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HomeNUTRITIONHarnessing the power of probiotics for hay fever relief this spring

Harnessing the power of probiotics for hay fever relief this spring

Magdalena Marvell explores the common nutrients and their significance in maintaining overall wellbeing.

As spring blossoms, so does the onset of hay fever season, scientifically known as allergic rhinitis (AR). It’s a common affliction, affecting around 10-15% of children and 26% of adults in the UK, as reported by Allergy UK.
 
Did you know that the NHS spends a hefty £13.6 million annually on prescribing medications for hay fever? World Health Organisation’s list of allergic diseases encompasses a wide range of conditions, including asthma, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and more. These allergies can be triggered by various factors, such as foods, drugs, or insect bites.
 
Currently, around 1 billion people worldwide are grappling with allergies. Experts estimate that this number could skyrocket to a staggering 4 billion within the next 
30 to 40 years.
 
But here’s an interesting twist: emerging research suggests that our gut health may play a crucial role in hay fever and allergies. Scientists are diving into the fascinating world of live cultures, exploring how these beneficial bacteria could potentially alleviate hay fever symptoms.
 
Research has revealed a fascinating connection between birch pollen allergy and changes in the composition of fecal microbiota1
 
In a notable study, a specific combination of probiotics was found to be particularly effective. Not only did this combination prevent the infiltration of eosinophils into the nasal mucosa triggered by pollen exposure, but it also showed promising trends in reducing nasal symptoms associated with the allergy.
 
It’s all about bacterial diversity in our gut, influenced by factors like our environment, diet, and even our cleanliness habits. By nurturing a diverse array of gut bacteria, we might just give our immune system the boost it needs to tackle hay fever and other allergies head-on2
 
Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM® and Bifidobacterium lactis Bl-04® are two powerful strains of live cultures that have been put to the test in clinical trials related to hay fever. 
 
The results? 
They’ve shown a remarkable ability to reduce the presence of eosinophils in the nasal area.
Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell associated with allergic reactions, including hay fever. So, by targeting and reducing their presence in the nasal passages, these beneficial bacteria could potentially offer relief from the symptoms of hay fever3
 
It’s exciting news for hay fever sufferers, as it highlights the promising role that specific strains of live cultures may play in managing allergic conditions.
 
Research indicates that a probiotic formulation containing Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria could hold the key to alleviating symptoms associated with seasonal allergies. A fusion protein of probiotics presents a promising and innovative avenue for enhancing the effectiveness of allergic rhinitis treatment4.
 
However, further studies are needed to fully understand the clinical efficacy of probiotics in this context. These studies should focus on refining the selection and design of appropriate study populations, as well as ensuring the safety of probiotic use.
 
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