According to WebMD, probiotics (“good” bacteria found in supplements and foods like yogurt) can change your immune system’s response to pollen.
In the future, probiotics may constitute another treatment option for the 40 million Americans who suffer from hay fever, or seasonal allergies. When ingested, probiotics join other microorganisms in the gut, where the majority of your immune system is located. Changes in intestinal bacteria have been linked to certain allergic disorders, and this prompted researchs to look at probiotics.
“This was a pilot study based on small numbers of patients, but we were fascinated to discover a response,” says lead researcher Claudio Nicoletti at the Institute of Food Research. “The probiotic significantly reduced the production of molecules associated with allergy.”
So, before ragweed pollen peaks this autumn, you may want to stock up on yogurt! Make sure that you buy real yogurt that contains live bacterial cultures. My favorite probiotic food is actually kefir, a yogurt-like drink that originated in Eastern Europe. It’s like a healthy milkshake!
The flipside of this research is that antibiotics may exacerbate allergic diseases by killing off good bacteria. For a more detailed explanation, see Antibiotics for Newborns Linked to Wheezing.
Here at Sylvane, we specialize in indoor health products – but in order to realize your optimal level of health, you must pay attention to your internal environment as well as your external environment.
For more information about coping with hay fever (in your external environment), see Ragweed Season – Allergy Relief Tips.