Probiotics taken during pregnancy decrease risk of allergies in kids

Monday, September 09, 2013 by: L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
Tags: probiotics, pregnancy, childhood allergies

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(NaturalNews) Probiotics stimulate the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the intestines and the gut. A new analysis encourages pregnant mothers to take probiotics during pregnancy to help lower the risk of allergies in their kids. The good bacteria balance in a mother's gut is passed to their baby through the placenta and the colustrum of breast milk. Probiotics are a great way to nurture the child even before they are born.

Since allergies and asthma derive from hypersensitive immune responses, medical professionals are now assessing the effect that probiotic supplements have on those conditions.

With over 100 trillion bacterial microorganisms living in the human gut, it is absolutely necessary to have a proper balance of gut flora for an immune system to grow strong. Gut bacteria balance may be one of the most overlooked health systems in the human body today, noting the massive overprescription of antibiotics, which destroy good gut flora. Medical science could eliminate many modern day, heavy-metal laden vaccinations if more people understood that a strong immune system begins in the gut.

Antibiotics destroy good gut flora

Antibiotics, which kill both bad and beneficial bacteria, are overprescribed and consumed without regard to the damage they are doing to beneficial bacteria in the gut. In the US, with a population hovering around 309 million, 258 million courses of antibiotics were prescribed in 2010 alone. This overprescription onslaught renders immune systems weak over the long haul, especially since antibiotics are widely consumed in commercial meat, also trickling down through the water supply.

This is why many diseases and allergies today actually originate in the digestive system. An unbalanced gut, where the good bacteria are depleted, becomes a host for disease. Studies show how probiotic supplements heal and seal a person's gut lining, keeping pathogens from penetrating into the blood. In a weak gut, where pathogens overrun the good bacteria, disease can penetrate the gut wall, get into the blood and pass into other organs, even the brain.

Probiotics taken during pregnancy lower baby's allergy risk

Dr. Erick Forno of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, reports on the new connection between probiotics and children's allergies, "Based on our findings, probiotics have a protective effect against allergies." In the trial, probiotics in pill form were used, but Forno believes that "dietary probiotics like those in yogurt" could alternatively be effective.

During the study, Forno's team analyzed the results of 25 individual cases. These cases included both probiotic supplements given during pregnancy and probiotics given during a child's first year. The studies were also compared to mothers and babies randomly assigned probiotic placebo supplements.

During the trials, mothers were given doses of probiotics daily and sometimes more often over the course of from a few months to an entire year.

The results were matched up to the health of their children later in life, notably testing for common allergies - such as peanut or pollen. A questionnaire was also given to parents to see if their children showed signs of asthma.

Mother's important role in passing on immune system to their baby

What they found was that babies exposed to probiotics in the womb had a 12 percent lower allergy risk than the other children. There was no significant change in allergy incidence in babies that were started on probiotics after birth. The results imply that the strength of a mother's immune system is very important, as it is passed on to the baby. Mothers play an important role in building the health foundation of their children.

Mimi Tang, director of the department of allergy and immunology at Royal Children's Hospital in Parkville, Australia, says, "Postnatal Probiotics may not be necessary to see a beneficial effect, but further studies would be needed to clarify that point."

Other important factors to be studied should include whether the mothers breastfed early on. The colustrum from breast milk passes on specific immune system building antibodies that help build a babies gut health.

If the mothers in the study were found to have breastfed early on, then a connection could be shown as to why probiotics taken during pregnancy have such a vital impact on the immune system health of the baby.

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