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Thursday, 19 February 2015

Live from the TRACE study...

As I write I am lying in a hospital bed as part of the TRACE peanut study... it's 4.25am. I'm here overnight as part of a sleep deprivation element to today's challenge. So far I've been allowed just two hours sleep between 1 and 3am.

Why am I here? It's all in the name of science. Medicine can never be expected to move on unless people who suffer with illnesses give some time to be prodded. In this case though, we're not looking for a cure, it's more to do with improving day to day life for people with peanut allergies. Anyone who has closely scrutinised a label will understand the prevalence of 'may contain nut traces' labels. Most manufacturers don't even bother telling you what nut they are referring to, rendering the warning useless and vague. This increases the chance of someone 'risking it' since they can't properly decide on the risk anyway.

The TRACE Peanut Study aims to address this by finding out exactly how much peanut will cause an allergic reaction in those with a peanut allergy by conducting ‘challenges’ on around 100 people. The focus area of the study is on two ‘extrinsic’ factors known to influence allergic thresholds (exercise and tiredness).
In the next few hours all hands will be on deck and I will start process of ingesting the one thing I spend my life avoiding. Watch this space!