Probiotics found to improve allergy symptoms, study says
(NaturalHealth365) Allergy season is a dreaded time of year for many people. Allergy symptoms can disrupt sleep patterns, concentration and overall quality of life. However, a natural way to cure allergy symptoms like runny nose, itchy eyes and persistent sneezing has been found in probiotics.
The list of benefits of probiotics is already quite long, and they all center around maintaining an ideal microbiome environment within the gut. The gut microbiome is a crucial part of our immune system, and a healthy balance of bacteria there can help to support health in all other areas of the body.
Specific probiotics prove to be effective in reducing allergy symptoms
A study out of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Florida has confirmed the efficacy of a specific blend of probiotics in reducing allergy symptoms related to hay fever. The exact combination of friendly bacteria contained in the allergy probiotic was Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus gasseri.
The study looked at 173 healthy adults suffering from mild or moderate seasonal allergies for eight weeks during the peak of the spring allergy season. One group was given a placebo, while the other took a combination probiotic capsule twice daily containing the helpful bacteria described above. Neither group took any other medications for allergies during the study period of eight weeks.
Benefits of probiotics include immune system support
Those who took the probiotic reported reduced allergy symptoms as well as a markedly higher quality of life as compared with those participants taking the placebo. The researchers noted that not all probiotics offer allergy relief; however, this particular combination proved to be quite effective.
The study authors believe probiotics work by boosting regulatory T cell levels in the immune system which in turn helps to reduce allergy symptoms. The benefits of probiotics for allergies are maximized when the probiotic is taken during the height of the allergy season when symptoms are the worst. The study results were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
A natural cure for allergy symptoms – without side effects
Researchers hope to conduct future studies that will determine the exact mechanism through which probiotics support immune function. Once understood, this will assist with even more targeted and effective use of microorganisms for immune system health. For now, allergy sufferers have an additional reason to seek out the benefits of probiotics.
Hay fever affects up to 60 million people in the U.S. It is triggered by the immune system overreacting to allergens inhaled from the air from mold as well as plant and tree pollen. While decongestants and antihistamines can relieve some symptoms, side effects of these medications can include drowsiness, blurry vision, dizziness and nausea.
Therefore, in light of these potential (unwanted) side effects, probiotics offer a highly compelling natural alternative for allergy relief.