NMU 91 – Probiotic Combination Shown to Curb Hay Fever (Seasonal Allergy) Symptoms
Nutrition / Natural Medicine Update No. 91 (June 5, 2018)
with Dr. James Meschino
Topic: Probiotic Combination Shown to Curb Hay Fever (Seasonal Allergy) Symptoms
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2017)
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2017 brought some welcomed news to people who suffer from seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever. It has been known for a long-time that probiotic supplements support the function of the immune system and the digestive tract. Some experimental evidence suggested that probiotic supplements may also help curb seasonal allergies via their influence on certain immune cells, known as regulatory T-cells.
To test this in humans, researchers enrolled 173 healthy adults, who suffered from seasonal allergies and randomly split them into two groups. Some of the participants ingested a combination probiotic supplement (containing both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria), twice daily for eight weeks, while the other group ingested a placebo. Researchers also looked at participants stool samples to determine if the probiotic supplement was increasing the concentrations of friendly gut bacteria in the large bowel and to ensure adherence to the probiotic supplement protocol. The research was conducted during the height of allergy season.
The results of the study showed that the probiotic supplement helped to alleviate hay fever symptoms and improved quality of life during allergy season. Subjects with mild seasonal allergies reported the greatest benefits from the combination probiotic, the team reported. This is very encouraging news as hay fever (also called allergic rhinitis) is estimated to affect around 40-60 million people in the United States. It occurs when the immune system overreacts to airborne allergens. It is most commonly triggered by grass, tree, and weed pollens, as well as mold spores. Symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, mouth, or skin, nose congestion, and fatigue.
The standard drug treatment for hay fever includes antihistamines and decongestants, but they often cause side effects such as drowsiness and dizziness, and on rare occasions blurred vision, nausea, and vomiting. Antihistamines also cause dry mouth problems and make it more difficult to urinate. So, if you suffer from seasonal allergies you may want to try taking a probiotic supplement, twice per day, that contains both the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria strains to see if it can lessen the symptoms and reduce your reliance on decongestants and anti-histamines that often produce untoward or annoying side effects like dry mouth, trouble urinating and drowsiness. I think this is very encouraging news for hay fever sufferers and the probiotic supplement is also likely to improve bowel health and support immune function in general – two very desirable side effects
As always, I have included the journal reference in the text below.
Dennis-Wall JC et al. Probiotics ( Lactobacillus Gasseri KS-13, Bifidobacterium Bifidum G9-1, and Bifidobacterium Longum MM-2) Improve Rhinoconjunctivitis-Specific Quality of Life in Individuals With Seasonal Allergies: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Trial. Am J Clin Nutr 105 (3): 758-767 Feb 22, 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/articles/28228426/
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