The link between gut health, food allergies and intolerances!
This week I decided to write about the relationship between food allergies and intolerances and the impact of gut health. I knew that there is definitely a connection between the health of the gut and food sensitivities but to be honest I hadn’t done a huge amount of evidence based research (Apart from what I discovered when I was in the midst of working out my son’s sensitivities and why he had them).
Given that the immune system is strongly controlled by our gut microbes and the health of them, it’s inevitable that the immune response of an allergic reaction is impacted largely by our gut microflora.
Upon researching the topic, I came across many studies, that indeed support the link between gut health and food sensitivities. I’ve decided to keep it short and simple, but this is what I found to be of high importance.
One study; “Healthy babies’ gut bacteria prevent common food allergy” has discovered that just one species of gut bacteria, called A. caccae can protect against nut allergy and stated, “the presence of this one species can prevent food allergy reactions.” Researchers also discovered that the gut microbiome differed vastly of the babies with cow’s milk allergy to the babies without milk allergy. (Nagler, 2019).
Another way in which allergies and intolerances are impacted by our gut health is a condition called Leaky gut.
Leaky gut is a condition where the gut lining becomes more permeable and inflamed, leading to an increase in undigested foods and toxins entering the blood stream. In response to this, the immune system puts up a fight with a false belief these toxins and undigested foods are antigens, in turn causing further inflammation in the body and when your body is highly inflamed it can contribute to food sensitivities. This is a vicious cycle in that food allergy and sensitivities are impacted by the health and integrity of our gut and the health of our gut is impacted by foods in which our bodies are allergic or intolerant to.
There are many studies which have proven that our mother’s gut microbiome is passed down on to their babies. This occurs in substantial amounts when the baby passes through the vagina collecting the beneficial microbes on their delivery and again through breast milk. The healthier mum’s microflora, then the healthier bub’s microflora. It is vital we always look after the integrity and health of our gut and especially during pre-conception and pregnancy.
WHAT WE CAN DO?
I have previously written a post on how to improve gut health and permeability if you’d like to check it out!
In summary, to improve gut permeability and microbiome you can do or add things such as;
• Ensure you eliminate any aggravating substances such as; sugar, gluten, dairy to name a few.
• Slippery elm
• Vitamin A
• Bone broth
• Prebiotics- Important as they feed the good bacteria and help to increase the numbers keep them alive and active.
Nagler, S. (2019) Medical News Today. Healthy babies’ gut bacteria prevent common food allergy.