Probiotics and Allergies May 09 2018

The month of May marks Allergy Awareness Month, and in honor of that theme, we wanted to share with you an interesting research review article that came out a few years ago exploring the impact of probiotics - specifically the Lactobacillus strain - on mediating allergic disease. The article, titled “The Impact of Lactobacillus acidophilus Strain L-92 on Allergic Disease” (sounds totally captivating, right?) explores the effectiveness of probiotics on reducing symptoms of allergies and mitigating the immune system’s reaction to allergens.(1)   

For those of you who are science lovers, we are including a link to the research article here so that you can read it for yourself, but for those of you who are more “get-to-the-point” oriented, we’ll briefly summarize the article for you. 

It’s no secret that allergies have been on the rise. One theory behind this increase in allergic disease in industrial countries is the “Hygiene Hypothesis,” which basically postulates that a lack of exposure to bacterial and viral agents as well as to common allergens in childhood skews the body’s immune response to these stimuli.(2) By not being exposed to certain infectious agents, a young child’s immune system cannot be “educated” on the proper way to respond.(3) Thus, when exposure does occur later in life, the body overreacts.  

So, how can probiotics help? According to the research review article described above, the Lactobacillus acidophilus strain has been shown to counter-regulate these skewed immune responses, as well as reduce IgE antibodies - the antibodies responsible for producing common allergy symptoms.(1) These findings indicate that Lactobacillus acidophilus may be able to reduce the symptoms and severity of allergies. 

While more clinical trials still need to be conducted to confirm these positive effects, allergy sufferers may want to consider a probiotic, like Marilyn Farms' Custom Probiotics, that contains Lactobacillus acidophilus strains, as these probiotics offer a myriad of other health benefits as well! For more information on the many positives of probiotics, see our “What to Look for in a Probiotic” blog. 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

References 

  1. Bank G. The Impact of Lactobacillus acidophilus Strain L-92 on Allergic Disease - A review of the literature. Natural Medicine Journal. 2015;7(9). 
  2. Okada H, Kuhn C, Feillet H, Bach J-F. The “hygiene hypothesis” for autoimmune and allergic diseases: an update. Clinical and Experimental Immunology. 2010;160(1):1-9. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2249.2010.04139.x. 
  3. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Asthma: The Hygiene Hypothesis. FDA website. https://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/ResourcesforYou/Consumers/ucm167471.htm. Updated March 27, 2018. Accessed April 25, 2018. 
Elanie Welch
Elanie graduated with a BA degree in Biology and Environmental Science from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and an MS degree in Occupational and Environmental Health from the University of Iowa. Elanie is currently working towards earning an MS degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport. She enjoys all things biology, ecology, health, and science. Elanie is an amateur but avid chef, and she loves to find new ways to make healthy living the most accessible and exciting experience it can be.