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People With Allergies May Have Less Diverse Gut Microbiota

A recent study suggests that the gut microbiota of people with allergies — nut and seasonal pollen allergies in particular — may have different gut microbiota than people without allergies.

Researchers from the National Institutes of Health examined data from 1,879 people who took part in the American Gut Project. Of those people, 82% had some form of allergy, including 3% with peanut, tree nut, or shellfish allergies, 9% with “other” food allergies, and 40% with seasonal allergies.

The researchers found that people with an allergy had less diverse fecal microbiota than those without allergies. The association was particularly notable in people with nut and seasonal allergies. The only allergies that were not associated with a less diverse microbiota were asthma, bee sting, and eczema.

The study was published online ahead of print on December 16, 2015, in EBioMedicine.

If you’re looking to improve gut health, the solution may be as easy as taking a prebiotic or probiotic supplement. Prebiotics help your body produce the good bacteria called probiotics by serving as food for the friendly bacteria.

Having a varied composition of bacteria in your digestive system is essential for good gut health and for good health overall. Previous studies have linked healthy gut bacteria with strengthening the immune system, better gum health, weight loss, and reducing the risk of chronic disease.

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