Originally published May 18 2015
Sneezing? Itchy eyes? Probiotic-rich yogurt can relieve seasonal allergies!
by Amy Goodrich
(NaturalNews) According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, about 50 million Americans are affected by seasonal allergies during spring and summer. The main culprit is pollen from trees and grasses.
Pollen is generally a harmless little substances released by plants as a part of their reproductive cycle. For one in five people, these little compounds will cause an allergic reaction and ruin outdoor life at some stage in their life.
People who suffer from seasonal allergies during spring are likely to be allergic to tree pollen, while people who experience the symptoms during summer overreact to pollen from grass.
Hay fever seems to be worse for people living in cities, because pollen easily mixes with diesel particles which can go deep into the airways and cause an allergic reaction. It is more common in young boys than girls; however, adult men and women seem to be equally affected.
Sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, coughing, and a stuffy or runny nose are the typical symptoms, which are usually treated with a combination of several medicines like antihistamines, decongestants and steroid nasal sprays.
However, a new study suggests that the friendly bacteria or probiotics found in yogurt may help ease symptoms and improve the quality of outdoor life. Researchers believe that probiotics can alter the balance of bacteria in our gut which may influence T-cells, or a special type of white blood cell involved in our immune response.
"Much about the role of probiotics in the human response remains poorly understood and additional translational studies will likely be needed to clarify this in the future," the study's researchers said
The systematic review was published in the journal International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology, which you can read here: OnlineLibrary.Wiley.com.
Their findings are based on the analysis of 23 studies, involving more than 1,900 people. In 17 of these studies, people showed a beneficial improvement of their symptoms when using probiotics compared to the placebo group. Six studies found no major improvements.
"The current study suggests that probiotics have the potential to alter disease severity, symptoms and quality of life in patients with allergic rhinitis (hay fever). Positive outcomes were reported in a majority of studies with no significant adverse effects," the researchers wrote in the International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology, as reported by the Daily Mail.
However, they note that this is only a systematic review and more research is needed to confirm the results. They note that probiotic yogurt can safely be eaten and used to reduce symptoms, but up until know there is no evidence probiotics can be used as a standalone treatment for people with hay fever.
"Additional high-quality studies are needed before doctors would recommend for or against using probiotics to help treat people with seasonal allergies," said lead author Dr. Justin Turner, an ear, nose and throat surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
So while you may be looking into taking probiotic supplements or eat more probiotic yogurt, preventing pollen from entering your body is another powerful way to ease the reaction and enjoy spring and summer time.
Pollen rises into the atmosphere during the morning and comes back down early in the evening. It easily stick to your hair, skin and clothes, so whenever you come home, change clothes and take a shower. For many people, it also helps to add a bit of Vaseline to the nostrils to capture the pollen and prevent it from entering the body. Wearing sunglasses can also help.
Probiotics also have shown some great results in treating other inflammatory conditions, such as dermatitis and irritable bowel syndrome, and may even help ease the mind and cure minor depression symptoms.
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