Tis the season for annoying spring allergies. Thanks to a new study, getting some relief may be as easy as popping a probiotic supplement. Scientist enrolled 173 adults who suffer from seasonal allergies in a study to evaluate the effectiveness of a combination of two beneficial species of bacteria – lactobacillus and bifidobacterium (available as Kyo-dophilus in stores). Half of the study subjects took a daily dose of the probiotic, while the other half took a placebo. Once a week during the eight-week study period, participants filled out a survey that assessed allergy symptoms and quality of life. Study subjects taking the daily probiotic reported significant improvements in quality of life as well as less allergy symptoms compared with those taking the placebo.
Probiotics are known to favorably modulate immune function and inflammation so these results are not surprising. Keep in mind that fermented foods like yogurt and kefir also contain high concentrations of good bacteria, typically for a much better bargain than supplements.
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(The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2017; 105 (3): 758 DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.116.140012)