Spring is here!
The sun has come out and graced us with warmer weather, the trees are starting to bloom, and the constant sniffles have begun. For people that suffer from seasonal allergies, they might not be as welcoming to the idea of Spring as others. Did you know that over 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, which causes sneezing, coughing, dry skin, foggy head- all symptoms that lead to a lack of focus and a bad night’s rest. However, recent studies have come to show that the ingestion of Probiotics can actually alleviate those symptoms, making them quite beneficial in treating allergic rhinitis.
Seasonal allergies are actually a minor form of autoimmunity, which is the system of immune responses of an organism against it’s own healthy cells and tissues. Allergic rhinitis occurs when your immune system reacts to common antigens in the nasal mucosa, causing inflammation in the nasal airways. According to The Barefoot Golfer, probiotics have been shown to improve a wide range of medical conditions related to autoimmunity and inflammation, including allergies. They improve seasonal, as well as other allergy related conditions in adults and children. This is because probiotics lead to the regulation of the immune system.
Probiotics interact with the immune system and modify the course of the allergic disease. They are able to do so by aiding in the function of T cells, which are a type of white blood cell that bolsters the immune system. The Baseline of Health Foundation mentions that the beneficial bacteria of probiotics found in our intestinal tract are responsible for 60-70% of our immune system’s function. There were 23 randomized trials conducted, consisting of about 1,900 people, and out of the 23 trials, 17 of those showed people with seasonal allergies improved from probiotics. They lessen the severity of allergies while reducing the symptoms, as well as improve the overall quality of life for those suffering from allergies.
The North American Journal of Medical Sciences stated that a study using Lactobacillus casei reduced the number of rhinitis episodes in 64 preschool children with allergic rhinitis. There was also a 2012 study at the Chung Shan Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan, which found that supplementing the antihistamine levocetirizine with the probiotic Lactobacillus jonhsonii EM1 effectively alleviated the symptoms of allergic rhinitis in a group of Taiwanese children. What is great about is this is that probiotics have no major adverse effects on people, the way drugs do.
While the studies conducted used various combinations of different strains of bacteria, The North American Journal of Medical Services believe “a fusion protein of probiotics may be a novel approach to improve effectiveness in the treatment of allergic rhinitis.” By changing the balance of bacteria in the intestines, probiotics improve the mucosal barrier function and provide an immunomodulatory influence on the immune system. Probiotics may be ingested in the form of a daily supplement containing multiple strains, or through foods, such as yogurt, kefir or kombucha. It’s time to for the fog to clear and your sinuses to get some relief. Breathe easy, friends, and have a happy Spring!
- Seasonal Allergies: Are Probiotics the Cure? (2013, March 01). Retrieved April 21, 2016, from http://www.thebarefootgolfer.com/seasonal-allergi...
- Yang, G., Liu, Z., & Yang, P. (2013, August 5). Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis with Probiotics: An Alternative Approach. Retrieved April 21, 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC37849...
- Levine, B. (2015, May 23). Probiotics for Allergies. Retrieved April 21, 2016, from http://jonbarron.org/allergies-asthma/probiotics-...