The more we learn about gut bacteria, the more I wonder if there's anything they can't help with. I've written about a number of ways our microbiome influences our health, from the obvious connections to digestive issues to the more surprising links to issues such as Alzheimer's disease and depression. Now I've got another surprise for you: Having the right balance of gut bacteria can help with allergies. No, I'm not talking about food allergies here — I mean seasonal allergies, such as hay fever. A study recently conducted at the University of Florida helps to explain why.
I've explained before that our gut bacteria have such a profound influence on our health in part because they affect our immune system. That seems to be what's going on with the seasonal allergies as well. The researchers believe that taking probiotics helps the body increase its percentage of regulatory T-cells, which in turn helps us better deal with issues such as hay fever.
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The researchers enlisted the help of 173 adults suffering from seasonal allergies to investigate this issue. Over the course of eight weeks when spring allergies were peaking, half of the participants took a probiotic made from a combination of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, while the other half took a placebo. The participants filled out an online survey every week evaluating the severity of their allergy symptoms, and the researchers analyzed stool samples to see if the participants' gut bacteria had changed. Those receiving the probiotic experienced improvements to their quality of life compared to the placebo group. In particular, their nose-related allergy symptoms decreased.
I think a probiotic like Advanced Probiotic Formula is a great weapon to have in your arsenal. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, I recommend that you take this probiotic along with my favorite other allergy treatment, Ultimate Allergy Formula. It contains nutrients I've been using to treat allergies for years, including bromelain, stinging nettle, and quercetin. When I developed this formulation, I added in silymarin and astragulus, and I've gotten great results with it. Combine it with probiotics, and you should soon find that you're breathing easier with fewer symptoms.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD