Scientists Identified Probiotics That Protect Against Food Allergies

Scientists Identified Probiotics That Protect Against Food Allergies
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Food allergies are on the increase. In the US, one in every 13 children is affected, and the cause of it is poorly understood from the mainstream medical point of view. Now it emerged that probiotic therapy could be the cure for it, which might not come as a surprise to those who understand the workings of the body.

The Link Between our Immune System and the Gut

About 70 percent of our immune system is located in the gut. If intestinal flora is out of balance, this can result in different health conditions, including allergies.

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Your immune system has to learn not to react to non-harmful antigens – food is one of them. Friendly bacteria play an important role in teaching the immune system to distinguish between the good and the bad. If the immune system can’t do that, it will attack substances that should be left alone.

A fetus has a sterile gut. The baby collects its first bacteria already during the birth, so mum’s vaginal flora – which is a reflection of her gut flora – is important.

The baby will take about 20 days to populate its virgin gut with beneficial microbes and build sufficient immunity. If the child fails to do so, this will affect his or her future health tremendously. Later in life, a child might not maintain a healthy gut flora due to a multitude of factors, including antibiotic overuse and overly fatty diets.

How Probiotics Can Help You Minimize Food Allergies

Researchers now propose that eating probiotics could restore the balance in the digestive tract and ward off food allergies. They provide the scientific basis for the previously suggested nutritional theories which emphasized the use of probiotics.

The study at the University of Chicago was performed on mice. Two groups of mice were used: a germ-free group raised in sterile conditions, and a group that has been treated with antibiotics since an early age. When exposed to peanut allergens, both groups of mice exhibited a strong immunological response, which could be associated with their unhealthy gut flora.

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Then, a mix of Clostridia bacteria (a common class of gut bacteria) was introduced into the mice, and it was observed if the food allergy would minimize. Both groups of mice started producing higher levels of interleukin-22 (IL-22), which is a mediator of cellular inflammatory response. When the mice with Clostrida were exposed to peanut allergens, their allergen levels in the blood reduced.

This led to the conclusion that Clostridia bacteria could reverse sensitization to food allergens and protect the digestive tract. Further research is needed to develop the proposed probiotic therapy and test it on humans, but the initial findings hold a lot of promise.

What You Can Do

This recent study has confirmed the importance of including probiotics into your daily diet (you can find more details in my previous article about 9 reasons to take probiotics).

It is something our ancestors did intuitively. The Ancient Greeks and Romans ate sauerkraut galore. To this day, in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and East of the Urals, people consume kefir, kvass, natural yoghurts and borscht. The Koreans developed their version of fermented cabbage and called it kimchi, while the Japanese are known to serve small portions of pickled vegetables with their meals. So join this happy group, and preserve the health of you family! To read more about fermented foods for healthy gut click here.

Resources:
http://www.uchospitals.edu/news/2014/20140825-nagler.html
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/09/02/probiotics-allergies.aspx
http://bodyecology.com/articles/how_probiotics_help_prevent_allergies.php#.VAbJUKOdvQI
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