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article imageProbiotic drinks may trigger hay fever

By Tim Sandle     Dec 3, 2013 in Health
A study has shown that a daily probiotic drink changed how cells lining the nasal passages of hay fever sufferers, leading to a higher level of out-of-season incidents.
The study does not suggest that probiotic drinks can cause hay fever, however there is an association between the consumption of probiotic drinks and a higher number of out-of-season hay fever style allergies with hay fever sufferers.
Hay fever is a form of allergic rhinitis. This is an allergic inflammation of the nasal airways. It occurs when an allergen, such as pollen, dust or animal dander (particles of shed skin and hair) is inhaled by an individual with a sensitized immune system.
For the study, researchers gave 60 hay fever sufferers daily drinks for 16 weeks, outside of the hay fever season. The participants were studied for hay fever reactions. The study was double-blinded and placebo controlled, so neither the volunteers nor the scientists knew which group was receiving the probiotic.
Volunteers who received the probiotic drink saw changes in allergic inflammation in their nasal lining, as well as changes in their blood, that are associated with immune responses.
The reason is thought to be linked to the live microorganisms contained within probiotic drinks and here the immune system seems to react in the same way to these microorganisms as it does to fungal and pollen allergens.
The new research was carried out at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the findings have been published in the journal PLoS One. The paper is titled “Oral Delivery of a Probiotic Induced Changes at the Nasal Mucosa of Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis Subjects after Local Allergen Challenge: A Randomised Clinical Trial.”
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