The Importance of Probiotics in Relation to Allergy

“The Importance of Probiotics in Relation to Allergy”
Probiotics will help to improve your overall gut health and healthy microbiota. New born babies receive their first lot of beneficial bacteria through the birthing canal and then through breast milk. As a mother you pass your microflora on to your child, so the healthier your microbiota is, the healthier your child’s.
The below is a bit of an introduction on how probiotics may be beneficial in allergic diseases, taken from a study on “The Role of Probiotics in allergic diseases by Sonia Michail.

“The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and the World Health Organization define probiotics as “live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host”. Prebiotics are defined as non-digestible oligosaccharides, such as fructo-oligosaccharides and trans-beta-galacto-oligosaccharides, that selectively stimulate the growth of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, thus producing a prebiotic effect. Synbiotics is a term referring to the use of both prebiotics and probiotics simultaneously.
As described above, allergic disorders are associated with a shift of the Th1/Th2 cytokine balance towards a Th2 response. This leads to activation of Th2 cytokines and the release of interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5, and IL-13 as well as IgE production.

Probiotics can potentially modulate the toll-like receptors and the proteoglycan recognition proteins of enterocytes, leading to activation of dendritic cells and a Th1 response. The resulting stimulation of Th1 cytokines can suppress Th2 responses. Pediatric studies suggest that probiotic use in children with atopic conditions such as atopic dermatitis results in enhancement of IFN-production and decrease d IgE and antigen-induced TN F-, IL-5, and IL-10 secretion.” (Michail, 2009).

Although many of the studies on probiotics in relation to reducing the risk, occurrence and severity of allergic disorders has been inconclusive with varying results, It can be hypothesized that taking a probiotic daily prior, during and after conception may help reduce the risk and occurrence of allergy, given their effect on immune function.

Other benefits of taking a good quality probiotic include;

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• May help to reduce atopic eczema
• Help prevent diarrhoea
• Reduce digestive disorder symptoms- Improve digestive function
• Boost immune system function
• Good for heart health and cholesterol
• Helps improve mental health (have you heard about the gut brain axis?)
• Has a positive effect on overall gut health and body weight.
• Help to improve skin issues such as psoriasis and acne.

If you aren’t already taking a probiotic supplement, try including some of these probiotic foods in your diet!
• Kimchi
• Sauerkraut
• Yoghurt (full fat)
• Kombucha
• Kefir
• Miso

That said, ensure you’re getting your dose of probiotics daily, it won’t only benefit your child, but you as well!

Michail, S. Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology20095:5 The role of probiotics in allergic diseases. © Michail; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009

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