found only moderate success with unwanted side effects. The doctors at Mount Sanai are hopeful that absorbing the peanut protein slowly through the skin will produce better results with fewer problems.
Hopefully, the patch will work, everyone with peanut allergies will get well, the lawyers at Five Guys Hamburgers and Fries can stop worrying about lawsuits and Logan’s Roadhouse will put their barrel back!
Do you worry about peanut allergies? Would you try this patch?
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