A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised trial has revealed how a combination of three specific probiotic strains could help improve quality of life for those suffering with distressing symptoms of seasonal allergies.
Researchers from the University of Florida and MCC Statistical Consulting LLC in Gainesville, Florida recruited 173 people with seasonal allergies and randomly assigned them to take either a combination of three probiotics – Lactobacillus gasseri KS-13, Bifidobacterium bifidum G9-1, and B. longum MM-2 (a total dose made up of 3 billion colony-forming units [CFUS]) – each day for eight weeks during allergy season, or a placebo.
Results showed a significantly improved score of 0.70 from the start of the study on the Mini-Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (MRQLQ) in the probiotics group, but no such change was observed in the placebo group.
Commenting on this result, the researchers said: “The decrease in the probiotic group was clinically relevant.”
The MRQLQ questionnaire assesses problems that sufferers with rhinoconjunctivitis (a combination of rhinitis and conjunctivitis, often with an allergic origin) experience – such as an itchy nose and eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose – on everything from emotional well-being to getting a good night’s sleep.
Blood analyses showed immunoglobulin (Ig) E concentrations increased over a six-week period in the probiotic group, but these failed to reach statistical significance from the placebo. The number of regulatory T cells (Tregs) also increased in the probiotic group, but again, these failed to reach statistical significance from the placebo.
Commenting on the findings, the researchers said: “IgE and Tregs were not different between intervention groups; however, the observed increases from baseline to week 6 indicate immune stimulation, likely confirming exposure of the participants to allergens.”
They added: “It is plausible that probiotics, as commensal organisms, may serve a greater role in preventing allergies earlier in life when the immune system is still developing. Our study demonstrates a potential benefit for healthy adults with self-identified seasonal allergies when the probiotic is administered starting at the greatest level of allergy symptoms. Prophylactic administration [taken as a preventative] of the probiotic might potentiate the beneficial effects observed in this study.”
Yet another good reason to take a probiotic, especially if you suffer from seasonal allergies. Just look out for a probiotic blend that contains Lactobacillus gasseri KS-13, Bifidobacterium bifidum G9-1, and B. longum MM-2 at a total dose of 3 billion CFUS.
Here's to your good health,
Journal Of Natural Health Solutions
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American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, published online ahead of print, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.140012.