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Hay Fever? Probiotics May Help!

In your gut, there are as many as 1 trillion microscopic bacteria cells. About 85% of these cells should be good bacteria, called probiotics. They are vital to your overall health and have been shown to improve digestion, reduce suffering from bloating, gas, and constipation, and boost your immune system.

English scientists at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, Britain are now saying that probiotics can also help alleviate the symptoms of hay fever. The study was published online in the May 2008 issue of the journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy.

Scientists recruited ten hay fever sufferers and monitored their condition for the 5 month study. Some volunteers were given a milk drink with probiotics, and others a placebo. The blood samples were then tested for antibodies and proteins responsible for allergy symptoms.

Volunteers who took the probiotic drink were found to have reduced levels of both the proteins and the antibodies associated with allergy symptoms. They also showed increased levels of the antibody IgG that is known to counteract the allergy symptoms.

The results of the study add to the growing list of probiotic benefits. Unfortunately, antibiotics, preservatives and chemicals in food and medicine kill probiotics and make it difficult for your body to produce more. One way to maintain healthy probiotic levels is with a good supplement that contains at least several billion live bacteria cells.

Source: K. Ivory, S. J. Chambers, C. Pin, E. Prieto, J. L. Arqués, C. Nicoletti (2008)
Oral delivery of Lactobacillus casei Shirota modifies allergen-induced immune responses in allergic rhinitis
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