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Probiotics May Help Relieve Hay Fever Symptoms

Hay fever is estimated to affect between 10% and 30% of the global population. It is characterized by inflammation of the nose that leads to runny nose, congestion, red and watery eyes, sneezing, cough, and itchy nose. A recent pilot study suggests that a multispecies probiotic supplement may help improve quality of life for people suffering from hay fever.


Participants in the study included 44 people between the ages of 18 and 65 with moderate to severe hay fever who were given a multispecies probiotic supplement twice daily for eight weeks. The study was based on a Simon Two-Stage Design to account for seasonal variation in symptoms. Under this design, 10 or more patients must show improvement in quality of life scores in order for the supplement to be considered effective.


The primary outcome measure was based on a change in mini Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire scores. Secondary outcomes included an assessment of change in symptoms and medication usage.


At the conclusion of the study, 63% of the participants still taking the probiotic reported significant improvements in quality of life. On average, the mini Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire scores changed from 2.83 at baseline to 1.66 at week 4 and 1.38 at week 8. In addition, individual and overall symptom scores were significantly reduced.


Researchers from Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on May 21, 2018, in the Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine.


Probiotics can be found naturally in many foods, such as yogurt, milk and sauerkraut. You may also consider taking a high quality supplement but make sure it is packaged to block light, air and moisture, which can easily kill probiotics.

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