Probiotics reduce food allergies, skin reactions

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 by: Paul Louis, staff writer
Tags: probiotics, food allergies, health news

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(Natural News) Most health conscious people know of the positive effects on digestion from using probiotic supplements. Many take probiotic supplements after using antibiotics to replace the good intestinal flora bacteria indiscriminately killed by antibiotic use.

This practice is so well known that even many MD's are recommending probiotics during and after antibiotics. But there is new evidence that probiotic benefits go beyond that. One area of investigative research concerns building the immune system's resistance to allergies that affect the skin. An obvious example of a skin's allergic reaction is eczema, which tends occur more often with infants and toddlers.

A recent Dutch study gathered over 150 pregnant women with allergic disease histories in their families. During the last six weeks of pregnancy, they were given either three strains of probiotics or an inactive placebo pill. Neither they nor the doctors involved knew who received what.

After those pregnant women gave birth, most of their children were still monitored by the Dutch researchers. The children continued to receive probiotics or placebos for 12 months. After three months, the rate of eczema occurring among the probiotic subjects was less than half of those given placebos.

There were no more probiotics or placebos administered to the children after 12 months. However, many were still observed up until age two. As they approached that age, the eczema occurrence gap between the two groups with eczema narrowed somewhat.

But there was still a substantial difference. The study results provided evidence that probiotics can have an effect on offspring from allergy prone mothers, and the report was written up in the Journal of Allergy.

Another recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition involved probiotics administered to mice, with a focus on food allergies. The mice all had whey intolerances, and they were fed probiotics and prebiotics while drinking milk.

With the addition of probiotics, their intolerance to whey showed considerable improvement with almost no skin reactions.

Today, up to eight percent of children have various chronic food allergies. Extending this study to children may prove probiotics as a natural remedy for their food allergies.

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