Heuschnupfengeplagte können bei dem Gedanken an Juckreiz, Keuchen, Nesselsucht oder tränenden Augen zu Beginn der Pollensaison mit Furcht erfüllt sein. Allergien insgesamt sowie eine Überempfindlichkeit des Immunsystems werden immer häufiger. Welche Massnahmen können auf natürliche Weise die Abwehrkräfte Ihres Körpers unterstützen? Können Probiotika eine Rolle spielen?
Der folgende Blog auf Englisch von unseren Partnern von BioCare gibt diverse nützliche Empfehlungen.
The days are drawing out after a long winter and whilst many delight in this thought, hay fever sufferers may be filled with dread at the thought of itching, wheezing, hives, or streaming eyes as the pollen season starts. Allergy on the whole, or hypersensitivity of the immune system, is becoming all the more common. Up to 20% of people with allergies struggle daily with fear of a possible asthma attack, anaphylactic shock, or even death from an allergic reaction. So, we’re keen to empower you with the knowledge you need to help yourself and your loved ones.
WHAT IS ALLERGY AND HOW COMMON IS IT?
Allergies are commonly defined as “the response of the body's immune system to normally harmless substances, such as pollen, food, and house dust mites. While for most people these substances (allergens) pose no problem, in allergic individuals their immune system identifies them as a “threat” and produces an inappropriate response.”
This is different to a food intolerance, or sensitivity, which may cause more delayed symptoms such as bloating or gas, and does not involve an extreme immune reaction.
More and more adults now suffer from at least one allergic condition and the number of sufferers is on the rise (for example having grown by around 2 million in the UK between 2008 and 2009 alone). The percentage of children diagnosed with allergic rhinitis and atopic eczema have trebled over the last 30 years. Food allergies are a cause of particular concern in young children, where the incidence is estimated to be greater in toddlers (5-8%) than in adults (1-2%).
CAN PROBIOTICS HELP WITH ALLERGIES?
Whilst allergy is a complex condition, with avoidance of the allergen being the most effective solution, this is simply not always possible in daily life. The good news for all allergy sufferers is that there is strong evidence to show that taking a daily probiotic supplement may be able to help prevent allergy and manage symptoms too.
There are many ways in which probiotics support the immune system. Research is growing regarding the connection between gut integrity, the balance of the gut microbiome, and allergic tendencies. Probiotics teach the immune system appropriate ways to respond. They strengthen the integrity of the gut wall and reduce inflammation, which overall helps to calm an otherwise hyper-reactive immune system, as typically seen in allergies.
Of particular interest to parents wanting to minimise the likelihood of their child developing an allergy in the first place, a large scale literature review in 2018 found that supplementing with probiotics during the last few weeks of pregnancy and in the first 3-6 months of breastfeeding reduced eczema prevalence in children by 22%. They also found evidence to suggest that a daily omega-3 supplement taken from 20 weeks of pregnancy into the first 3-4 months of breastfeeding helped to reduce the risk of allergies too. Therefore, supplementing with both probiotics and omega-3 could be of particular benefit for allergy prevention.
A specific blend of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium may help to prevent allergy in children, potentially reducing lifelong incidence. Infants (from birth to six months) that took this probiotic combination were 57% less likely to develop atopic eczema than those receiving placebo. They were also 44% less likely to develop allergic reactions to common allergens including pollen, cow’s milk, egg, and house dust mite, and symptoms of atopic eczema were also reported as having improved.
A healthy gut has been shown to help with both preventing and managing allergy. It is evident that probiotics hold significant, well-evidenced potential for helping to prevent allergy and support better management of debilitating symptoms for existing allergy sufferers, thus improving quality of life. In our clinical experience, they work best when taken as part of a holistic protocol which includes a range of other nutritional and lifestyle interventions. We recommend to read our other blog on the topic here.
For a full reference list with links to the article we refer you to our partners BioCare.