A probiotic combination might work towards curbing the symptoms of seasonal allergies like hay fever which causes itchiness, watery eyes, sneezing and various other symptoms. Scientists know that the probiotic combination of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria helps in maintaining good digestive health and parts of the immune system. The researchers wanted to discover if the components in this combination of probiotic would help in diminishing allergy symptoms.
"Not all probiotics work for allergies. This combination did," said study first author Jennifer Dennis, a doctoral student at University.
Hence to conduct the research, they enrolled 173 healthy adults who suffered from seasonal allergies and randomly split them into two groups - some took the combination probiotic and others took a placebo. During the eight-week experiment, each week participants were suppose to respond to an online survey to convey their level of discomfort. Scientists also took a DNA test from participants' stool samples to determine how their bacteria changed, since probiotics aim to deliver good bacteria to the human's intestinal system.(Prebiotic Foods Versus Probiotics: What's Best For Our Diet?)
"The DNA test also confirmed who was taking the probiotic," said senior author of the study Bobbi Langkamp-Henken, Professor at University of Florida.
The researchers conducted the experiment at the peak of spring allergy season. Participants who took the probiotic combination reported better quality of life as compared to those taking the placebo, showed the study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Researchers realised that this study did not include severe allergy victims. The combination of probiotics showed clinical benefit for those with more mild seasonal allergies, said Proffesor Langkamp-Henken.
The researchers believed that the probiotics might work by increasing the human body's percentage of regulatory T-cells, which in turn might increase the tolerance power to hay fever symptoms.
Inputs from IANS
Seasonal allergies are sometimes called hay fever. They occur at certain times of the year usually when trees, grasses and weeds release their tiny pollen particles into the air. The immune systems of people who are allergic to mold spores or pollen treat these particles (called allergens) as invaders and release chemicals, which include histamine, into the bloodstream to defend against them. It's the release of these chemicals that causes allergy symptoms. According to a new research done by University of Florida in the US, probiotics could help in this allergy condition.