Young children could potentially overcome peanut allergies if they receive treatment at an early age, The Associated Press reports.

The news: A new study — conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and published in the medical journal Lancet — found that helping children build a tolerance to peanuts can help stop allergic reactions.

  • In the study, researchers gave peanut protein powder to a group of children to build up a tolerance.
  • After 2.5 years, about 75% of those children could have about 16 peanuts without a reaction.
  • Six months after the treatment stopped altogether, about 20% had the same level of tolerance, according to The Associated Press.
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What they’re saying: The new research “really supports something that we thought for a while in the field,” Dr. Joyce Hsu, an allergy specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston who was not involved in the study, told The Associated Press. “Children’s immune systems are generally more malleable when they are younger.”

Why this matters: Pediatric immunology experts told ABC News that this study is an important step in allergy research.

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What’s next: Researchers said that more studies are needed to see how a child’s body can adapt and build tolerance against nut allergies.

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