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Probiotic May Provide Hay Fever Relief

A recent study suggests that taking a supplement of the probiotic Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei LP-33 may significantly improve the quality of life for people suffering from hay fever who are also taking an antihistamine.

Participants in the study included 425 people with hay fever who were being treated with the antihistamine loratadine. Over the course of five weeks they were assigned either a placebo or the LP-33 supplement. Severity of hay fever was measured using the Rhinitis Quality of Life (RQLQ) global score.

At the conclusion of the study, the supplement group had significantly lower RQLQ scores when compared with the placebo. While no difference was seen in nasal symptoms, symptoms related to the eyes were significantly improved.

Researchers from the French institutions Montpellier I University, University Paris Diderot, Biofortis, and Merck Consumer Health as well as Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany and the Danish institutions Copenhagen University Hospital at Gentofte and Chr. Hansen A/S conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 26, 2014, in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The researchers cautioned that the results found here could not be extrapolated to probiotics in general because probiotics have strain-specific effects. However, previous studies suggest that the probiotic Lactobacillus casei Shirota may also provide relief to hay fever sufferers.

In addition to the aforementioned probiotics, French maritime bark has been found to relieve symptoms of birch-related hay fever while beta-glucan has been associated with reduced suffering for individuals with ragweed allergies.

All of these interventions can be taken in supplement form but be sure to purchase ones that have been sealed to protect them from light, which can destroy probiotics.

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