Health Shots: Research decodes the smallest dose of peanuts that can trigger people with allergies

Research from UC toxicologist on peanut allergies featured in media reports

Peanut allergies can be so sensitive for some that flight attendants have asked passengers not to open any food products with peanuts because a fellow passenger suffers from an allergy.  Schools have had to adjust their snack routines to ensure a nut-free environmental to protect children from peanut exposure.

Research from Lynne Haber, PhD, a toxicologist in the UC College of Medicine, uses patient  data from multiple locations and mathematical models to estimate an “eliciting dose” — or the amount of peanut protein that will cause or elicit an allergic reaction in a certain percentage of peanut sensitive patients. The study reviewed the responses of 481 patients in double-blind placebo-controlled studies, who were exposed to increasing levels of peanut protein in a controlled clinical setting until the patient had an allergic reaction.

It was published in the scholarly journal Food and Chemical Toxicology and picked up by national and international media.

The dose calculated to elicit an allergic reaction in 1% of patients with peanut allergies was 0.052 milligrams of peanut protein, about the weight of a single grain of salt, according to Haber, also an adjunct associate professor at UC. The eliciting dose for 5% of patients was calculated to be 0.49 milligrams of peanut protein, or about the weight of a single grain of sugar.

Media covering research from Lynne Haber, PhD include:


Best Life Magazine


La Tercera

El Espanol

Nouvelles du monde

Learn more about the research of Lynne Haber, PhD, online.

Featured image of Lynne Haber, PhD, taken by Colleen Kelley/ UC Creative + Brand.