NEW
A New Toothpaste May Help Treat Peanut Allergies

We’ve all got immunity on the mind lately thanks to the continued distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. As you likely know, vaccines help us stave off disease by introducing trace amounts of said disease into our body. Our immune system then develops the proper tools to fend off this disease without significant risk of illness overwhelming us. Other forms of medicinal treatment may use this method as well. For instance, toothpaste. Well, not your typical toothpaste, but a new type of experimental toothpaste that may help users overcome peanut allergies.

That’s a lot to digest at once, so here’s the breakdown. First, we have the New York City-based biopharmaceutical company Intrommune Therapeutics, a.k.a. ZENII LLC. As we first saw at Science News, Intrommune Therapeutics has begun development on a toothpaste meant to treat peanut allergies. The company has kicked off a trial in which a selection of allergy sufferers will test out the toothpaste. Per the article, 32 adult peanut allergy sufferers will test the product and see how it affects them.

Jason Segel and his Muppet brother Walter brush their teeth side by side.

Disney

Similar to vaccines, the toothpaste contains trace amounts of the active ingredient in peanuts that affects allergy sufferers. The hope is that regular exposure to small sums of the allergen will build up immunity in users. A more traditional sources for this method of immunization takes form as liquid drops, i.e. sublingual immunotherapy. This was the inspiration for the toothpaste avenue, which allergist William Reisacher thought would be easier for patients to remember. Thus begat development of this new product at Intrommune Therapeutics, which hopes to prove its mettle in the trial process.

Given the severity of peanut allergies, especially in young children, an organic remedy could ultimately prove gangbusters. And hey, brushing your teeth is always a grade-A choice for how to start the day. Even when immunity-boosting isn’t part of the routine. Gotta get those chompers primed for when you can finally munch on a chunky peanut butter sandwich.