Allergies may become a thing of the past thanks to the use of toothpaste. It almost seems like the scientific world is looking at more unconventional solutions to our everyday problems, using out-of-the-box initiatives. That is precisely what New York City-based company Intrommune has decided to do.
More than 30 million Americans have some form of a food allergy. There aren't many treatment options for sufferers of these conditions, but one solution is oral Immunotherapy. The idea is relatively simple; expose patients to trace amounts of an allergen through food. The basis of this concept is that allergens are often a protein that triggers allergic reactions as the immune system tries to protect the body from them. However, small dosages might bypass the whole self-defense mechanism.
William Reisacher, an allergist at the works at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, sheds light on how Intrommune differs from the standard means of allergy care. Previously, immune cells were thought to be best targeted under the tongue, where they are found in abundance. New research, however, suggests that they're densest inside the cheeks and walls of the mouth. "I was standing in front of a mirror brushing his teeth." Reisacher wrote. "I saw all the foam in my mouth going into all the areas I wanted it to go, and that inspired the idea of putting food proteins in toothpaste." The idea is particularly interesting as it adds daily exposure to the allergen proteins, making it easily a part of everyday routine.
"Will told me this crazy idea he had, and I thought it was genius," said Michael Nelson, an attorney trained in biology and health care. He cofounded Intrommune to develop the unconventional new treatment. The company is to begin a clinical trial composed of 32 adults who are allergic to peanuts. With escalating dosages to see the outcome. Nelson has also stated that the company will be conducting more trials on other allergies in the future.
While many allergists have shown support for the new approach, some raised concerns about the toothpaste, which may be dangerous, especially after a dentist trip or an accidental cheek bite. That's because the toothpaste will have direct access to the bloodstream, potentially causing a body-wide reaction. Either way, the developments are exciting and pave the way for new, unconventional medical treatments. To keep up to date with the developments, go to intrommune.com.