Allergy season will soon befall some parts of the United States as spring arrives, but researchers may have found a simple way to combat it.
A team of experts from University of Florida discovered that a certain probiotic combination may reduce allergy or hay fever symptoms, without the negative side effects that usually come from medicine.
While probiotics are not always strong enough to ease allergy symptoms, this probiotic combination was effective enough, said Jennifer Dennis, the study's first author.
"Not all probiotics work for allergies. This one did," said Dennis.
Probiotic Combination Against Allergies
In a new study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Dennis and her colleagues investigated the probiotic combination of bifidobacteria or Kyo-Dophilus and lactobacilli.
This probiotic combination has been known to maintain immune and digestive system health. It has long been suspected that the lactobacilli and bifidobacteria combination increases the number of regulatory T cells, which may improve a person's tolerance to hay fever.
Now, the team tested out the combination's effects on allergies. They analyzed DNA taken from stool samples of 173 healthy adult participants who had seasonal allergies.
Study participants were separated into two groups during the eight-week research, with the first group receiving probiotics, while the other group took a placebo. They answered online surveys detailing their symptoms after receiving the treatment.
Researchers analyzed the stool samples to find out how bacteria among the participants changed after taking the probiotics. They found that those treated with the probiotic combination reported fewer symptoms related to allergy and had an improved life quality compared with those who took the placebo.
One limitation of the probiotic combination study is that it worked well for people with mild seasonal allergies, but severe allergy sufferers were not included.
Benefits Of Probiotics
Previous studies have focused on the positive benefits of taking probiotics. In May 2015, a report revealed that probiotic bacteria is effective in fighting against common hospital infections.
In November 2016, scientists from Iran discovered that a dose of probiotics a day may improve thinking abilities and sharpen memory among people with Alzheimer's disease.
The study found that patients who drank milk with probiotics experienced significant improvements in their cognitive abilities. When it came to cholesterol levels, those who drank milk with probiotics showed low levels of triglycerides, as well as decrease in insulin resistance.
Lastly, probiotics may also help improve people's mental health and combat stress, a study in Ireland discovered. Participants who received probiotic capsules exhibited less stress and anxiety, researchers said.